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Types of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are organic molecules composed of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen.

There are three common types of carbohydrate:

  • Monosaccharides are the simplest carbohydrates. They are sugars.

    Monosaccharides are small, water-soluble molecules . They are the building blocks (monomers) for larger carbohydrates.

    Glucose, fructose and galactose are common monosaccharides.

  • Disaccharides are formed from two monosaccharides . They are also sugars.

    Sucrose, lactose and maltose are common disaccharides.

  • Polysaccharides are long chains of monosaccharides . They are not sugars.

    Polysaccharides are insoluble in water. The structure of polysaccharides can vary:

    Cellulose is a polysaccharide which forms long, straight chains. Starch is a polysaccharide that forms coiled structures. Both are polymers of glucose!

Rice plants store energy in the form of starch in their grains.
Rice plants store energy in the form of starch in their grains.