What is the difference between chitin and cellulose?

Asked By: Isard Wegg | Last Updated: 29th April, 2020
Category: healthy living nutrition
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Difference Between Chitin and Cellulose. The main difference between chitin and cellulose is that the chitin is a polymer of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine whereas the cellulose is a polymer of D-glucose. Chitin and cellulose are two polysaccharides made up of glucose-based polymers.

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Just so, why is chitin stronger than cellulose?

Chitin. It is the same coupling as glucose with cellulose, however in chitin the hydroxyl group of the monomer is replaced with an acetyl amine group. The resulting, stronger hydrogen bond between the bordering polymers makes chitin harder and more stabile than cellulose.

Also, what is chitin and what is its function? Although chitin is the dominant constituent, other compounds such as proteins and calcium carbonate also play a crucial role in the formation of exoskeleton. The main function of this chitin-containing exoskeleton is to keep the inner soft tissue safe from any sort of injury.

Similarly, you may ask, is chitin a Homopolysaccharide?

Chitin is a homopolysaccharide. This just means that it is made up of repeating units of the same monosaccharide - in this case that monosaccharide is N-acetylglucosamine. Other examples of homopolysaccharides are glycogen and cellulose.

What is the major difference between chitin and other types of polysaccharides?

Cellulose and chitin are both structural polysaccharides that consist of many thousand glucose monomers combined in long fibers. The only difference between the two polysaccharides are the side-chains attached to the carbon rings of the monosaccharides.

39 Related Question Answers Found

What does cellulose do in the body?

Cellulose is the main substance in the walls of plant cells, helping plants to remain stiff and upright. Humans cannot digest cellulose, but it is important in the diet as fibre. Fibre assists your digestive system – keeping food moving through the gut and pushing waste out of the body.

Can humans digest chitin?

Human gastric juice contains chitinase that can degrade chitin. Chitin digestion by humans has generally been questioned or denied. Only recently chitinases have been found in several human tissues and their role has been associated with defense against parasite infections and to some allergic conditions.

Where is cellulose found?

Cellulose is a substance found in the cell walls of plants. Although cellulose is not a component of the human body, it is nevertheless the most abundant organic macromolecule on Earth.

Is chitin a protein?

Chitin is not a protein, but is similar to protein in that they are both polymers. Protein is made up of amino acids, while chitin is made up of amino sugars. Still though, chitin acts somewhat similar to certain proteins. For example, Keratin is the protein in the human body that helps to form hair and nails.

Where is chitin used?


Chitin in Fungi
In fungi, chitin is used to create a cell wall. Much like cellulose in plants, the chitin is deposited extracellularly with proteins and other molecules. This forms a rigid cell wall between cells, which help the organisms retain their shape.

Is chitin good for plants?

Chitin is a promising soil amendment for improving soil quality, plant growth, and plant resilience.

What foods contain chitin?

Foods containing chitin:
  • Edible insects.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Shellfish.
  • Escargots (Edible snails)

Is cellulose a polysaccharide?

Cellulose. Polysaccharides are carbohydrate polymers consisting of tens to hundreds to several thousand monosaccharide units. The major component in the rigid cell walls in plants is cellulose. Cellulose is a linear polysaccharide polymer with many glucose monosaccharide units.

What is Homopolysaccharide example?

A polysaccharide formed by the monomeric units of a single monosaccharide is called as a homopolysaccharide. Polysaccharides like Starch, Cellulose and Glycogen are the examples of homopolysaccharides. In Cellulose β - D- Glucose units linked by β (1→4) glycosidic linkage.

Is chitin a storage polysaccharide?


Starch (a polymer of glucose) is used as a storage polysaccharide in plants, being found in the form of both amylose and the branched amylopectin. Cellulose and chitin are examples of structural polysaccharides.

What are the examples of Heteropolysaccharides?

Heteropolysaccharides are polymers of repeating units of more than one kind of monosaccharide. The monosaccharides may be amino sugars. These heteropolysaccharides are commonly called as Glycosaminoglycans. They include chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid and heparin.

Is starch a Homopolysaccharide?

If they are all the same, the molecule is a homopolysaccharide. The polymers amylose and amylopectin are examples of homopolysaccharides in which all the monomers are glucose. Because starch is a mixture of amylose and amylopectin, it has a variable “molecular weight” that depends on its source.

Where is amylose found?

Amylose is a type of polymer found in starch. It is a linear chain composed of hundreds to thousands of glucose molecules.

Is starch a Heteropolymer?

Answer: (1) Protein A polymer is a giant molecule made up of many smaller molecules called monomers. For example starch is made solely of glucose molecules so starch is a homopolymer. If the monomers are not identical the polymer is a heteropolymer.

What is hetero polysaccharide?


In general, heteropolysaccharides (heteroglycans) contain two or more different monosaccharide units. Although a few representatives contain three or more different monosaccharides, most naturally occurring heteroglycans contain only two different ones and are closely associated with lipid or protein.

Is chitin branched or unbranched?

A long chain of monosaccharides linked by glycosidic bonds is known as a polysaccharide (poly- = “many”). The chain may be branched or unbranched, and it may contain different types of monosaccharides. Starch, glycogen, cellulose, and chitin are primary examples of polysaccharides.

What type of polymer is chitin?

Chitin (C8H13O5N)n (/ˈka?t?n/ KY-tin), a long-chain polymer of N-acetylglucosamine, is a derivative of glucose. It is a primary component of cell walls in fungi, the exoskeletons of arthropods, such as crustaceans and insects, the radulae of molluscs, cephalopod beaks, and the scales of fish and lissamphibians.