|Molecular mass||90.08 g/mol|
|Melting point||145 °C|
|Boiling point||140-150 °C at 0.8 mmHg|
|Disclaimer and references|
Glyceraldehyde is a triose monosaccharide with chemical formula C3H6O3. It is the simplest of all common aldoses. It is a sweet colorless crystalline solid that is an intermediate compound in carbohydrate metabolism. The word comes from combining glycerine and aldehyde, as glyceraldehyde is merely glycerine with one hydroxide changed to an aldehyde.
- R from Latin rectus meaning upright, or
- S from Latin sinister meaning left
|Name of enantiomer||D-glyceraldehyde
While the optical rotation of glyceraldehyde is (+) for R and (−) for S, this is not true for all monosaccharides. The stereochemical rotation can only be determined by the chemical structure, whereas the optical rotation can only be determined empirically (by experiment).
Glyceraldehyde is used as the configurational standard for carbohydrates. Monosaccharides with an identical conformation at the last stereocentre, for example, C5 for glucose, to (R)-glyceraldehyde are assigned the stereo-descriptor D, those similar to (S)-glyceraldehyde are assigned a L. Both, D and L, should be small capital letters.
It was by a lucky guess that the D molecular geometry was assigned to (+)-glyceraldehyde in the late 19th century, as confirmed by x-ray crystallography in 1951.
- Merck Index, 11th Edition, 4376.
- Chin. Chem. Soc., Vol. 46(3) 283 (1999) On the Assignment of Anomeric Configuration (pdf)