A monosaccharide is a simple carbohydrate that is composed of a single sugar subunit. Monosaccharides do not hydrolyze with other compounds to yield other sugars like polysaccharides and disaccharides do.
Typically monosaccharides are colorless, water-soluble solids. They often taste very sweet, and they are used in both chemistry and cooking. Examples of monosaccharides include glucose, fructose and galactose. These sugars are the building blocks of disaccharides and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides are also very chemically complex. Each of their carbon molecules is chiral and has the ability to create different isomers. This means that monosaccharides often have more than one structural form.