Creating energy and valuable products from fruit waste

Waste from the citrus industry can provide biogas and valuable products for a range of industries. This has been shown by Lukitawesa, who recently defended his doctoral thesis at the Department of Resource Recovery and Building ...

Boost to develop microalgae into health foods

Dietary supplementation of fatty acids produced from microalgae have wide-reaching health benefits for humans, including the ability to reduce obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease, preventing hair loss, and assisting ...

Making heads or tails out of phospholipid synthesis

Most scientists agree that life on Earth began about 4 billion years ago, but they don't agree where—on land or in water. They know that about 2 billion years ago, single-celled organisms evolved into complex plants and ...

New mechanism for anti-infection effects of dietary fiber

New research in mice has uncovered a previously unknown interaction between molecules derived from dietary fiber and an immune cell protein, which triggers protection against infection with Salmonella bacteria. Hitoshi Tsugawa ...

A new tool to create chemical complexity from fatty acids

Hokkaido University WPI-ICReDD researchers developed a modular catalyst that can accurately modify fatty acid derivatives in a hitherto inaccessible position. This enables the efficient production of valuable compounds from ...

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Fatty acid

In chemistry, especially biochemistry, a fatty acid is a carboxylic acid often with a long unbranched aliphatic tail (chain), which is either saturated or unsaturated. Carboxylic acids as short as butyric acid (4 carbon atoms) are considered to be fatty acids, whereas fatty acids derived from natural fats and oils may be assumed to have at least eight carbon atoms, caprylic acid (octanoic acid), for example. The most abundant natural fatty acids have an even number of carbon atoms because their biosynthesis involves acetyl-CoA, a coenzyme carrying a two-carbon-atom group (see fatty acid synthesis).

Fatty acids are produced by the hydrolysis of the ester linkages in a fat or biological oil (both of which are triglycerides), with the removal of glycerol. See oleochemicals.

Fatty acids are aliphatic monocarboxylic acids derived from, or contained in esterified form in, an animal or vegetable fat, oil, or wax. Natural fatty acids commonly have a chain of four to 28 carbons (usually unbranched and even numbered), which may be saturated or unsaturated. By extension, the term is sometimes used to embrace all acyclic aliphatic carboxylic acids. This would include acetic acid, which is not usually considered a fatty acid because it is so short that the triglyceride triacetin made from it is substantially miscible with water and is thus not a lipid.

The blend of fatty acids exuded by mammalian skin, together with lactic acid and pyruvic acid, are probably as distinctive as fingerprints, and enable dogs to differentiate between various people. A team from Yale University have in 2009 developed the electronic equivalent of a dog's sense of smell.

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