Mono- Di- and Polysaccharides: Starches Sugars Cellulose

Biology, Chemistry
[caption id="attachment_24172" align="alignright" width="480"] This Giant Sequoia stands tall thanks to Cellulose. – Image by Tripastute[/caption] Carbon appears to be unique in its immense chemical diversity. So much so, that an entire branch is devoted to its chemical behavior – organic chemistry. Yet, the name given to this branch of chemistry indicates something of more importance than its being just another branch among many. Organic chemistry began as the chemistry of living things, the chemistry of all things organic. There are literally millions of carbon compounds incorporated into organic chemistry. The group we will consider here is the saccharides. Some among these consist of multiple saccharide units joined together. Hence, they are termed polysaccharides. What is a Saccharide? The word “saccharide” is derived from the Latin sacchararum, “meaning full of…
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Why Sulfuric Acid Turns Sugar Black

Sugar is white. Sulfuric acid is colorless. So how is it sulfuric acid turns sugar black? Table sugar is actually two sugars in one—a disaccharide. It is commonly known as sucrose. Sucrose is a combination of fructose, a sugar found in fruits, and glucose, known also as blood-sugar, grape-sugar, and corn-sugar. Its chemical formula is C₁₂H₂₂O₁₁. The way these atoms are attached to each other by chemical bonds determines its structural formula. In the Left Corner… Most sugar from a grocery store is granular and pure white. If the grains are large enough—existing as large crystals—it is immediately apparent that sugar isn't even white; it is totally colorless and transparent. Sold at candy stores, we call it rock candy. [sc name="MidArticleAdsense"] In the Right Corner… Concentrated sulfuric acid is thick…
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