Main distinction – Monosaccharides vs Disaccharides vs Polysaccharides

Carbohydrates room the major components of every living organisms. All the carbohydrates are composed the Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H) and Oxygen (O) atom in various combinations. Sugars space carbohydrates. The significant types of sugars encompass Monosaccharides and disaccharides. Polysaccharides are complicated carbohydrates. The key difference in between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides is the monosaccharides are monomers that sugars and also disaccharides room composed of 2 monomers vice versa, polysaccharides are composed that a large number the monomers.

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Key locations Covered

1. What is a Monosaccharide Definition, Properties, Examples 2. What is a Disaccharide – Definition, Properties, Examples 3. What is a Polysaccharide – Definition, Properties, Examples 4. What space the similarities in between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and Polysaccharides – rundown of typical Features 5. What is the difference between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides – to compare of key Differences

Key Terms: Aldoses, Carbohydrates, Disaccharides, Fiber, Ketoses, Monosaccharides, Polysaccharides, Starch, Sugars


What is a Monosaccharide

Monosaccharides are solitary sugar molecules which act as the structure blocks that disaccharides and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides space the simplest form of carbohydrates. This monosaccharides space composed the C, H and O atoms. The general formula that Monosaccharides is (CH2O)n. The letter “n” describes the variety of CH2O units present in the street molecule.

Monosaccharides are uncovered in one of two people aldehyde kind or ketone form. This means, monosaccharides basically have a carbonyl team in your chemical structure. Monosaccharides through aldehyde groups are dubbed aldoses and monosaccharides v ketone groups are dubbed ketoses. In the aldoses, the carbonyl team is located on the terminal carbon atom whereas, in ketoses, the carbonyl team is located on the second carbon atom.

There are different species of monosaccharides, relying on the variety of carbon atoms present in the sugar molecule. They are categorized according to their isomerism and also the derivatives. Many of the monosaccharides may have actually the very same molecular formula however different arrangements.

According to the check of the monosaccharide, there are two types of isomers every each monosaccharide. They space D-isomer and L-isomer. The place of the –OH group of the penultimate carbon determines whether a monosaccharide is a D-isomer or one L-isomer. The easiest way of showing the atomic plan of the monosaccharide is the Fischer projection of the molecule. The is the 2-D framework of the molecule.


Figure 01: The Fischer projection of D-Glucose

The over image shows the Fischer forecast of D-Glucose. Yet the actual structure that a Monosaccharide is a 3-D structure. The is referred to as the chair confirmation and also is a cyclic structure. The following image reflects the actual structure of glucose.


Figure 02: D-Glucose Chair Confirmation

Monosaccharides are water soluble. Practically all monosaccharides taste sweet and also are colorless when liquified in water. Basic monosaccharides have a linear, unbranched structure yet the acyclic kind is generally converted right into the cyclic type due come its instability. Every monosaccharides room reducing sugars.

Examples because that Monosaccharides

Glyceraldehyde (3 carbon atoms)Erythrose (4 carbon atoms)Pentose (5 carbon atoms)

What is a Disaccharide

Disaccharides room sugar molecules written of 2 monosaccharides. Therefore every disaccharide is created of 2 chemical rings. The bond between two monosaccharides is called a glycosidic bond. Disaccharides room also straightforward sugars. Disaccharides are classified right into two teams according to your reducing strength.

Reducing sugars – have the right to act as a to reduce agentNon-reducing sugars – can not act as a to reduce agent

Figure 03: framework of a Disaccharide

Therefore, some disaccharides room reducing sugars and also some space not. Every disaccharides are water soluble and colorless when liquified in water. Some disaccharides room sweet tasting however some are not.

Examples because that Disaccharides and also their Properties



Reducing strength



Glucose and also Fructose




Glucose and Galactose




Two Glucose



What is a Polysaccharide

A polysaccharide is a carbohydrate made the end of a variety of monosaccharides connected via glycosidic bonds. Polysaccharides room chains the monosaccharides. Therefore, every polysaccharide is composed of a variety of chemical rings. The formation of a polysaccharide wake up via condensation polymerization since a water molecule is formed per every glycosidic bond.


Figure 04: structure of a Polysaccharide

Most polysaccharides room insoluble in water and do not have a sweet taste. Practically all polysaccharides room non-reducing agents due to their complex structure.

Examples that Polysaccharides

Similarities in between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and Polysaccharides

All three space carbohydrates.All are composed the C, H and also O atoms.

Difference between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides


Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides are single sugar molecule which act as the structure blocks of disaccharides and polysaccharides.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides space sugar molecules composed of two monosaccharides.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides room carbohydrates made out of a variety of monosaccharides linked via glycosidic bonds.

Water Solubility

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides room water soluble.

Disaccharides: Most that the Disaccharides are water soluble.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides are insoluble in water.


Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides taste sweet.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides taste sweet.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides perform not taste sweet.

Reducing Strength

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides space reducing sugars.

Disaccharides: Some disaccharides space reducing street whereas some room not.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides room non-reducing carbohydrates.

Number the Monomers

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides have actually a single monomer.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides space composed of 2 monomers.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides are composed of a big number that monomers.

Chemical Structure

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides have actually simple, linear, unbranched structures.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides have actually simple, linear, unbranched or branched structures.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides have complex, branched structures.

Chemical Rings

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides have actually a single ring structure.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides have two ring structures.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides have a number of ring structures.

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Carbohydrates are a macronutrient uncovered in food. Monosaccharides, disaccharides, and also polysaccharides space the significant types of carbohydrates uncovered in nature. The main difference between monosaccharides disaccharides and polysaccharides is that monosaccharides are monomers the sugars and disaccharides space composed of two monomers conversely, polysaccharides space composed the a big number the monomers.


1. Szalay, Jessie. “What space Carbohydrates?” LiveScience. Purch, 25 Aug. 2015. Web. Available here. 28 June 2017.  2. “Monosaccharide.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 01 June 2015. Web. Accessible here. 28 June 2017. 

Image Courtesy:

1. “DGlucose Fischer” by Christopher King – Own job-related (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia 2. “Beta-D-Glucose” by Yikrazuul – Own occupational (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia  3. “Sucrose-inkscape” through Don A. Carlson – (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia 4. “Amylose 3Dprojection.corrected” through glycoform – Own job-related (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia