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Glycerol Lipids

Neutral Lipids

Neutral  fats are triacylglycerols which are esters of fatty acids with glycerol. Glycerol has three hydroxyl group and all of them can be esterified with three molecules of fatty acids.


When glycerol reacts with one molecule of fatty acid it is called a monoglyceride. Similarly when two fatty acid molecules react with a molecule of glycerol, a diglyceride is formed. The fatty acid molecules may be identical or different.
Fats are also named after the type of fatty acid molecule involved in esterification. Thus, stearic acid (C17H35COOH) esterified with glycerol forms tristerarin, and palmitic acid (C15H31COOH) forms tripalmitin.


Neutral lipids occur mostly in natural form and are abundantly present in seeds and animal fats. Most animal fats are rich in palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids in varying ratios. Their main function is to serve as energy stores in the body.

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