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2.2. Classification of carbohydrates

Classification of carbohydrates

The carbohydrates are classified as: 

  • Monosaccharides or oses: They are the simplest. They are not hydrolyzable (they cannot be decomposed byhydrolysisin other simpler carbohydrates). They constitute the monomers from which the rest of the carbohydrates are formed. They are carbohydrates made up of a single polyhydroxyaldehyde or polyhydroxyketonic chain.
  • Osides: They are formed by the union of several monosaccharides through O-glucosidic bonds. They are hydrolyzable, decomposing into monosaccharides and other compounds that constitute them. They are divided into:
    • Holosides. They are made up exclusively of monosaccharides (carbonhydrogen and oxygen). In turn, they are divided into:
      • Oligosaccharides, formed by the union of between 2 and 10 monosaccharides. The most important are disaccharides, which result from the union of two monosaccharides.
      • Polysaccharides, formed by the union of many monosaccharides. Due to their composition, they are divided into two groups:
    • HeterosidesFormed by monosaccharides and other compounds that are not carbohydrates, so in addition to carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, they contain other chemical elements.


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Biology and Geology teaching materials for Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) and Baccalaureate students.