Fatty acids

  • Seldom found not as part of another molecule
  • Consist of chains containing an even number of carbon atoms, normally between fourteen and twenty-two.
  • About 70 different fatty acids are known
    • Differ in chain length
    • Differ in whether the chain contains any double bonds or not
    • Differ in the position of any double bonds
  • A fatty acid, such as stearic acid, in which there are no double bonds is saturated because bonding possibilities are fulfilled.
  • A fatty acid, such as oleic acid, thgat contains carbon atoms joined by double bonds is unsaturated because carbon atoms have the potential to form additional bonds with other atoms.
  • Unsaturated fats (tend to be oily) are more common in plants than in animals, saturated fats have higher melting temperatures.