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Saturated Fatty Acids

These are naturally occurring fatty acids having an even number of carbon atoms ranging between 4 and 30. The genral formula is Ch3 (CH2)n­COOH .A fatty acid molecule has a polar end with a free hydroxyl group and a nonpolar end with hydrocarbon chain. It can be represented
 Hydrocarbon chain

palmitic Acid

Palmitic Acid

The properties of fatty acids depend on both polar (Hydrophylic) and non polor (hydrophobic) group. The polar end shows affinity with water, while the non polar end shuns water, hence hydrophobic. This amphipathic behavior of fatty acids determines their behavior and orientation when dispersed in water. They form monolayers with their polar ends facing water and non – polar ends directed away from it.

Fatty acids with less carbon atoms are readily miscible with water, e.g., acetic acid and propionic acid, but solubility decreases as the number of carbon atoms increase in the hydrocarbon chain. Gives some important fatty acids along with their melting points. Saturated fatty acids

lipids dissolved in aqueous medium form mololayers

with less than 10 carbon atoms are liquid at room temperature, and those having more are solids. Melting points also increases with increasing number of carbon atoms.

saturated fatty acids

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