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introduces the organic student to the classification of these compounds.
Also included are cyclic structures, D & L, d & l designations,
reducing sugars, reactions, polysaccharides, and a brief overview
of tooth decay.
The unit opens with classifications of carbohydrates and a series
of important terms the student must learn. Terms such as erythro,
threo, epimers, anomers, Haworth structures, Fischer projections,
levulose, dextrose, and reducing sugars are explained. Classification
addressed include distinguishing between the characteristic functional
groups and the number of carbons involved in these saccharides.
Notations such as D and L, as well as d and l are introduced and
explained. Students are then able to make those identifications
except where there is the requirement of a polarimeter. Cyclic structures
are introduced in a manner that facilitates transitioning from a
Fischer projection to a Haworth projection to the chair conformation
and knowing where each attached group appears.
The physical properties of alpha-D-glucose and beta-D-glucose are
discussed, particularly those structures giving rise to different
rotations of polarized light. The concept of mutarotation is presented.
Reactions of monosaccharides is a section that covers epimerization,
reduction with agents such as sodium borohydride, oxidation with
bromine water, oxidation with nitric acid, and reactions with Tollens,
etc. In each of these cases classification and nomenclature of the
product are studied. Thus the student becomes familiar with terms
such as alditols, aldonic acids, and aldaric acids.
Clarification among the commonly used terms like monosaccharides,
disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides is made. The
way in which monosaccharides bond to form disaccharides is discussed
and the resulting properties when the acetal structure is formed
rather than the hemiacetal structure is noted.
Several important polysaccharides are discussed. The structure of
cellulose is noted and is accompanied by explanation of why it cannot
be digested by humans. Starch with its two forms is noted and the
student is presented with the differences between amylose and amylopectin.
It is noted that hydrolysis of amylose produces D-glucose as the
only monosaccharide and mannose as the only disaccharide. The similarities
between glycogen structure and the structure of amylopectin are
brief section on tooth decay is presented as a way of helping the
organic student further see the application of this study to daily
life. The breakdown of sucrose in the presence of glucosyl transferase
eventually results in the formation of dextran, a sticky polymer
that binds lactic acid from sucrose and incoming bacteria into the
nefarious dental plaque.
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