Carbohydrates are compounds that contain the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The basic building block of a carbohydrate is a monosaccharide, which is a simple sugar, for example:
All three of these monosaccharides have the same chemical formula (C6H12O6)
Enzymes join two monosaccharides to form a disaccharide.
The general formula of disaccharides is C12H22O11
Polysaccharides are composed of long chains of monosaccharide units.
Many polysaccharides are insoluble, making them ideal for storage. Some examples of polysaccharides are:
Carbohydrase enzymes break down disaccharides and polysaccharides into monosaccharides.