Pharmacognosy - medicinal plants (herbs)

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Theme VIII: Carbohydrates

Monosaccharides and disaccharides

Monosaccharides and disaccharides. Definition and characteristics. Glucose. Fructose. Lactose. Saccharose.


fructose Monosaccharides

Are sugars composed of a single monomer such as glucose and fructose.


Monosaccharides are the simplest, characterized by their sweet taste and their solubility in water. They are contained in all fruits giving its sweet flavor, in the nectar of flowers, honey and in the roots of vegetables like beets.


On the other hand, fructose (present in all fruits) poses no problem in the diet of diabetics, as it doesn’t need insulin for its uptake.


Disaccharides consist of two monomers such as lactose and sucrose. Sucrose is a sugar composed of two molecules or monomers (disaccharide) which are very used in beverage and food industry. The lactose is in the milk and is used in purified form in the production of medicines in large scales.


The sucrose obtained from fruit or cane by chemical methods, must be ingested by diabetics under medical supervision, however, if the fruits that contain it are consumed directly will be better tolerated since the body receives simultaneously other substances contained in the fruit, compensating the side effects.

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