Glycerol Ester of Fatty Acid
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid (one containing an oxo group, X=O) with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH (hydroxyl) group is replaced by an -O-alkyl (alkoxy) group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and alcohols. Esters are ubiquitous. Many naturally occurring fats and oils are the fatty acid esters of glycerol. Esters with low molecular weight are commonly used as fragrances and found in essential oils and pheromones. Phosphoesters form the backbone of DNA molecules. Nitrate esters, such as nitroglycerin, are known for their explosive properties, while polyesters are important plastics, with monomers linked by ester moieties. Glycerol is an organic compound, also commonly called glycerin or glycerine. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations. Glycerol has three hydrophilic hydroxyl groups that are responsible for its solubility in water and its hygroscopic nature. The glycerol substructure is a central component of many lipids. Glycerol is sweet-tasting and of low toxicity.