Recent advances in application of polysaccharides in cosmetics

With the increasing application of natural ingredients in the cosmetics industry, the beneficial properties of natural polysaccharides have been effectively harnessed. Certain polysaccharides exhibit superior moisturizing ...

Going beyond plastic: Tara gum as a green polymer

Synthetic, non-biodegradable plastics are major sources of environmental pollution and have prompted rising interest in sustainable, biodegradable alternatives derived from natural polymers. "Tara gum," derived from the seeds ...

Study finds copper key to more efficient biomass breakdown

Nonfood, plant-based biofuels have potential as a green alternative to fossil fuels, but the enzymes required for production are too inefficient and costly to produce. However, new research published in Chemical Science is ...

Discovery could lead to new fungicides to protect rice crops

A fungus that plagues rice crops worldwide gains entry to plant cells in a way that leaves it vulnerable to simple chemical blockers, a discovery that could lead to new fungicides to reduce the substantial annual losses of ...

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Polysaccharides are long carbohydrate molecules, of repeated monomer units joined together by glycosidic bonds. They range in structure from linear to highly branched. Polysaccharides are often quite heterogeneous, containing slight modifications of the repeating unit. Depending on the structure, these macromolecules can have distinct properties from their monosaccharide building blocks. They may be amorphous or even insoluble in water.

When all the monosaccharides in a polysaccharide are the same type, the polysaccharide is called a homopolysaccharide or homoglycan, but when more than one type of monosaccharide is present they are called heteropolysaccharides or heteroglycans.

Examples include storage polysaccharides such as starch and glycogen, and structural polysaccharides such as cellulose and chitin.

Polysaccharides have a general formula of Cx(H2O)y where x is usually a large number between 200 and 2500. Considering that the repeating units in the polymer backbone are often six-carbon monosaccharides, the general formula can also be represented as (C6H10O5)n where 40≤n≤3000.

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