Main distinction – Monosaccharides vs Disaccharides vs Polysaccharides

Carbohydrates are the significant components of all living organisms. Every the carbohydrates room composed the Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H) and also Oxygen (O) atoms in different combinations. Sugars room carbohydrates. The significant types of sugars incorporate Monosaccharides and disaccharides. Polysaccharides are complicated carbohydrates. The main difference between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and Polysaccharides is the monosaccharides space monomers of sugars and disaccharides room composed of 2 monomers whereas polysaccharides space composed the a huge number of monomers.

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Key locations 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 are the similarities in between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides – summary of usual Features 5. What is the difference in between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides – comparison of key Differences

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


What is a Monosaccharide

Monosaccharides are single sugar molecules which act together the building blocks of disaccharides and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides space the simplest kind of carbohydrates. These monosaccharides are composed that C, H and also O atoms. The basic formula that Monosaccharides is (CH2O)n. The letter “n” describes the number of CH2O units existing in the street molecule.

Monosaccharides are uncovered in one of two people aldehyde kind or ketone form. This means, monosaccharides basically have a carbonyl team in their chemical structure. Monosaccharides through aldehyde groups are called aldoses and monosaccharides with ketone groups are referred to as ketoses. In the aldoses, the carbonyl team is situated on the terminal carbon atom whereas, in ketoses, the carbonyl team is situated on the 2nd carbon atom.

There are different species of monosaccharides, depending on the variety of carbon atoms present in the street molecule. They room categorized according to their isomerism and also the derivatives. Most of the monosaccharides may have actually the very same molecular formula however different arrangements.

According come the check of the monosaccharide, there are two species of isomers every each monosaccharide. They room D-isomer and L-isomer. The place of the –OH group of the penultimate carbon determines even if it is a monosaccharide is a D-isomer or one L-isomer. The easiest way of reflecting the atomic arrangement of the monosaccharide is the Fischer projection of the molecule. The is the 2-D framework of the molecule.


Figure 01: The Fischer forecast of D-Glucose

The above image mirrors the Fischer projection of D-Glucose. Yet the real structure the a Monosaccharide is a 3-D structure. It is called the chair confirmation and also is a cyclic structure. The following image reflects the genuine structure the glucose.


Figure 02: D-Glucose Chair Confirmation

Monosaccharides space water soluble. Almost all monosaccharides taste sweet and also are colorless when dissolved in water. Simple monosaccharides have actually a linear, unbranched structure however the acyclic form is frequently converted into the cyclic form due come its instability. Every monosaccharides space reducing sugars.

Examples because that 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 room classified right into two teams according to their reducing strength.

Reducing street – deserve to act as a reducing agentNon-reducing sugars – cannot act together a reduce agent

Figure 03: framework of a Disaccharide

Therefore, part disaccharides are reducing sugars and some are not. All disaccharides are water soluble and colorless when liquified in water. Part disaccharides room sweet tasting yet some are not.

Examples because that Disaccharides and also their Properties



Reducing strength



Glucose and also Fructose




Glucose and also Galactose




Two Glucose



What is a Polysaccharide

A polysaccharide is a carbohydrate made the end of a variety of monosaccharides linked via glycosidic bonds. Polysaccharides room chains the monosaccharides. Therefore, every polysaccharide is written of a number of chemical rings. The formation of a polysaccharide wake up via condensation polymerization since a water molecule is created per every glycosidic bond.


Figure 04: structure of a Polysaccharide

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

Examples the Polysaccharides

Similarities in between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and also Polysaccharides

All three room carbohydrates.All space composed of C, H and also O atoms.

Difference between Monosaccharides Disaccharides and Polysaccharides


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

Disaccharides: Disaccharides room sugar molecules composed of 2 monosaccharides.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides are carbohydrates made the end of a variety of monosaccharides connected via glycosidic bonds.

Water Solubility

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides are water soluble.

Disaccharides: Most that the Disaccharides space water soluble.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides room 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 are reducing street whereas some space not.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides space non-reducing carbohydrates.

Number the Monomers

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides have a solitary monomer.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides room composed of 2 monomers.

Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides room composed of a huge number of monomers.

Chemical Structure

Monosaccharides: Monosaccharides have actually simple, linear, unbranched structures.

Disaccharides: Disaccharides have 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 a number of ring structures.

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Carbohydrates space a macronutrient uncovered in food. Monosaccharides, disaccharides, and also polysaccharides space the major types of carbohydrates discovered in nature. The main difference in between monosaccharides disaccharides and also polysaccharides is the monosaccharides are monomers the sugars and also disaccharides space composed of two monomers whereas polysaccharides space composed that a large number the monomers.


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

Image Courtesy:

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