Starch is a prominent example of plant polysaccharides. It has a soluble component (25%) and an insoluble component (75%). The soluble component, the amylose, forms long chains that coil up into an alpha-helix. By contrast, the insoluble component, the amylopectin, is highly branched with additional bonds between shorter chain sections. Amylose can be specifically detected using iodine. Iodine is deposited inside the alpha-helix of the starch molecule. This results in a complex that has a distinctive color ranging from deep blue, blue-violet, to black, depending on the iodine concentration.
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Glycogen, the storage for carbohydrates in animals, is comparable in structure to amylopectin.
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Carbohydrate; Metabolism; Molecule; Nutrition
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