What is the structural formula of carbohydrates?I am so confused. I searched for this answer many times, and I always find a different answer. Please help me because I have an oral presentation...

What is the structural formula of carbohydrates?

I am so confused. I searched for this answer many times, and I always find a different answer. Please help me because I have an oral presentation describing carbohydrates. I found all that I need except for this question.

Expert Answers
melony82 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Carbohydrates are one of four types of macromolecules that are essential to life.  They include sugars and starches.  The reason you are finding conflicting answers when you search is that there are several types of carbohydrates and each one has its own structural formula.  

The structural formula of a chemical describes (in a drawing, not words) how the atoms of the molecule are combined in that particular substance.  If all carbohydrates had the same structural formula, it would mean that there was only one type of carbohydrate.  So, even if more than one type of carb. shares the same chemical components (for example fructose, glucose, and galactose share the chemical formula C6H12O6) each one will be put together in a different way.

enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Carbohydrates, as the name imples, are composed of carbon and water.  The empirical formula for most of them is:


where x and y are integer numbers of carbon atoms and water molecules, although some carbohydrates deviate from the strict hydrogen to oxygen ratio.   Most carbohydrates have the suffix -ose on the end of their names, and this large class of molecules includes sugars, starches, and cellulose, and are components of DNA, RNA, and ATP.  The most common carbohydrate is the sugar glucose, which has a structural formula of C6H12O6

Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., vol. 5, pg. 304.

parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You can check out the following site, which includes a video clip with an "inside view" of a glucose molecule. Hope this helps.

ronald75 | Student

Chemically, carbohydrates are simple organic compounds that are aldehydes or ketones with many hydroxyl groups added, usually one on each carbon atom that is not part of the aldehyde or ketone functional group. The basic carbohydrate units are called monosaccharides, such as glucose, galactose, and fructose. The general stoichiometric formula of an unmodified monosaccharide is (C·H2O)n, where n is any number of three or greater; however, the use of this word does not follow this exact definition and many molecules with formulae that differ slightly from this are still called carbohydrates, and others that possess formulae agreeing with this general rule are not called carbohydrates (eg formaldehyde).[2]           

cody1kc2 | Student

Carbohydate Formula is

C6H12O6   The kind of carbohydrate it is depends on the arrangment of the atoms.