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2.6. Polysaccharides

Polysaccharides

The polysaccharides are biomolecules formed by the union of many monosaccharides (even thousands) through O-glycosidic bonds, shedding a water molecule per link.

Its molecular weights are very high. They do not taste sweet. They can be insoluble, like cellulose, or form colloidal dispersions, like starch. They have no reducing power.

They can perform structural or energy reserve functions. Polysaccharides that carry out a structural function have β-glucosidic bond, and those that carry out an energy reserve function present α-glucosidic bond .

We will distinguish two types of polysaccharides:

  • Homopolysaccharides: polymers of a single type of monosaccharide .
  • Heteropolysaccharides: polymer with more than one type of monosaccharide .

Homopolysaccharides

Heteropolysaccharides

By α bond

By β bond

They present α bond

Starch

Cellulose

Pectin

Glycogen

Chitin

Agar-agar

Gum arabic