Glyceride

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This article is about a type of chemical substances within the group of lipids. For the worm family, see Glyceridae.
Triacetin, the simplest possible fat after Triformin

Glycerides, more correctly known as acylglycerols, are esters formed from glycerol and fatty acids.

Glycerol has three hydroxyl functional groups, which can be esterified with one, two, or three fatty acids to form monoglycerides, diglycerides, and triglycerides.

Vegetable oils and animal fats contain mostly triglycerides, but are broken down by natural enzymes (lipases) into mono and diglycerides and free fatty acids.

Soaps are formed from the reaction of glycerides with sodium hydroxide. The product of the reaction is glycerol and salts of fatty acids. Fatty acids in the soap emulsify the oils in dirt, enabling the removal of oily dirt with water.

Partial glycerides are esters of glycerol with fatty acids, where not all the hydroxyl groups are esterified. Since some of their hydroxyl groups are free their molecules are polar. Partial glycerides may be monoglycerides (two hydroxyl groups free) or diglycerides (one hydroxyl group free). Short chain partial glycerides are more strongly polar than long chain partial glycerides, and have excellent solvent properties for many hard-to-solubilize drugs, making them valuable as excipients in improving the formulation of certain pharmaceuticals.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sasol Olefins & Surfactants - Excipients for Pharmaceuticals. Partial glycerides (page 10)