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Carbohydrates are organic molecules made up of carbonhydrogen and oxygen.


Monosaccarides are single molecules, which build up to larger molecules. The general formula is (CH20)n, changing with the number of carbon atoms such as 3 (triose), 5 (pentose) or 6 (hexose). 

Glucose is a hexose sugar, and exists as two isomers- the alpha (α) and beta (β) forms. The hydrogen (H) and hydroxyl (OH) groups on carbon 1 are the opposite in α and β glucose.


The main functions of monosaccharides are:

  • to make ATP as an energy source.
  • to build up to large molecules such as cellulose, starch ect.


Two monosaccharides form a disaccharide in a condensation reaction. In this reaction a glycosidic bond is formed and water is removed. For example two glucose molecules form maltose. 


The main functions of disaccharides are:

  • storage.


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