Carbohydrates

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Biochemistry
Carbohydrates
Uses include:
1. Providing energy and regulation of blood glucose
2. Sparing the use of proteins for energy
3. Breakdown of fatty acids and preventing ketosis
4. Biological recognition processes
5. Flavour and Sweeteners
6. Dietary fibre
These only contain Carbon, Oxygen and Hydrogen and include monomers, dimers and polymers as
shown in the diagram below:
Monosaccharides
These are the simplest form of sugars and are usually colourless, water-soluble and crystalline.
The general formula is Cn H2n On. The most important monosaccharide is glucose which is a
hexose sugar, (six carbons) and has the formula C6 H12 O6. It forms a six sided ring as shown
below. It has many isomers with the same formula but a different structure these include fructose
and galactose.
Beta Glucose, an alpha glucose has the OH-H bond the other way round.
Disaccharides
These are known as double sugars, and are essential two monsaccharides joined together via a
glycosidic bond, which involves the formation of water. This is called a condensation reaction. The

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There are three common disaccharides:
· Maltose (or malt sugar) is glucose 1-4 glucose. It is formed on digestion of starch by
amylase, because this enzyme breaks starch down into two-glucose units. Brewing beer
starts with malt, which is a maltose solution made from germinated barley. Maltose is the
structure shown above.
· Sucrose (or cane sugar) is glucose 1-2 fructose. It is common in plants because it is less
reactive than glucose, and it is their main transport sugar.…read more

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Both are broken down by amylase to produce maltose, but at different rates.
· Glycogen: Monomer is alpha glucose. Similar structurally to amylopectin, poly glucose 1-4.
Made by animals as a storage polysaccharide found mainly in muscle and the liver, because
of its numerous branches, it can be broken down to glucose very quickly, aka, it is
hydrolysed quickly. It also does not affect water potential.
· Cellulose; Monomer: Beta glucose. Straight chains linked by H bonds. Special cellulose
enzyme required to break.…read more

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