An aldohexose monosaccharide that is C-3 epimer of galactose
Monosaccharides are the simplest form of carbohydrates. They may be classified based on the number of constituent carbon atoms. For instance, hexose is a monosaccharide with six carbon atoms. They may be further classified based on the functional group present. An aldose is a sugar with an aldehyde functional group whereas a ketose is a sugar with a ketone functional group. Gulose is one of the hexose monosaccharides and it belongs to the aldoses.
Gulose, particularly D-gulose is a C-3 epimer of D-galactose. Galactose is an aldohexose similar to glucose in terms of chemical structure. This means that they have similar chemical formula: C6H12O6. Galactose does not occur in free state and is usually found as a constituent of complex biomolecules (e.g. lactose, galactan). Gulose, unlike galactose, is very rare in nature.
L-gulonic acid, the oxidation product of L-gulose, serves as a precursor of ascorbic acid (except in primates, guinea pigs, certain fishes, and the indian fruit bat) via L-gulonolactone.
Gulose is syrupy, with a sweet taste. It is water soluble and slightly soluble in methanol.