Carbohydrates, thousands joined by the same glycosidic bond.

Carbohydrates, which is a kind of compound that consists of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms. Although most of the people consider carbohydrates as sugars, it is not entirely true as fibers and starches that are found in food such as fruits, vegetables and grains are also considered as carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the main source of nutrients that provide living organisms with energy. Carbohydrates can be classified into three groups, monosaccharide, disaccharides and polysaccharides. These groups are classified based on the character of individual monomers, degree of polymerization and type of linkage, as agreed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) in 1997.

Monosaccharide, also known as single or simple sugar cannot be broken down further as these are the simplest form of carbohydrate. They are colorless, crystalline solids that are water soluble, they are all reducing sugars and form the basic building blocks of other carbohydrates which is disaccharides and polysaccharides. Monosaccharide can be divided into different groups based on the number of carbon atoms they contain and the location of the carbonyl group. For example, glucose, which is the most common and important type of monosaccharide is an aldose and since it has six carbon atoms, it is classified as a hexose. Monosaccharide, which in particular glucose, is the major nutrients for cells to grow and in order to perform the process known as cellular respiration.

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On the other hand, disaccharides are formed by two monosaccharide joined together by a glycosidic bond or linkage, which is covalent bond that forms between monosaccharide by a dehydration process. While polysaccharides are formed by a large number of monosaccharides which ranges from a few hundred to a few thousands joined by the same glycosidic bond. All disaccharides and polysaccharides are either reducing or non-reducing sugars. Disaccharides and polysaccharides can be further broken down into monosaccharide through the process of hydrolysis, the process is crucial for the nutrients to be absorbed and can be further accelerated in certain temperatures by adding carbon dioxide

Benedict’s solution is used in the experiments to test the presence of reducing sugar in each saccharide group, human urine, pineapple juice and turnip juice. Benedict’s solution is a clear blue aqueous solution which consists of sodium carbonate, sodium citrate and copper sulfate(II) pentahydrate. Throughout the years, it is used to test the level of glucose in urine of patients to analyze the presence of diabetes. It is also used to test the level of sugar within different solutions.

Thus, the two objectives of this experiment are to find out the presence of reducing sugar in three different groups of carbohydrates which is monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides via using Benedict’s test. The second is to test and determine the glucose concentration of human urine, pineapple juice and turnip juice by comparing the amount of precipitate formed with the amount of precipitate formed using the four-different concentration of glucose during Benedict’s test.