The word ‘Carbohydrates’ define as a group of organic compounds, starting from Simple sugars monosaccharide to complex sugars polysacchacharides,


The word ‘Carbohydrates’ define as a group of organic compounds, starting from

Simple sugars monosaccharide to complex sugars polysacchacharides, that make up some of the essential structures in the biosphere. Carbohydrates is one of the most available biomolecules on

earth surface. Example of simple sugars include (glucose and galactose), storage carbohydrates (starch and glycogen) and

complex carbohydrates (cellulose and a bacterial cell wall peptidoglycans).GENERAL PROPERTIES OF GLUCOSE

In the cause of our study hear, we going to discuss carbohydrates, their physical properties, chemical property, and it classification classification,

Functions and stereochemistry.

Aim of this study;

By the time you’re you finish reading this; you are expected to know what;

  1. What carbohydrates are;
  2. The various classification of carbohydrates;
  3. Physical property of carbohydrates;
  4. Different roles played by carbohydrates in living system;
  5. Stereochemistry of carbohydrates.

Definition of Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates have many definition, each author try to define Carbohydrates, based on his or her understanding, no matter how definition they define it, the basic things  you must understand is that Carbohydrates a have aldehyde or ketone chemical structure attached to it chain, this chemical structure perfect it define. Base on this chemical structure, Carbohydrates can be defined as polyhydroxy aldehydes or ketones, better still can be define as biomolecular substance that

Give aldehyde or ketone substance as it reaction product on hydrolysis.BIO213: Chemistry Of Amino Acids And Proteins TMA2

 Carbohydrates have the following empirical formula (CH2O)n ,n is number start from 3,4,5,…… infinity. But this formula has found not to provide a satisfactory information about all Carbohydrates molecule because some carbohydrates have been discovered to contain nitrogen, phosphorus or sulfur while some are deoxysugars eg deoxyribose.


The existence of the ratio of one molecule of water to one atom of carbon in Carbohydrates led to the

Naming of Carbohydrates as in “hydrates of carbon” or “carbohydrates”. However note that the name is not applicable to all Carbohydrates because of some of the reason listed above, that some Carbohydrates consist of the following inorganic element, nitrogen, phosphorus or sulfur.

Carbohydrates Classification

There are three major classes of Carbohydrates which include;

  1. Monosaccharides
  2. Oligosaccharides


 Saccharide” is a word derived from the Greek, “sackaron” it meaning sugar.

Monosaccharides as the name imply, are simple sugars that is made up of single polyhydroxy aldehyde or ketone. What it mean by polyhydroxy is that it consist of many (OH) hydroxide group.

Example of Carbohydrates include; six-carbon sugar D-glucose, is the most abundant Carbohydrates,

Other monosaccharides include: Mannose, Galactose and Fructose.


 Oligosaccharide is made up of short chains of monosaccharide units or residues. They are connected together by characteristic linkage called glycosidic bonds. The most abundant oligosaccharide is disaccharides, disaccharide is made up of two unit of monosaccharide connected with one another via glycosidic bond. Some Typical example of disaccharide is sucrose that is made up of two six carbon sugars, D-glucose and D-fructose.


 Polysaccharide are sugar polymers of monosaccharide that exist in a continuous range of sizes, they Usually made up of 20 or more than 20 monosaccharide units. Polysaccharides did not have number limit of monosaccharide connected by glycosidic bond the connection can be up to hundred and even to thousands.



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