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  • Contains carbon, hydrogen and oxygen
  • Non-polar
  • Insoluble in water

Triglycerides formed by combinining 1 glycerol and 3 fatty acids in a condensation reaction

Ester bond is formed between the two molecules

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Saturated Fatty Acids (usually in animals)

  • No carbon-carbon double bonds
  • Maximum number of hydrogens
  • High intake can cause heart disease

Unsaturated Fatty Acids (usually in plants)

  • Contains carbon-carbon double bonds
  • Doesn't have maximum number of hydrogens
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Forms plasma membrane

other roles:

  • excellent energy reserve in plants and animals
  • acts as insulator against heat loss when stored under skin
  • provides protection for interal organs against damage
  • triglycerides produce metabolic water when oxidised
  • waterproof - waxy cuticle prevents water loss 
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  • contains 2 fatty acids and 1 phosphate group
  • hydrophillic head / interacts with water / polar / phosphate and glycerol head
  • hydrophobic tail / interacts with fat / non-polar / fatty acid tail


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