Carbohydrates Essay

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Introduction Carbohydrates are biomolecules that consist of a chain or ring of carbon atoms attached to hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The simplest formula for carbohydrates is (CH2O)n. Carbohydrates are important to organisms for a variety of reasons. They are used to form the structural components of the cell, aid in energy storage, and serve as intermediary compounds for more complex molecules. Carbohydrates are classified as either monosaccharides, disaccharides, or polysaccharides. Both monosaccharides and disaccharides dissolve easily in water. Carbohydrates are produced in plants through the process of photosynthesis and animals obtain these carbohydrates by eating the plants. ("BIO 1510 Laboratory Manual," 2016) Monosaccharides are known…show more content…
Starch, cellulose, glycogen, and chitin are all examples of polysaccharides. According to the BIO 1510 Lab Manual (2016) polysaccharides are not very soluble in water but can be made to go into solution through heating or agitation. Polysaccharides are excellent energy storage molecules because they are easily built and broken down by enzymes. Forming fairly compact structures, polysaccharides allow energy storage without the space required by a pool of free glucose monomers. Other polysaccharides form strong fibers that provide protection and structural support in both plants and animals. (Carbohydrates.” Home,…show more content…
First is the Benedict’s test for reducing sugars which determines if a carbohydrate contains a free aldehyde or ketone group. When Benedict’s reagent is heated with a reactive sugar the color of the reagent changes. The initial solution color of the Benedict’s regent is sky blue. Depending on the number of available sites for the reaction to occur, the reaction will result in a solution that may range from green to yellow to orange to brick red, a red precipitate may form if more time is allowed. The test will only show a positive reaction for starch if the starch has been broken down to maltose of glucose. ("BIO 1510 Laboratory Manual," 2016) The Barfoed’s test for monosaccharides is used to differentiate between monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides. Because of the acidity of the solution, only monosaccharides are able to reduce the copper ions. The solution will go from a sky blue to a red precipitate when there is a positive reaction for a monosaccharide. ("BIO 1510 Laboratory Manual,"
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