The 3 categories into which carbohydrates can be classified are:
- Monosaccharides: these carbohydrates cannot undergo hydrolysis to yield simpler polyhydroxy aldehyde or ketone units. E.g. glucose, ribose.
- Oligosaccharides: these carbohydrates can undergo hydrolysis to give 2-10 monosaccharide carbohydrates. E.g. sucrose, maltose.
- Polysaccharides: these carbohydrates can undergo hydrolysis to give a large number of monosaccharide carbohydrates. E.g. starch, glycogen.