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Glyceraldehyde

Definition

Glyceraldehyde is a one of the simplest carbohydrates (also called sugars); its chemical structure is CH2OH-CH2OH-CHO. It is an aldo-triose  (three carbon sugar with an aldehyde group). Since the middle carbon atom is stereogenic (connected to four different groups : H, OH, CHO, and CH2OH), it is a chiral compound and  two enantiomeric forms are possible : D-glyceraldehyde and L-glyceraldehyde. Terrestrial organisms largely use only D-glyceraldehde. D-Glyceraldehyde (as its phosphate ester) plays important roles in sugar metabolism, such as