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A pentose sugar with a sweet taste that is used as a sugar substitute. Xylose is a dextrorotatory white powder composed of colorless needle or prism crystals. It is derived from the hydrolysis of wood (Maple and cherry), Straw, corn cobs, peanut shells, cottonseed hulls and wood pulp waste. Xylose is used in dyeing, tanning leather, and as a diabetic food.

Synonyms and Related Terms

wood sugar; Xylomed; Xylopfan

Chemical structure



  • Combustible.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water, pyridine, ethanol.

Composition C5H10O5
CAS 58-86-6
Melting Point 144-145 C
Density 1.525 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 150.14

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 781
  • G.G. Hawley, The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Reinhold Publishing, New York, 6th ed., 1961