Brown and Morris in 1892 advanced strong reasons for thinking that cane-sugar, Ci2H22O11, is the first carbohydrate synthesized, and that the hexoses found in the plant result from the decomposition of this.
Chemically they appear to be ether anhydrides of the hexoses, the union being effected by the aldehyde or alcohol groups, and in consequence they are related to the ethers of glucose and other hexoses, i.e.
For example, some species hydrolyse came sugar and maltose, and then carry on fermentation at the expense of the simple sugars (hexoses) so formed.
The first term includes simple sugars containing two to nine atoms of carbon, which are known severally as bioses, trioses, tetroses, pentoses, hexoses, &c.; whilst those of the second group have the formula C12H22011 and are characterized by yielding two monosaccharose molecules on hydrolysis.
The hexoses may be regarded as the most important sub-division of the monosaccharoses.
The hexoses so obtained are not necessarily identical: thus cane sugar yields d-glucose and d-fructose (invert sugar); milk sugar and melibiose give d-glucose and d-galactose, whilst maltose yields only glucose.