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Fatty Acids

Neutral fats are compounds which are esters of monocarboxylic fatty acids where the alcohol component is always a glycerol molecule with three hydroxyl groups. Since there are three OH group, glycerol can form mono,di or triesters. When a single fatty acid is esterified to glycerol, the fat is known as monoacyl- glycerol. Similarly two and three fatty acids esterified to glycerol will form diacyl and triacyl glycerols respectively. Hydrolysis of a neutral fat, e.g., triacylglycerol will release the fatty acid components and the glycerol moiety. Fatty acids occur in the free form, but in animals they are rarely obtainable free. In naturally occurring fats, fatty acids have an even number of carbon atoms. They may be divided into two broad categories, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.

Hydrolysis of a triacylglycerol

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