Biology

Difference Between Monosaccharides, Disaccharides and Polysaccharides

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Main Difference

The main difference between Monosaccharides, Disaccharides, and Polysaccharides is that the Monosaccharides are usually the sugars monomers, whereas Disaccharides are made up of two monomers, and Polysaccharides are made up of an enormous number of monomers.

Monosaccharides vs. Disaccharides vs. Polysaccharides

Monosaccharides are considered as only sugar molecule that performs as building blocks, whereas disaccharides are considered as molecules of sugar made up of monosaccharides, and polysaccharides are considered as carbohydrate molecules composed of several molecules of monosaccharides linked with glycosidic bonds. Monosaccharides are usually water-soluble molecules, while most of the disaccharides are usually soluble in water, whereas polysaccharides are generally insoluble in water. Monosaccharides are sweet; on the other hand, disaccharides also sweet in taste; on the contrary, polysaccharides are not sweet.

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Monosaccharides are known as reducing sugars, while most of the disaccharides are act as reducing sugars; on the contrary, polysaccharides always act as non-reducing sugars. Monosaccharides contain a single monomer; on the flip side, disaccharides are usually consisting of two monomers; on the flip side, polysaccharides contain a large number of monomers. The chemical structure of monosaccharides consists of linear, unbranched, or simple structure; conversely, disaccharides contain linear, branched or unbranched, and simple chemical structure, while polysaccharides contain the chemical structure as branched or complex structures.

The chemical rings in monosaccharides are a single ring structure; on the contrary, disaccharides contain two ring structures; on the other hand, polysaccharides consist of several ring structures. The general formula of monosaccharides is (CH2O) n, where n could be 3, 5 or 6; on the other hand, the general formula of disaccharides is (CH2O) n, where n could be from 2 to 10, while the general formula for polysaccharides is (CH2O) y, where n could be more than 200-250. Monosaccharides are the main energy source having energy with four calories per gram; on the contrary, disaccharides are used by plants to transport molecules like fructose, lactose, and glucose between cells of plants; on the contrary, polysaccharides refer to the structural constituent in cell walls of plants that act as an energy reservoir.

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Monosaccharides contain a comparatively low molecular weight as compare to other sugar molecules; on the flip side, disaccharides contain a comparatively larger molecular weight as compare to monosaccharides; on the other hand, polysaccharides contain comparatively larger molecular weight as compare to all other molecules. Monosaccharides consist of food as an example include honey, fruits, dairy products, beans, etc., whereas food use an example in disaccharides are table sugar or disaccharides are found in beetroot; conversely, some examples of food in polysaccharides are oats, buckwheat, brown rice, etc.

Comparison Chart

MonosaccharidesDisaccharidesPolysaccharides
Monosaccharides are referred to as the simplest form of sugars and the most basic component of a carbohydrate molecule.Disaccharides are also called as double sugars produced by the joining of two monosaccharides by a glycosidic bond.Polysaccharides are known as polymeric carbohydrates formed of extensive series of monosaccharides units that are bonded with each other by glycosidic bonds.
Considered As
They are considered as only sugar molecule that performs as building blocks.They are considered as molecules of sugar made up of monosaccharides.They are considered as carbohydrate molecules composed of several molecules of monosaccharides.
Water Solubility
Usually water-soluble moleculesMost are soluble in water.Insoluble in water
Taste
Sweet in tasteSweet in tasteDo not taste sweet
Reducing Strength
Known as reducing sugarsMostly act as reducing sugarsAlways acts as non-reducing sugars
Number of Monomers
Contain a single monomerUsually consisting of two monomersContain a large number of monomers
Chemical Structure
Consists of a linear, unbranched, or simple structureContain linear, branched or unbranched, and simple chemical structureContains the chemical structure as branched or complex structures
Chemical Rings
A single ring structureContain two ring structuresConsist of several ring structures
General Formula
(CH2O) n, where n could be 3, 5 or 6(CH2O) n, where n could be from 2 to 10(CH2O) y, where n could be more than 200-250
Significance
The main energy source having energy with four calories per gramUsed by plants to transport molecules like fructose, lactose, and glucose between cells of plantsRefer to the structural constituent in cell walls of plants that act as an energy reservoir
Molecular Weight
Low molecular weightThe larger molecular weight as compare to monosaccharidesLarger molecular weight
Foods as Examples
Honey, fruits, dairy products, beans, etcTable sugar or disaccharides are found in beetrootOats, buckwheat, brown rice, etc
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What are Monosaccharides?

Monosaccharides consider as molecules of single sugar that perform as the basic elements for polysaccharides and disaccharides. They are the most naive arrangement of carbohydrates. Monosaccharides are made up of C, H, and O atoms in their molecules.

(CH2O) n is the general or common formula of monosaccharides where n relates to units could be 3, 5, or 6. These are mostly originating in ketone form or aldehyde from their carbonyl structure, and monosaccharides particularly contain a carbonyl group. Monosaccharides having aldehyde group are usually called as aldoses and monosaccharides containing ketone groups are called as ketoses.

Almost all monosaccharides are soluble in water and have a sweet taste and become colorless or faded when soluble in water. The chemical structure of monosaccharides consists of linear, unbranched, or simple structures. Examples of monosaccharides are glucose, glyceraldehyde, pentose, and Erythrose.

What are Disaccharides?

Disaccharides are referred to as sugar molecules that are made up of two monosaccharides. Hence, every molecule of disaccharide formed of two chemical rings. The bond or link present among two monosaccharides is known as a glycosidic bond.

Disaccharides are also known as simple sugars. All disaccharides are dissolved in water and colorless or dull when soluble in water. Some of the disaccharides could sweet in taste, but some not act as sweet.

Significance of disaccharides Is that they are used by plants to transport molecules like fructose, lactose, and glucose between cells of plants. Various examples are sucrose, lactose, and maltose. Food uses an example in disaccharides are table sugar, found in beetroot, or add in food for sweetness.

Types

  • Reducing Sugars: Could perform as a reducing agent
  • Non-Reducing Sugars: Cannot perform as a reducing agent

What are Polysaccharides?

A polysaccharide is considered a carbohydrate that is composed of several monosaccharides through glycosidic bonds. They are an extensive series of monosaccharide molecules. Hence, all the polysaccharides are formed of several chemical rings.

The composition of polysaccharides happens by polymerization condensation because a molecule of water is produced by every glycosidic bond. Many polysaccharides are usually insoluble in water and do not contain a sweet taste. Because of the complex structure of polysaccharides, they all act as non-reducing agents.

Polysaccharides contain the chemical structure as branched or complex structures. Some of the polysaccharides’ examples are starch and cellulose.

Classification

  • Homo-Polysaccharides: Composed of only one type of monosaccharides
  • Hetero-Polysaccharides: Composed of two or more types of monosaccharides

Key Differences

  1. Monosaccharides are usually water-soluble molecules, whereas most of the disaccharides are usually soluble in water, while polysaccharides are generally insoluble in water.
  2. Monosaccharides are sweet; on the contrary, disaccharides also sweet in taste; on the other hand, polysaccharides are not sweet.
  3. Monosaccharides are known as reducing sugars, while most of the disaccharides are act as reducing sugars; on the contrary, polysaccharides ae always acts as non-reducing sugars.
  4. Monosaccharides contain a single monomer; on the flip side, disaccharides are usually consisting of two monomers; on the flip side, polysaccharides contain a large number of monomers.
  5. The chemical structure of monosaccharides consists of linear, unbranched, or simple structure; conversely, disaccharides contain linear, branched or unbranched, and simple chemical structure, while polysaccharides contain the chemical structure as branched or complex structures.
  6. The chemical rings are a single ring structure in monosaccharides; on the contrary, two ring structures are present in disaccharides; on the other hand, several ring structures are present in polysaccharides.
  7. The general formula of monosaccharides is (CH2O) n, where n could be 3, 5 or 6; on the other hand, the general formula of disaccharides is (CH2O) n, where n could be from 2 to 10, while the general formula for polysaccharides is (CH2O) y, where n could be more than between 200-2500.
  8. Monosaccharides consist of energy with four calories for each gram; on the contrary, disaccharides are used by plants to carrying molecules like fructose, lactose, and glucose between cells of plants; on the contrary, polysaccharides act as an energy reservoir and refer as the structural constituent in cell walls of plants.
  9. The molecular weight of monosaccharides is relatively low as compared to other sugar molecules; on the flip side, the molecular weight of disaccharides as compare to monosaccharides is comparatively larger; on the other hand, polysaccharides contain comparatively larger molecular weight as compare to all other molecules.
  10. Foods as an example in monosaccharides include honey, fruits, dairy products, beans, etc., whereas foods use an example in disaccharides are table sugar or are found in beetroot; conversely, some examples of food in polysaccharides are oats, buckwheat, brown rice, etc.

Conclusion

Above discussion concludes that the monosaccharide, disaccharide, and polysaccharides are major constituents in nature where monosaccharides are usually the monomers of sugars, while disaccharides are made up of monomers, whereas polysaccharides made up of a large number of monomers.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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