What Is The Basic Difference Between Starch And Cellulose?


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Akshay Kalbag Profile
Akshay Kalbag answered
Starch and cellulose are similar polymers. Both are made from the same monomer, namely glucose, and both have the same repeat units having a glucose base. But the main difference is that while all the repeat units of glucose present in starch are unidirectional (that is, they are all orientated towards one direction), each successive repeat unit of glucose present in cellulose, on the other hand, rotates at an angle of 180 degrees around the axis of a backbone made of chains of polymers, relative to the last repeat unit of cellulose. The units of glucose in starch are connected by alpha linkages, while the units of glucose in cellulose are connected by beta linkages.

Starch can be eaten, but cellulose is not digestible by the human body. Starch is broken down into glucose to sustain the body, but the body is not equipped with the enzymes that can break down cellulose into glucose. The enzymes which convert cellulose into glucose are found in the bodies of termites, which feed on wood, and cattle, which eat grass. Cellulose is stronger than starch.

While starch does not have any practical uses, cellulose is used to make fibers, which are, in turn, used to make clothing and rope. Cellulose does not dissolve in water as easily as starch does, and does not break down as easily as starch does. This explains why cellulose, and not starch, is used to make materials that are used to make such useful articles as clothes, wooden houses such as log cabins and benches and playground equipment in parks.
Alexandrine Profile
Alexandrine answered
In starch, all the glucose repeat units are oriented in the same direction. But in cellulose, each successive glucose unit is rotated 180 degrees around the axis of the polymer backbone chain, relative to the last repeat unit.

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