Alpha Glucose vs. Beta Glucose

Main Difference

The main difference between the alpha glucose and beta glucose is that alpha glucose contains the –OH group which is present on the same side as the –CH2OH group, attached on the same first carbon atom while in the case of beta glucose –OH group is present at the opposite side of the -CH2OH group, attached to the same first carbon atom.

Alpha Glucose vs. Beta Glucose — Is There a Difference?
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Difference Between Alpha Glucose and Beta Glucose

Alpha Glucose vs. Beta Glucose

In alpha glucose –OH group is present on the same side where the –CH2OH group is present while beta glucose –OH group is present opposite to the –CH2OH group.

Alpha Glucose vs. Beta Glucose

Alpha glucose is not stable on the other side beta glucose is more stable.

Alpha Glucose vs. Beta Glucose

Starch is made of alpha glucose on the other hand cellulose is composed of beta glucose.

Alpha Glucose vs. Beta Glucose

Chains of alpha glucose form the starch while the chains of beta glucose form the cellulose.

Alpha Glucose vs. Beta Glucose

The melting point of the alpha glucose is 146-degree Celsius while the melting point of the beta glucose is 150-degree Celsius.

Alpha Glucose vs. Beta Glucose

Alpha glucose can be easily broken down into simpler sugar molecules while beta glucose cannot easily be broken down.

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Alpha Glucose vs. Beta Glucose

The tasty parts of plants are made of alpha glucose whereas the hard parts of plants are made of beta glucose.

Alpha Glucose vs. Beta Glucose

Alpha glucose forms the alpha glucopyranose in an aqueous solution while beta glucose forms either beta glucopyranose or beta glucopyranose hydrate from aqueous solution.

Comparison Chart

Alpha glucoseBeta glucose
Glucose in which the –OH group is present on the same side as the –CH2OH groupGlucose in which the –OH group is present to the opposite side of the -CH2OH group
Isomer Form
Alpha glucose is an isomer of D-glucose which can be found in natureBeta glucose is an isomer of D-glucose which can be found in nature
Melting point
The melting point of alpha glucose is 146-degree CelsiusThe melting point of beta glucose is 150-degree Celsius
Crystalized forms
The crystallized form of alpha glucose is alpha glucopyranoseCrystallized forms of beta glucose are beta glucopyranose and beta glucopyranose hydrate
State of glucose
Alpha glucose can be compressed and quickly taken apartBeta glucose is found in solid form and cannot easily break down
Stability
Not stableVery stable
Function
Alpha glucose form the starchBeta glucose form the cellulose
Composition in plants
Tasty parts of plants are made of starch (alpha glucose)The hard part of glucose is made of cellulose (beta glucose)
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Alpha Glucose vs. Beta Glucose

In alpha glucose –OH group is present on the same side where the –CH2OH group is present, while in the case of beta glucose –OH group is present on the opposite side to the –CH2OH group. Alpha glucose is not stable on the other side beta glucose is more stable. Chains of alpha glucose are made up of starch while the chains of beta glucose are made up of cellulose. The melting point of the alpha glucose is 146-degree Celsius whereas the melting point of the beta glucose is 150-degree Celsius.

Alpha glucose can easily be broken down into simpler sugar molecules while beta glucose cannot easily be broken down into simpler sugar molecules. On crystallization alpha glucose form the alpha glucopyranose in an aqueous solution while beta glucose forms the crystals known as either beta glucopyranose or beta glucopyranose hydrate from aqueous solution. Alpha glucose forms the tasty parts of the plants while beta glucose forms the hard part of the plants. Alpha glucose forms the starch whereas beta glucose forms the cellulose.

What is Alpha Glucose?

Alpha Glucose is that isomer of D-glucose in which the –OH group of the first carbon atom is present on the same side as the –CH2OH group is present. Alpha glucose is also sugar. In its chair conformation structure, alpha glucose is a cyclic structure by having four –OH groups that are attached to the central carbon chain. This cycle is formed via an oxygen bridge. This shows that two carbon atoms of the main carbon chain are attached via an oxygen atom. The ring structure of alpha glucose is not planar but in 3D form.

To avoid any confusion, the chair conformation of D-glucose is known as glucopyranose. Therefore, alpha glucose is also called alpha glucopyranose. The melting point of alpha glucose is approximately 1460c. Alpha glucose can easily be crystallized from its aqueous solution. The solid crystals of alpha glucose appear as white crystals. The chair conformation of alpha glucose exhibit four chiral carbon atoms which are C2, C3, C4, and C5.

Thus, alpha glucose is considered highly optical active. Alpha glucose performs as the building block of starch. Chains of alpha glucose compose the starch. Therefore, the foundation of starch is alpha glucose molecules as they can be easily broken down into simpler sugar molecules.

What is Beta Glucose?

Beta glucose is that isomer of D-glucose in which the –OH group of the first carbon atom is present on the opposite side of the –CH2OH group. Beta Glucose is also sugar, like alpha glucose. It has four –OH groups that are attached to the central carbon chain. Beta glucose is also known as beta glucopyranose. It has a cyclic structure as it has four chiral carbon atoms, the same as in alpha glucose. Therefore, beta glucose is also known as highly optically active.

The melting point of beta glucose is approximately 1500C. It can be crystallized from its aqueous solution, and its crystals are of white color and known as the beta glucopyranose or beta glucopyranose hydrate form. The polymerization of beta glucose may result in cellulose. The Chains of beta glucose form the cellulose. Unlike starch, cellulose is not so easy to break down, therefore it is a perfect building material. For example, the hard part of all plants is composed of cellulose.

Cellulose is, of course, an important component in our body system as cellulose is also known as fiber. Fiber plays an essential role in the digestive system. There are some animals that can digest cellulose, for example, livestock animals such as horses, and cows. Termites can also break down the strong and structural form of cellulose.

Conclusion

The conclusion of this article is that both the alpha glucose and beta glucose are the isomers of the D-glucose which are found in nature. Both alpha glucose and beta glucose are highly optically active molecules.