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    What is the functional group for polysaccharides?

    The two important functional groups in most polysaccharides are the hydroxyl group and the acetal group.

    Starch is a typical polysaccharide. Its partial structure is

    There are many OH groups (alcohol or hydroxyl groups).

    There is also the glycosidic linkage that joins C-1 of one ring to C-4 of the next ring.

    It looks like an ether.

    But it isn’t an ether, because it has two O atoms attached to C-1 of the glucose unit. It is an acetal.

    The general structure of an acetal is

    It has a C, an H, and two OR groups directly attached to the central C atom.

    So a polysaccharide contains both hydroxyl and acetal functional groups.

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