• 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

1 of 4


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
2 of 4


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 
3 of 4


  • 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


4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar Biology resources:

See all Biology resources »See all Biological molecules resources »