My book says that polysaccharides are non-reducing sugars, and they form of condensation of >6 molecules of monosaccharides. The condensation involves the carbonyl groups of the sugars, leaving only one free carbonyl group at the end of a big molecule.

My question is: since there is one free carbonyl group why aren't polysaccharides reducing sugars?!


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For polysaccharides made with only glucose (starch, cellulose, glycogen, etc), only 1 unit can be reduced from hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of units. With the same mass of dextrose and starch, the amount reduced for starch is 1/100, 1/1000 or 1/10000 the amount for dextrose. This is usually below the detection limit for most ways of detecting the reaction.


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