Q:

Which of the following is a disaccharide?

A:

Quick Answer

There are many examples of disaccharides. Disaccharides are carbohydrates that form by the combination of two monosaccharides, according to Reference.com. Some examples include sucrose, lactose, maltose and cellobiose which all happen to have the same molecular formula, C12H22O11.

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Full Answer

The reaction combining the two simple sugars is called a condensation or dehydration reaction, due to the fact that the second the reaction formed is water. Milk sugar, lactose, forms through the joining of a molecule of galactose and one of glucose. Cane sugar, sucrose, forms through a combination of fructose and glucose.

In order to form the bond, the sugars join at a hydroxyl group of one of the components and a carbon atom of the second. This allows two of the same component monosaccharides to combine in several different potential combinations and in different isomers.

The characteristics of the disaccharides are dependent on the component monosaccharides. These components determine if the resulting sugar is crystalline, water soluble, sweet-tasting or sticky.

If conditions are right, disaccharides have the potential to join with more monosaccharides or disaccharides in order to form longer chains known as polysaccharides. Polysaccharides include compounds such as starch, cellulose and glycogen. They often join in units containing 200 or more carbon atoms. Such molecules are an effective means of the plant storing energy.

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