Wax ester

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Triacontanyl palmitate, a typical wax ester, is derived from triacontanyl alcohol and palmitic acid.

A wax ester is an ester of a fatty acid and a fatty alcohol.[1] Wax esters have similar chemical properties to triglycerides, but are indigestible. They are found in some fish such as orange roughy, oilfish, escolar, black oreo, smooth oreo and other deep water fish. They are also present in marine copepods and the beaked whales. In humans, wax esters are a major component of the lipids produced by skin cells.[2] Wax esters are also found in some plants, notably jojoba, and in a few bacteria such as some Acinetobacter in which it is used as a store of energy.[3]


  1. ^ Uwe Wolfmeier, Hans Schmidt, Franz-Leo Heinrichs, Georg Michalczyk, Wolfgang Payer, Wolfram Dietsche, Klaus Boehlke, Gerd Hohner, Josef Wildgruber "Waxes" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2002. doi:10.1002/14356007.a28_103.
  2. ^ Lampe, M.A.; A.L. Burlingame; J. Whitney; M.L. Williams; B.E. Brown; E. Roitman; M. Elias (1983). "Human stratum corneum lipids: characterization and regional variations". J. Lipid Res. 24: 120–130. 
  3. ^ Fixter, Nagi, McCormack, Fewson, J. Gen. Microbiol., 132, 3147-3157 (1986)

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