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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Composition and Methods Development Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #351335

Research Project: Metabolite Profiling and Chemical Fingerprinting Methods for Characterization of Foods, Botanical Supplements, and Biological Materials

Location: Food Composition and Methods Development Laboratory

Title: Analysis of lipids: Triacylglycerols, phospholipids, fatty acids and others

Author
item Byrdwell, W Craig

Submitted to: Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fats Products
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/30/2018
Publication Date: 2/13/2020
Citation: Byrdwell, W.C. 2020. Analysis of lipids: Triacylglycerols, phospholipids, fatty acids and others. Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fats Products. 978-1-119-25788-2.. https://doi.org/10.1002/047167849X.bio087.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/047167849X.bio087

Interpretive Summary: Lipids comprise large and disparate classes of molecules having very different overall polarities; but the one characteristic they typically have in common is a non-polar hydrocarbon chain that is hydrophobic in nature. Most definitions of lipids are based on a combination of structural characteristics (i.e. hydrocarbon chains) and behavioral characteristics (i.e. insolubility in water). A typical definition comes from Miriam-Webster (1): “any of various substances that are soluble in nonpolar organic solvents (such as chloroform and ether), that are usually insoluble in water, that with proteins and carbohydrates constitute the principal structural components of living cells, and that include fats, waxes, phosphatides, cerebrosides, and related and derived compounds”. This chapter will focus mainly on the classes of edible food lipids that contain linear (sequential) hydrocarbon chains with or without one or more double bonds (DBs) (i.e. sites of unsaturation). This chapter will also focus on the most popular current method for lipid analysis, mass spectrometry (MS).

Technical Abstract: Lipids comprise large and disparate classes of molecules having very different overall polarities; but the one characteristic they typically have in common is a non-polar hydrocarbon chain that is hydrophobic in nature. Most definitions of lipids are based on a combination of structural characteristics (i.e. hydrocarbon chains) and behavioral characteristics (i.e. insolubility in water). A typical definition comes from Miriam-Webster (1): “any of various substances that are soluble in nonpolar organic solvents (such as chloroform and ether), that are usually insoluble in water, that with proteins and carbohydrates constitute the principal structural components of living cells, and that include fats, waxes, phosphatides, cerebrosides, and related and derived compounds”. This chapter will focus mainly on the classes of edible food lipids that contain linear (sequential) hydrocarbon chains with or without one or more double bonds (DBs) (i.e. sites of unsaturation). Sterols and related molecules are considered lipids, but these contain a four-ring backbone exemplified by cholesterol. But since these do not follow the rules below that describe behavior based on chain length and degree of unsaturation, they will be mentioned only briefly in this chapter. This chapter will also focus on the most popular current method for lipid analysis, mass spectrometry (MS).