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What are Carbohydrates and how are they Classified?


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Part 1: Carbohydrates

  • Carbohydrates are a large group of naturally occurring organic compounds that are predominantly produced by plants.
  • Cane sugar, glucose, and starch are examples of carbohydrates.
  • They are categorized based on how they react to hydrolysis.

Part 2: Classification of carbohydrates

  • They have been broadly classified into three groups.
  • Monosaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides are the three groups.

Monosaccharide

  • A carbohydrate that cannot be hydrolyzed further to give a simpler unit of polyhydroxy aldehyde or ketone is called a monosaccharide.
  • Examples of monosaccharides are glucose and fructose.

Oligosaccharides

  • Carbohydrates that yield two to ten monosaccharide units, on hydrolysis, are called oligosaccharides.
  • Example: One molecule of sucrose on hydrolysis gives one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose.

Polysaccharides

  • Carbohydrates that yield a large number of monosaccharide units on hydrolysis are called polysaccharides.
  • Examples are starch, cellulose, and glycogen.

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