Difference Between Starch and Cellulose

Cellulose and starch are similar polymers which have the same glucose-based repeat units and are made of same glucose, and monomer. There is one major difference between Starch and Cellulose. In starch, the position of glucose repeat units is in the same direction whereas, in cellulose, each successive glucose unit is rotated 180 degrees. Cellulose is stronger than starch and is insoluble in water. On the other hand, the Starch is less weak than cellulose and can be dissolved in warm water.

Cellulose is not fit for human consumption whereas starch can be consumed by humans. Some of the uses of cellulose are in the derivation of rayon, cellophane, etc. Commercially it is used as the main component in the paper industry as well as in the making of cloths such as linen and like cotton.

Difference Between Starch And Cellulose

Properties Starch Cellulose
Alpha/Beta 2 types of alpha glucose 1 type of beta glucose
Connection By alpha linkage By beta linkage
Digestion Easily digested Difficult to digest
Solubility Dissolves in warm water Does not dissolve in water
Strength Weaker than cellulose Strong
Crystalline Less crystalline More crystalline than starch
Consumption Can be consumed by humans Cannot be consumed by humans
Linkage Starch has alpha 1,4 linkage Cellulose has beta 1,4 linkage
Uses Plants use starch to store energy Plants use cellulose to support structure