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a monosaccharide of the ketohexose group. Sorbose is a sweet-tasting crystalline substance that is readily soluble in water. It exists in the optically active D and L forms. In nature, for example, in the juice fermented by bacteria of the berry-like fruit of the mountain ash, the L form is encountered (melting point, 159°–161°C). Sorbitol, an alcohol corresponding to sorbose and having six hydroxyl groups, is common in the fruits of the Rosaceae family (up to 7 percent in the berries of the mountain ash). Sorbose may be obtained chemically by condensing glyceraldehyde together with dihydroxyacetone in an alkaline medium or by using microorganisms for the fermentative oxidation of D-sorbitol. The latter method is used in industry because sorbose is an important intermediate in the production of ascorbic acid, or vitamin C.