Consisting of oxygen (O), carbon (C), and hydrogen (H), carbohydrate is a biological molecule.
Carbohydrate is one of the essential elements for the living organisms, as it plays various important roles.
Carbohydrate is the main source of energy, as about two-third energy requirement of living beings is fulfilled by it.
Glucose, sugar, and starch are the important examples of carbohydrate.
Carbohydrates naturally are occurring in wide variety of foods, such as −
Sugar that we eat in our everyday life is mainly sucrose (table sugar).
Sucrose is added in many food items while preparing, e.g. jam, biscuits, cakes, energy drinks, etc.
Further, many fruits naturally contain glucose and fructose.
Glycogen is another type of carbohydrate that found in the liver and muscle.
Cellulose found in the cell wall of plant cells is carbohydrate.
The following table illustrates major categories and sub-categories of carbohydrate −
|Sugar||Monosaccharides||Glucose, fructose, xylose, galactose|
|Disaccharides||Sucrose, lactose, maltose, trehalose|
|Other oligosaccharides||Raffinose, stachyose, fructo-oligosaccharides|
|Polysaccharides||Starch||Amylose, amylopectin, modified starches|
|Non-starch polysaccharides||Cellulose, hemicellulose, pectins, hydrocolloids|
Following are the major functions of carbohydrates −
Carbohydrates provide energy required for the proper function of the body.
Carbohydrates also store food in the body for the contingency period.
Carbohydrates form nucleic acids.
Carbohydrates also support skeleton system of animals.
Carbohydrates provide sweetness and flavor.
Carbohydrates break down the fatty acid.