Encyclopedia of Lipidomics

Living Edition
| Editors: Markus R. Wenk

Straight Chain Fatty Acids

  • Harald C. Köfeler
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7864-1_18-1
Straight chain fatty acids are the basic building block in the universe of lipids. They are composed of carbon-carbon bonds in an unsubstituted and unbranched chain with one carboxylic group at one end of the chain. In higher organisms like mammals, fatty acids always consist of an even number of carbons; only lower organisms like bacteria have the ability to produce fatty acids with odd carbon numbers. The carbon numbers of frequently found fatty acids range from 4 to 26, but longer fatty acids of up to 35 carbons are also described in literature. Due to the number of carbons, they are classified into short chain fatty acids (SCFA, C2–C7), medium chain fatty acids (MCFA, C8–C13), long chain fatty acids (LCFA, C14–C19), and very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA, C20+). Straight chain fatty acids are either saturated containing just single bonds or unsaturated with one or more double bonds. Unsaturated fatty acids are categorized into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids,...


Double Bond Fatty Acid Methyl Ester Unsaturated Fatty Acid Chain Fatty Acid Carbon Number 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zentrum für Medizinische Forschung (ZMF)Medizinische Universität GrazGrazAustria