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Chemistry LibreTexts

Disaccharides

The most useful carbohydrate classification scheme divides the carbohydrates into groups according to the number of individual simple sugar units. Monosaccharides contain a single unit; disaccharides contain two sugar units; and polysaccharides contain many sugar units as in polymers - most contain glucose as the monosaccharide unit.

Thumbnail Ball-and-stick model of the α-lactose molecule. Image used with permission (Public Domain; Ben Mills).