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Carbohydrates are a class of organic molecules used to store energy and provide structural support. They are an important part of the human diet. Most carbohydrates will be produced by plants in greenhouses. Sugars are carbohydrates.

In situ Production

There is no efficient means of artificially producing carbohydrates at the moment (2021). This means that all carbohydrates, and eventually all food, since protein are built up from carbohydrates as well, must come from biological processes.

Plants may be grown in greenhouses or grow rooms. Unicellular organisms may grow in biological reactors, while unicellular plants may grow in algae reactors.

Energy Storage

Many carbohydrates such as Starch, glucose, lactose, and fructose are used for energy storage by plants and animals.

Structural Support

Chitin is used by insects and other arthropods for support and protection. Cell walls made of cellulose are a defining characteristic of plants. This carbohydrate, in concert with lignin, provides the majority of the stregth needed for trees to support their own weight.

Open Issues

  • Can any carbohydrates be produced artificially?