An organic, aliphatic acid found in animal and vegetable fats and oil. Fatty acids have an even numbered hydrocarbon chain that ends in a carboxylic acid group (-COOH). Saturated fatty acids, such as butyric (C4), lauric (C12), palmitic (C16) and stearic (C18), do not have any carbon-carbon double bonds and are used as salad oils, plasticizers, soaps, and candles. Unsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic, linoleic, and linolenic (all C18), are commonly found in drying oils. They are used in paints, varnishes, and plastic products.
Synonyms and Related Terms
acido graso (Esp.); acid gras (Fr.); acidi grassi (It)
Sources Checked for Data in Record
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- Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com Comment: "fatty acid." Encyclopædia Britannica. 9 Nov. 2004 .
- Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online, http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 2000