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Carbohydrates contain only three elements:


They can be found in one of three forms:


In carbohydrates, the basic monomer unit is a sugar, otherwise known as a saccharide.

A single monomer is therefore called a monosaccharide.

A pair of monosaccharides can be combined…

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Monosaccharides are sweet-tasting, soluble substances.

They have the general formula (CH2O) n where n can be any number from 3-7.

The most important monosaccharide is glucose.

This molecule is a hexose ­ 6 carbon sugar and has the formula C6H12O6

Glucose forms a six-sided ring.

There are many isomers…

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Disaccharides are formed when two monosaccharides are joined together.

When the monosaccharides join, a molecule of water is removed and the reaction is called a
condensation reaction.

The bond that is formed is called a glycosidic bond.

When water is added to a disaccharide, it breaks the glycosidic bond…

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Polysaccharides are polymers.

They are formed by combining together many monosaccharide molecules.

The monosaccharides are joined together by glycosidic bonds that were formed by
condensation reactions.

As polysaccharides are very large molecules, they are insoluble.

This feature makes them suitable for storage.

When they are hydrolysed, polysaccharides break down…


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