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any of a class of organic compounds of the heterocyclic series in which five carbon atoms and one oxygen atom are present in a ring structure. Of two possible simple pyran compounds, only one is known; it was prepared in 1962 and found to be very unstable. Among the stable members of this family is tetrahydropyran, made by hydrogenating the dihydro compound. Sugars often occur in pyranose forms containing the tetrahydropyran ring: a typical example is the glucose unit present in sucrose, starch, cellulose, and glycogen.