Main difference – Monosaccharides vs Disaccharides vs Polysaccharides

Carbohydrates are the major components of every living organisms. Every the carbohydrates room composed of Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H) and Oxygen (O) atom in various combinations. Sugars room carbohydrates. The major types that sugars incorporate Monosaccharides and disaccharides. Polysaccharides are facility carbohydrates. The key difference between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides is the monosaccharides space monomers that sugars and disaccharides space composed of 2 monomers whereas polysaccharides room composed that a huge number that monomers.

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Key areas Covered

1. What is a Monosaccharide Definition, Properties, Examples 2. What is a Disaccharide – Definition, Properties, Examples 3. What is a Polysaccharide – Definition, Properties, Examples 4. What room the similarities in between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides – synopsis of usual Features 5. What is the difference in between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides – compare of vital Differences

Key Terms: Aldoses, Carbohydrates, Disaccharides, Fiber, Ketoses, Monosaccharides, Polysaccharides, Starch, Sugars


What is a Monosaccharide

Monosaccharides are solitary sugar molecules which act together the building blocks of disaccharides and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides are the simplest type of carbohydrates. This monosaccharides room composed the C, H and also O atoms. The general formula that Monosaccharides is (CH2O)n. The letter “n” refers to the number of CH2O units present in the sugar molecule.

Monosaccharides are uncovered in one of two people aldehyde type or ketone form. This means, monosaccharides essentially have a carbonyl group in their chemical structure. Monosaccharides through aldehyde teams are referred to as aldoses and monosaccharides v ketone groups are called ketoses. In the aldoses, the carbonyl team is located on the terminal carbon atom whereas, in ketoses, the carbonyl group is located on the second carbon atom.

There are different types of monosaccharides, depending upon the variety of carbon atoms current in the sugar molecule. They are categorized according to your isomerism and also the derivatives. Most of the monosaccharides may have the exact same molecular formula yet different arrangements.

According come the check of the monosaccharide, there space two varieties of isomers per each monosaccharide. They space D-isomer and L-isomer. The place of the –OH group of the penultimate carbon determines whether a monosaccharide is a D-isomer or an L-isomer. The easiest means of reflecting the atomic setup of the monosaccharide is the Fischer projection of the molecule. The is the 2-D structure of the molecule.


Figure 01: The Fischer projection of D-Glucose

The over image shows the Fischer estimate of D-Glucose. But the real structure the a Monosaccharide is a 3-D structure. The is referred to as the chair confirmation and is a cyclic structure. The adhering to image mirrors the genuine structure of glucose.


Figure 02: D-Glucose Chair Confirmation

Monosaccharides space water soluble. Virtually all monosaccharides taste sweet and are colorless when liquified in water. An easy monosaccharides have a linear, unbranched structure however the acyclic kind is commonly converted right into the cyclic type due to its instability. All monosaccharides room reducing sugars.

Examples for Monosaccharides

Glyceraldehyde (3 carbon atoms)Erythrose (4 carbon atoms)Pentose (5 carbon atoms)

What is a Disaccharide

Disaccharides room sugar molecules composed of 2 monosaccharides. Because of this every disaccharide is composed of two chemical rings. The bond between two monosaccharides is called a glycosidic bond. Disaccharides space also straightforward sugars. Disaccharides space classified right into two groups according to their reducing strength.

Reducing street – have the right to act as a to reduce agentNon-reducing sugars – can not act as a to reduce agent

Figure 03: framework of a Disaccharide

Therefore, part disaccharides space reducing sugars and also some room not. Every disaccharides space water soluble and also colorless when liquified in water. Part disaccharides are sweet tasting however some room not.

Examples because that Disaccharides and their Properties



Reducing strength



Glucose and also Fructose




Glucose and Galactose




Two Glucose



What is a Polysaccharide

A polysaccharide is a carbohydrate made out of a number of monosaccharides attached via glycosidic bonds. Polysaccharides space chains the monosaccharides. Therefore, every polysaccharide is created of a number of chemical rings. The formation of a polysaccharide occurs via condensation polymerization due to the fact that a water molecule is developed per every glycosidic bond.


Figure 04: framework of a Polysaccharide

Most polysaccharides room insoluble in water and also do not have a sweet taste. Almost all polysaccharides room non-reducing agents because of their complicated structure.

Examples of Polysaccharides

Similarities between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides

All three room carbohydrates.All room composed that C, H and O atoms.

Difference in between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides


Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides are solitary sugar molecules which act together the structure blocks of disaccharides and also polysaccharides.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides room sugar molecules composed of two monosaccharides.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides room carbohydrates made the end of a number of monosaccharides attached via glycosidic bonds.

Water Solubility

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides are water soluble.

Disaccharides: Most the the Disaccharides space water soluble.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides are insoluble in water.


Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides taste sweet.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides taste sweet.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides carry out not taste sweet.

Reducing Strength

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides room reducing sugars.

Disaccharides: Some disaccharides space reducing street whereas some space not.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides are non-reducing carbohydrates.

Number that Monomers

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides have actually a solitary monomer.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides are composed of two monomers.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides space composed the a huge number that monomers.

Chemical Structure

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides have simple, linear, unbranched structures.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides have actually simple, linear, unbranched or branched structures.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides have complex, branched structures.

Chemical Rings

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides have a solitary ring structure.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides have two ring structures.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides have actually a number of ring structures.

See more: How Mant Ounces In A Quart, Convert Quart To Ounces (Qt To Oz)


Carbohydrates space a macronutrient discovered in food. Monosaccharides, disaccharides, and also polysaccharides room the major types that carbohydrates found in nature. The key difference between monosaccharides disaccharides and polysaccharides is the monosaccharides are monomers of sugars and also disaccharides are composed of 2 monomers conversely, polysaccharides room composed that a big number that monomers.


1. Szalay, Jessie. “What space Carbohydrates?” LiveScience. Purch, 25 Aug. 2015. Web. Obtainable here. 28 June 2017.  2. “Monosaccharide.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 01 June 2015. Web. Accessible here. 28 June 2017. 

Image Courtesy:

1. “DGlucose Fischer” through Christopher King – Own occupational (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia 2. “Beta-D-Glucose” through Yikrazuul – Own work-related (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia  3. “Sucrose-inkscape” through Don A. Carlson – (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia 4. “Amylose 3Dprojection.corrected” by glycoform – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia