Biology

Difference Between Monosaccharides and Disaccharides

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Main Difference

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

Monosaccharides vs. Disaccharides

Monosaccharides are considered as only sugar molecule that performs as building blocks, whereas disaccharides are considered as molecules of sugar made up of monosaccharides. Monosaccharides are usually water-soluble molecules, while most of the disaccharides are usually soluble in water. Monosaccharides are sweet; on the other hand, on the contrary disaccharides also sweet in taste.

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

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The chemical rings in monosaccharides are a single ring structure; on the contrary, disaccharides contain two 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. 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.

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. 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.

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Comparison Chart

MonosaccharidesDisaccharides
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.
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.
Water Solubility
Usually water-soluble moleculesMost are soluble in water.
Taste
Sweet in tasteSweet in taste
Reducing Strength
Known as reducing sugarsMostly act as reducing sugars
Number of Monomers
Contain a single monomerUsually consisting of two monomers
Chemical Structure
Consists of a linear, unbranched, or simple structureContain linear, branched or unbranched, and simple chemical structure
Chemical Rings
A single ring structureContain two ring structures
General Formula
(CH2O) n, where n could be 3, 5 or 6(CH2O) n, where n could be from 2 to 10
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 plants
Molecular Weight
Low molecular weightThe larger molecular weight as compare to monosaccharides
Foods as Examples
Honey, fruits, dairy products, beans, etcTable sugar or disaccharides are found in beetroot

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

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.
  2. Monosaccharides are sweet; on the contrary, disaccharides also sweet in taste.
  3. Monosaccharides are known as reducing sugars, while most of the disaccharides are act as reducing sugars.
  4. Monosaccharides contain a single monomer; on the flip side, disaccharides are usually consisting of two 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.
  6. The chemical rings are a single ring structure in monosaccharides; on the contrary, two ring structures are present in disaccharides.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.

Conclusion

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

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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