Carbohydrate classification is often complex and done in various ways. However, for histological purposes, carbohydrates are classified based upon their molecular structure and their reaction with various dyes/staining solutions.
Simple Carbohydrates: Molecules are composed purely of carbohydrates.
- Polysaccharides, such as glycogen
Glycoconjugates: Molecules are composed of carbohydrates plus protein or lipid.
- Proteoglycans found in connective tissue
- Mucopolysaccharides, also known as mucins, which are further classified as acid mucins and neutral mucins