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Chemistry LibreTexts


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  • Glycerides and waxes are lipids with have an ester as the major functional group and include: waxes, triglycerides, and phospholipids.

    • Phosphoglycerides or Phospholipids
      Phospholipids are similar to the triglycerides with a couple of exceptions. Phospholglycerides are esters of only two fatty acids, phosphoric acid and a trifunctional alcohol - glycerol (IUPAC name is 1,2,3-propantriol). The fatty acids are attached to the glycerol at the 1 and 2 positions on glycerol through ester bonds. There may be a variety of fatty acids, both saturated and unsatured, in the phospholipids.
    • Triglycerides
      Triglycerides are esters of fatty acids and a trifunctional alcohol - glycerol. The properties of fats and oils follow the same general principles as already described for the fatty acids. The important properties to be considered are: melting points and degree of unsaturation from component fatty acids.

    Thumbnail: An example of a phosphatidylcholine, a type of phospholipid in lecithin. Red - choline and phosphate group; Black - glycerol; Green - unsaturated fatty acid; Blue - saturated fatty acid. Image used with permission (Public Domain; ).