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Fatty acids are important component of lipids fatsoluble components of living cells in plants, animals, and microorganisms. Generally, a fatty acid consists of a straight chain of an even number of carbon atoms, with hydrogen atoms along the length of the chain and at one end of the chain and a carboxyl group ?COOH at the other end. It is this carboxyl group that makes it an acid carboxylic acid. If the carbontocarbon bonds are all single, the acid is saturated; if any of the bonds is double or triple, the acid is unsaturated and is more reactive. A few fatty acids have branched chains; others contain ring structures e.g., prostaglandins. Fatty acids are not found in a free state in nature; commonly they exist in combination with the alcohol glycerol in the form of triglyceride.
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