Name: Rhonda L.
What is fatty-acid estrification?
A fatty acid is a carboxylic acid (R--CO2H), where R~ 12 to 18 carbon
Esterification if the reaction of an acid, in this case a carboxylic acid
with an alcohol, with a typical structure R''--OH, to form an ester as the
product (+ H2O).
The ester then has the general formula: R--CO2--R".
Fats are esters of fatty acids and glycerol = CH2(OH)--CH(OH)--CH2(OH).
Maybe you are talking about organic (as fatty) acids esterification...
That is a condensation reaction where carboxylic acids
react with alcohols to form esters.
When plant or animal tissue ar extracted with a non-polar solvent
(as ether, chloroform, benzene) a portion of the material usually
dissolves. The components of this soluble fraction are called lipids.
Lipids include a wide variety of structural types including Carboxylic
acids (or fatty acids) and triacylglycerols(or neutral fats)..
It happens that only a small portion of the total lipid fraction consists
of free carboxylic acids.Most are found as esters of glyderol, that
is triacylglycerols( that is the acids react through esterification with
glycerols that are alcohols).
Triacylglycerols are the oils and fats of plant and animal origen,
present in common oils as peanut oil, olive oil and so on.
In older literature ( and mostly in medicine triacylgycerols
are referred as triglycerides.
Thanks for asking! and tell your friends about NEWTON!
(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)
Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives
Update: June 2012