Fatty acid

Three-dimensional representations of several fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids have perfectly straight chain structure. Unsaturated ones are typically bent, unless they have a trans configuration.

In chemistry, particularly in biochemistry, a fatty acid is a carboxylic acid with an aliphatic chain, which is either saturated or unsaturated. Most naturally occurring fatty acids have an unbranched chain of an even number of carbon atoms, from 4 to 28.[1] Fatty acids are a major component of the lipids (up to 70% by weight) in some species such as microalgae[2] but in some other organisms are not found in their standalone form, but instead exist as three main classes of esters: triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesteryl esters. In any of these forms, fatty acids are both important dietary sources of fuel for animals and important structural components for cells.

  1. ^ Moss, G. P.; Smith, P. A. S.; Tavernier, D. (1997). IUPAC Compendium of Chemical Terminology. Pure and Applied Chemistry. Vol. 67 (2nd ed.). International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. pp. 1307–1375. doi:10.1351/pac199567081307. ISBN 978-0-521-51150-6. S2CID 95004254. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  2. ^ Chen, Lin (2012). "Biodiesel production from algae oil high in free fatty acids by two-step catalytic conversion". Bioresource Technology. 111: 208–214. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2012.02.033. PMID 22401712.

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