Difference Between Monosaccharide and Polysaccharide

A monosaccharide is a simple sugar that constitutes the building blocks of a more complex form of sugars such as oligosaccharides and polysaccharides.The term monosaccharide etymologically means “single saccharide”. In other words, Monosaccharides are the building blocks of disaccharides (such as sucrose and lactose) and polysaccharides (such as cellulose and starch). Examples are fructose, glucose, and ribose.

A polysaccharide or polycarbohydrate is a large molecule made of many smaller monosaccharides. A polysaccharide can be a homopolysaccharide, in which all the monosaccharides are the same, or a heteropolysaccharide in which the monosaccharides vary. Depending on which monosaccharides are connected, and which carbons in the monosaccharides connects, polysaccharides take on a variety of forms. A molecule with a straight chain of monosaccharides is called a linear polysaccharide, while a chain that has arms and turns is known as a branched polysaccharide.

SizeMonosaccharide are the small sized compound of carbohydrates.Polysaccharide are the large sized compound of carbohydrates.
Molecular formulaCn(H2O)n, where n is the small number varying from 2-10.Cx(H2O)y, where x is usually a big number between 200-2500.
HydrolysationMonosaccharide cannot be further hydrolysed.Polysaccharide cannot be further hydrolysed as it contains 2 or more units of monosaccharide, which can be further broken down.
CharactersColorless, sweet in tastes, crystalline appearance.Sweetness absent.
SolubilitySoluble in water, but insoluble in non polar solvents.Polysaccharide are insoluble in water.
Made up ofThey are the simplest unit of carbohydrates, made up of bonding between carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.Polysaccharide are made up of numerous (several hundred) monosccharide units.
RoleMonosaccharide are the chief energy source, which provide around 4 calories (kilo calories) per gram.Polysaccharide are the structural component of cell walls and act as the energy reserves.