Starch Molecule

Most carbohydrate is consumed as starch. Starch is the stored form of glucose in plants. Long, polysaccharide chains of glucose molecules are packed together in the cells of grains (wheat, rice), tubers and root crops (potatoes, yams), and legumes (beans, peas). As we digest these foods, the glucose within their cellular structures is broken down and metabolized. Plant-based foods are the only sources of starch, though it is also available in processed foods that use isolated starch as a thickening or stabilizing agent.

In this model, carbon atoms are dark gray, hydrogen atoms are white, and oxygen atoms are red.

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