Main distinction – Monosaccharides vs Disaccharides vs Polysaccharides

Carbohydrates are the significant components of every living organisms. All the carbohydrates space composed that Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H) and also Oxygen (O) atom in various combinations. Sugars space carbohydrates. The significant types the sugars encompass Monosaccharides and also disaccharides. Polysaccharides are facility carbohydrates. The main difference in between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides is the monosaccharides space monomers the sugars and disaccharides are composed of two monomers vice versa, polysaccharides room 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 between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and Polysaccharides – rundown of usual Features 5. What is the difference between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and Polysaccharides – compare of crucial Differences

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


What is a Monosaccharide

Monosaccharides are solitary sugar molecule which act together the building blocks of disaccharides and also polysaccharides. Monosaccharides are the simplest kind of carbohydrates. These monosaccharides room composed that C, H and also O atoms. The general formula of Monosaccharides is (CH2O)n. The letter “n” refers to the number of CH2O units existing in the sugar molecule.

Monosaccharides are found in either aldehyde type or ketone form. This means, monosaccharides essentially have a carbonyl team in their chemical structure. Monosaccharides through aldehyde groups are called aldoses and monosaccharides v ketone groups are called ketoses. In the aldoses, the carbonyl group is located on the terminal carbon atom whereas, in ketoses, the carbonyl team is situated on the 2nd carbon atom.

There space different species of monosaccharides, relying on the number of carbon atoms present in the street molecule. They space categorized follow to their isomerism and also the derivatives. Many of the monosaccharides may have the same molecular formula yet different arrangements.

According come the check of the monosaccharide, there room two types of isomers per each monosaccharide. They room D-isomer and also L-isomer. The place of the –OH group of the penultimate carbon determines even if it is a monosaccharide is a D-isomer or an L-isomer. The easiest way of mirroring the atomic arrangement of the monosaccharide is the Fischer projection of the molecule. That is the 2-D framework of the molecule.


Figure 01: The Fischer estimate of D-Glucose

The over image reflects the Fischer forecast of D-Glucose. But the real structure of a Monosaccharide is a 3-D structure. That is dubbed the chair confirmation and is a cyclic structure. The following image mirrors the real structure the glucose.


Figure 02: D-Glucose Chair Confirmation

Monosaccharides space water soluble. Virtually all monosaccharides taste sweet and are colorless when liquified in water. An easy monosaccharides have actually a linear, unbranched structure however the acyclic type is commonly converted right into the cyclic form due come its instability. All monosaccharides are 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 created of two monosaccharides. Thus every disaccharide is composed of 2 chemical rings. The bond between two monosaccharides is called a glycosidic bond. Disaccharides room also an easy sugars. Disaccharides room classified into two groups according to their reducing strength.

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

Figure 03: framework of a Disaccharide

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

Examples for Disaccharides and their Properties



Reducing strength



Glucose and Fructose




Glucose and also Galactose




Two Glucose



What is a Polysaccharide

A polysaccharide is a carbohydrate made out of a number of monosaccharides attached via glycosidic bonds. Polysaccharides room chains the monosaccharides. Therefore, every polysaccharide is composed of a number of chemical rings. The development of a polysaccharide occurs via condensation polymerization since a water molecule is created per every glycosidic bond.


Figure 04: structure of a Polysaccharide

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

Examples that Polysaccharides

Similarities between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides

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

Difference between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and Polysaccharides


Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides are single sugar molecule which act together the structure blocks that disaccharides and also polysaccharides.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides room sugar molecules created of two monosaccharides.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides space carbohydrates made the end of a variety of monosaccharides connected via glycosidic bonds.

Water Solubility

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides space water soluble.

Disaccharides: Most that the Disaccharides space water soluble.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides room insoluble in water.


Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides taste sweet.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides taste sweet.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides do not taste sweet.

Reducing Strength

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides space reducing sugars.

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

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides are non-reducing carbohydrates.

Number the Monomers

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides have a solitary monomer.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides are composed of two monomers.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides are composed that a huge number the monomers.

Chemical Structure

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides have simple, linear, unbranched structures.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides have 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 two ring structures.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides have actually a variety of ring structures.

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


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

Image Courtesy:

1. “DGlucose Fischer” through Christopher King – Own occupational (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia 2. “Beta-D-Glucose” by Yikrazuul – Own work (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 work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia