Difference Between Glucose and Cellulose (With Table)

Every living being has its sources of energy, and there are different activities and processes involved in the production of energy. Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Vitamins, and minerals are the main sources of energy for humans. Similarly, Glucose and cellulose are part of the food consumed by plants for obtaining energy.

Glucose vs Cellulose

The difference between Glucose and Cellulose is that glucose can be consumed by any organism, and cellulose cannot be easily consumed and digested by humans and animals. There are many other differences between glucose and cellulose in reference to their manufacturing process, form, usage, consumption, absorption, solubility, and diet. 

Glucose is also known as dextrose. It is a part of carbohydrate groups called simple sugars. These simple sugars are called Monosaccharides. The molecular formula of glucose is C6H12O6. It is found in plants, fruits, and honey. It is of great importance to animals, humans, and plants.

Cellulose linked D-glucose refers to an organic compound found in Plants. For green plants, it is an important constituent of the structure of the primary cell wall. The molecular formula of cellulose is C6H10O5. Cellulose is secreted by certain species for the formation of biofilms.

Comparison Table Between Glucose and Cellulose

Parameters of ComparisonGlucoseCellulose
Manufacturing ProcessThe process of photosynthesis is used for the production of Glucose. After the dissolution of glucose as energy and storage in the form of starch, cellulose is made from the chains of glucose.  
FormSimple sugar is another term used while referring to Glucose. A complex carbohydrate is another term used while referring to Cellulose.
UsageEnergy or stored energy in plants that assists them in their growth and development is obtained from glucose.Cellulose acts as a strengthening agent for a plant as it helps make roots, stems, and leaves strong.
Absorption & DigestionAbsorption and Digestion of glucose are easy for all organisms. Absorption and Digestion of glucose are easy for plants but not all organisms.
Human DietGlucose has proven to be a source of energy in the human diet as well.For a human diet, Cellulose has proven not to be a source of energy.

What is Glucose?

The term ‘Glucose’ has been derived from ‘glyks’, a Greek word meaning ‘sweet’. Photosynthesis is a process in which plants produce their food with the help of carbon dioxide, water, chlorophyll, and sunlight. And glucose is a result of this process. Glucose is essential for any living organism’s bodily functions, growth, nourishment, and mobility. When there is an excess of glucose in animals and humans, it is stored as glycogen. In the case of plants, it is stored in the roots and seeds. 

Glucose is a part of complex carbohydrates but is commonly regarded as a simple sugar. The presence of Glucose in carbohydrate and starchy foods such as potatoes and bread is abundant. It is broken down after consumption in the form of food for energy usage by the human body.

Glucose is stored in the form of starch in plants and is found in the sap. Plants use glucose for energy and the development of various parts, including roots, stems, leaves, and fruits. In the human diet, glucose is a source of energy obtained through common foods, but if necessary, it is also provided in the form of tablets, powders. In the condition of diabetes, it is given in the form of dextrose. Glucose is a necessary body fuel but can have adverse effects if it is not at an optimal level. 

What is Cellulose?

The term ‘Cellulose’ has been derived from ‘cellula’, a Latin word meaning ‘biological cell’—the process of photosynthesis results in the formation of glucose. When plants link this glucose together, it results in the formation of long chains of glucose. And these long chains of glucose result in the formation of cellulose. 

Cellulose is a crucial part of a plant body and a very common organic compound. And in general, it is found in the cell wall of a plant. The long chains of glucose are called polysaccharides. If we break down the word, poly means many, and saccharine means sugar or glucose. The formation of these polysaccharides helps plants in building their cell wall. It also helps in strengthening various parts, including roots, stems, and leaves.

Cellulose is also widely used by humans for making different things. For example, it is used for manufacturing clothing materials, including cotton and jute, making paper, cellophane, and even explosives. It is used by scientists for filtering liquids and insulation in buildings by the construction industry. Even if the human body does not break down cellulose, it provides fibre that helps in moving small intestines and defecation. It is highly recommended for people suffering from diarrhoea. 

Main Differences Between Glucose and Cellulose

  1. The process of photosynthesis is used for the production of Glucose. And cellulose is composed of the chains of glucose.
  2. In simple terms, Glucose is considered sugar, and cellulose is considered a complex carbohydrate.
  3. Energy or stored energy for the plant’s growth and development is the primary use of Glucose in Plants. Whereas being a strengthening agent in stems, roots, and leaves is the primary use of Cellulose in Plants.
  4. Absorption and digestion of Glucose are simple for plants as well as humans and animals. On the contrary, absorption and digestion of Cellulose are simple for plants but not for humans and animals.
  5. Glucose can be a source of energy for the human diet, but cellulose cannot.


Both Glucose and Cellulose are present in plants. Cellulose, identified as polysaccharides, is composed of chains of glucose. Both Glucose and Cellulose are very important for the growth and development of plants. It helps them in building cell walls, strengthen various parts, develop energy, and use this energy for different mechanisms. Glucose is not only necessary for the growth and development of plants but also for animals and humans. 


  1. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161/01.cir.99.4.578
  2. https://inis.iaea.org/search/search.aspx?orig_q=RN:17038890
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