Triglycerides

  • Triglycerides are made up of 3 fatty acid chains attached to a glycerol molecule
  • They are bonded by an ester bond formed through condensation reactions
Triglycerides diagram

Triglycerides diagram

Triglycerides are formed under condensation reactions between Glycerol (C3H8O3) and fatty acids. The result of this reaction is a water molecule that forms one part of the triglyceride, with 3 forming together though an ester bond.

Saturated: C-C

Unsaturated: C=C

Saturated Fatty Acids

  • Every Carbon atom is bonded to as many hydrogen atoms as possible, no more can be added hence they are “saturated with hydrogens”
  • Triglycerides consisting of saturated fatty acids can pack together to form solid fats at room temperature
  • Carbon chains are straight with no kinks
  • Mainly food in animals and dairy products contain saturated fats

Unsaturated Fats

  • Triglycerides consistent of a “kink” in its chain at the double bond point.
  • They do not pack together easily, and form liquid oils at room temperature
  • The more double bonds, the more kinks it will have in the chain
  • Double bonds introduce a definite “kink” in the carbon atom chain
  • Not every carbon atom are bonded to as many hydrogen atoms as it could be – hence unsaturated (with hydrogen) there are double bonds
  • Mainly found in vegetable oils, nuts and fish

Triglycerides are lipids that are an important source of energy for the body. Triglycerides are broken down and reassembled in the body.