Main distinction – Monosaccharides vs Disaccharides vs Polysaccharides

Carbohydrates room the significant components of every living organisms. Every the carbohydrates space composed of Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H) and Oxygen (O) atom in different combinations. Sugars space carbohydrates. The significant types of sugars encompass Monosaccharides and disaccharides. Polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates. The main difference between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and Polysaccharides is the monosaccharides are monomers that sugars and also disaccharides are composed of two monomers conversely, polysaccharides room composed the a huge number that monomers.

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Key areas 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 room the similarities between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides – summary of usual Features 5. What is the difference in between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and 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 together the structure blocks of disaccharides and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides space the simplest kind of carbohydrates. These monosaccharides room composed the C, H and also O atoms. The basic formula of Monosaccharides is (CH2O)n. The letter “n” describes the number of CH2O units current in the sugar molecule.

Monosaccharides are discovered in one of two people aldehyde type or ketone form. This means, monosaccharides essentially have a carbonyl group in their chemical structure. Monosaccharides with aldehyde groups are called aldoses and also monosaccharides with ketone groups are referred to as ketoses. In the aldoses, the carbonyl group is located on the terminal carbon atom whereas, in ketoses, the carbonyl group is situated on the 2nd carbon atom.

There room different types of monosaccharides, depending on the variety of carbon atoms current in the sugar molecule. They room categorized according to their isomerism and also the derivatives. Many of the monosaccharides may have the very same molecular formula however different arrangements.

According to the confirmation of the monosaccharide, there are two varieties of isomers every each monosaccharide. They are D-isomer and L-isomer. The place of the –OH group of the penultimate carbon determines whether a monosaccharide is a D-isomer or an L-isomer. The easiest method of showing the atomic arrangement of the monosaccharide is the Fischer forecast of the molecule. That is the 2-D structure of the molecule.


Figure 01: The Fischer estimate of D-Glucose

The over image reflects the Fischer estimate of D-Glucose. However the actual structure of a Monosaccharide is a 3-D structure. The is called the chair confirmation and is a cyclic structure. The complying with image mirrors the genuine structure the glucose.


Figure 02: D-Glucose Chair Confirmation

Monosaccharides room water soluble. Virtually all monosaccharides taste sweet and also are colorless when dissolved in water. Basic monosaccharides have a linear, unbranched structure yet the acyclic kind is commonly converted right into the cyclic form due to its instability. All monosaccharides room reducing sugars.

Examples for Monosaccharides

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

What is a Disaccharide

Disaccharides space sugar molecules created of two monosaccharides. Because of this every disaccharide is composed of 2 chemical rings. The bond between two monosaccharides is called a glycosidic bond. Disaccharides are also simple sugars. Disaccharides room classified into two groups according to your reducing strength.

Reducing street – deserve to act together a reducing agentNon-reducing sugars – can not act as a reducing agent

Figure 03: structure of a Disaccharide

Therefore, some disaccharides room reducing sugars and also some room not. All disaccharides room water soluble and colorless when liquified in water. Some disaccharides room sweet tasting but some room not.

Examples because that Disaccharides and also their Properties



Reducing strength



Glucose and Fructose




Glucose and also Galactose




Two Glucose



What is a Polysaccharide

A polysaccharide is a carbohydrate made the end of a variety of monosaccharides attached via glycosidic bonds. Polysaccharides room chains of monosaccharides. Therefore, every polysaccharide is written 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: framework of a Polysaccharide

Most polysaccharides room insoluble in water and also do not have a sweet taste. Almost all polysaccharides are non-reducing agents as result of their complicated structure.

Examples that Polysaccharides

Similarities in between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides

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

Difference in between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and Polysaccharides


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

Disaccharides: Disaccharides space sugar molecules created of two monosaccharides.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides room carbohydrates made the end of a number of monosaccharides attached via glycosidic bonds.

Water Solubility

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides room water soluble.

Disaccharides: Most the the Disaccharides are water soluble.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides space insoluble in water.


Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides taste sweet.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides taste sweet.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides execute not taste sweet.

Reducing Strength

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides are reducing sugars.

Disaccharides: Some disaccharides room reducing sugars whereas some are not.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides space non-reducing carbohydrates.

Number the Monomers

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides have a solitary monomer.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides room composed of 2 monomers.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides room composed the a large 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 actually complex, branched structures.

Chemical Rings

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides have actually a solitary ring structure.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides have actually two ring structures.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides have actually a variety of ring structures.

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Carbohydrates are a macronutrient uncovered in food. Monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides are the significant types that carbohydrates discovered in nature. The main difference in between monosaccharides disaccharides and polysaccharides is that monosaccharides room monomers of sugars and disaccharides space composed of 2 monomers vice versa, polysaccharides space composed the a big number of monomers.


1. Szalay, Jessie. “What are Carbohydrates?” LiveScience. Purch, 25 Aug. 2015. Web. Obtainable here. 28 June 2017.  2. “Monosaccharide.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 01 June 2015. Web. Easily 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 job-related (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia  3. “Sucrose-inkscape” by Don A. Carlson – (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia 4. “Amylose 3Dprojection.corrected” by glycoform – Own work-related (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia