Q:

What are the building blocks of fat?

A:

Quick Answer

The building blocks of fat molecules are glycerol and fatty acids. Fat is simply fatty acids attached to glycerol. Fatty acids are carboxylic acids that are either saturated or unsaturated. Glycerol is a clear liquid that tastes sweet, explains Encyclopedia Britannica.

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Full Answer

A fat molecule consists of one molecule of glycerol and three molecules of fatty acids. The glycerol serves as the fat molecule's backbone. Depending on the number of fatty acid chains present, fat molecules are characterized as triglycerides, diglycerides or monoglycerides, exlpains Chemistry Explained. Triglyceride fat molecules have three fatty acid chains, diglycerides have two, and monoglycerides have one.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are fats broken down into?

    A:

    Fat is broken down into glycerol and fatty acids. Fat breakdown is called lipolysis and is performed by proteins called lipases. Once the fat is broken down, the human body can either utilize it directly for energy or use it to synthesize glucose.

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  • Q:

    What is vegetable glycerin?

    A:

    Vegetable glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a plant-based oil produced from soybeans, palm kernels and coconuts, according to Global Healing Center. PubChem explains that cottonseed and olive oil also yield glycerol. These aforementioned vegetable oils yield more glycerol than animal fats found in lard and tallow. Glycerol is found naturally in all animal and vegetable cells as lipids.

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  • Q:

    Is vegetable glycerin safe to eat?

    A:

    WebMD states that vegetable glycerin, also known as glycerol, is generally safe to consume orally for most people. It is possible for the ingredient to cause some side effects such as vomiting, dizziness, headaches and diarrhea. Glycerol is a popular remedy for constipation due to its ability to pull water into intestines and dissolve solid stools.

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  • Q:

    How do phospholipids differ from triglycerides?

    A:

    Both phospholipids and triglycerides have an glycerol group to which their other functional groups are attached, but where triglycerides have three fatty acid chains bonded to the glycerol, phospholipids replace one of the fatty acid chains with a phosphate group. This has significant chemical repercussions, with phospholipids being both polar at their phosphate group and non-polar at their fatty acids. Both types of lipid are very important in biological systems; phospholipids in particular are the main structural element in cell membranes.

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