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.
Of especial note is the transformation of maltose by maltase into glucose, and of cane sugar by invertase into a mixture of glucose and fructose (invert sugar); other instances are: lactose by lactase into galactose and glucose; trehalose by trehalase into glucose; melibiose by melibiase into galactose and glucose; and of melizitose by melizitase into touranose and glucose, touranose yielding glucose also when acted upon by the enzyme touranase.
Other forms are: d- and l-gulose, prepared from the lactones of the corresponding gulonic acids, which are obtained from d- and /-glucose by oxidation and inversion; d- and l-idose, obtained by inverting with pyridine d- and l-gulonic acids, and reducing the resulting idionic acids; d- and l-galactose, the first being obtained by hydrolysing milk sugar with dilute sulphuric acid, and the second by fermenting inactive galactose (from the reduction of the lactone of d, l-galactonic acid) with yeast; and d- and l-talose obtained by inverting the galactonic acids by pyridine into d- and l-talonic acids and reduction.
Of the ketoses, we notice d-sorbose, found in the berries of mountain-ash, and d-tagatose, obtained by Lobry de Bruyn and van Ekenstein on treating galactose with dilute alkalis, talose and l-sorbose being formed at the same time.
The remaining aldohexoses discovered by Fischer are derived from d-galactose from milk-sugar.