Mono-Carbohydrates Carbo MiniTopics
 Elmhurst College
Maltose Sucrose Cellulose  Chemistry Department
Lactose Starch Glycogen  Virtual ChemBook

Common Carbohydrates


 Derivation of name and Source


From Greek word for sweet wine; grape sugar, blood sugar, dextrose.

Greek word for milk--"galact", found as a component of lactose in milk.

Latin word for fruit--"fructus", also known as levulose,
found in fruits and honey; sweetest sugar.

Ribose and Deoxyribose are found in the backbone structure of RNA and DNA, respectively.

Disaccharides - contain two monosaccharides

French word for sugar--"sucre", a disaccharide containing glucose and fructose; table sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar.

Latin word for milk--"lact"; a disaccharide found in milk containing glucose and galactose.

French word for "malt"; a disaccharide containing two units of glucose; found in germinating grains, used to make beer.

Common Polysaccharides



Plants store glucose as the polysaccharide starch. The cereal grains (wheat, rice, corn, oats, barley) as well as tubers such as potatoes are rich in starch.

The major component in the rigid cell walls in plants is cellulose and is a linear polysaccharide polymer with many glucose monosaccharide units.

This is the storage form of glucose in animals and humans which is analogous to the starch in plants. Glycogen is synthesized and stored mainly in the liver and the muscles.

 Di-, Poly-Carbohydrates - Introduction


General names for carbohydrates include sugars, starches, saccharides, and polysaccharides. The term saccharide is derived from the Latin word " sacchararum" from the sweet taste of sugars.

Monosaccharides contain one sugar unit such as glucose, galactose, fructose, etc.

Disaccharides contain two sugar units. In almost all cases one of the sugars is glucose, with the other sugar being galactose, fructose, or another glucose. Common disaccharides are maltose, lactose, and sucrose.

Polysaccharides contain many sugar units in long polymer chains of many repeating units. The most common sugar unit is glucose. Common poly saccharides are starch, glycogen, and cellulose.