What Are Some Examples of Polysaccharides?

Ben Mills/Other

Polysaccharides are carbohydrates formed from repeating structures called monosaccharides, which are single-sugar units. At least three monosaccharides must combine to form a polysaccharide. Examples of storage polysaccharides are starches and glycogen, while pectin and cellulose are examples of structure polysaccharides.

Starch, one type of storage polysaccharide, contains amylose and amylopectin. Starches are insoluble in water. Starch is the most prominent polysaccharide found in plants. Animals and humans are able to consume starch, with corn, potatoes and wheat being examples of these types of starches.

Glycose is another type of storage polysaccharide. Glycose is sometimes called the animal starch as it is produced within the muscles and the liver. Glycose makes energy that is easily converted to glucose in the body. Glycogen is stored in many organs and tissues throughout the human body, including the liver, the muscles, and red blood cells.

Structural polysaccharides are found in both animal and plant cells. Cellulose is found in plant cells and is a large component of the cell structure. Most animals, including humans, aren’t able to digest cellulose. Chitin is another structural polysaccharide found in animals. It makes up the exoskeleton of grasshoppers, clams, lobsters and cockroaches. A third type of structural polysaccharide is pectin, which is a complex polysaccharide found in plant cell walls.