Rights: University of Waikato Published 18 March 2011 Download


When the cyclic form of glucose forms, 2 different versions of it are produced. One is alpha, the other beta.

Starches like amylose and amylopectin link only alpha-type glucose molecules together. With cellulose, it is the beta molecules that link together.

The glycosidic bonds in cellulose have a different orientation from those in starch.

As a result of this, human digestive enzymes can break down starch but not cellulose.

Cellulose consists of linear molecules each made up of at least 3,000 glucose units linked together.