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Identification of type of fatty acid in kitchen

Since you forgot to label the fatty acid and the only experimental apparatus you have is a freezer how could you tell which one is which, explain?

You have three fatty acid in your kitchen but you forgot to label them. They are all the same length (they all have 20 carbons each)One is a saturated fatty acid, the other two you have exactly one double bond between the number 6 and the number 7 omega Carbons (they are omega 6 fatty acids). One of the unsaturated fatty acid is in the cis configuration and the other is trans configuration. Describe the relative shape of the three fatty acids. Since you forgot to label the fatty acid the only experimental apparatus you have is a freezer how could you tell which one is which, explain?

Solution Preview

Saturated fatty acids do not contain any double bonds or other functional groups along the chain. The term "saturated" refers to hydrogen, in that all carbons (apart from the carboxylic acid [-COOH] group) contain as many hydrogens as possible. In other words, the omega (ω) end contains 3 hydrogens (CH3-) and each carbon within the chain contains 2 hydrogen. Saturated fatty acids form straight chains and, as a result, can be packed together very tightly, allowing living organisms to store chemical energy very densely.

Unsaturated fatty acids are of similar form, except that one or more alkenyl functional groups exist along the chain, with each alkene substituting a singly-bonded " -CH2-CH2-" part of the chain with a doubly-bonded "-CH=CH-" portion (that is, a carbon double bonded to another carbon).

The two next carbon atoms in the chain that are bound to either side of the double bond can occur in a cis or trans configuration.

cis
A cis configuration means that the two carbons are on the same side of ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides an explanation on how to identify the three types of fatty acids in a kitchen household. It has been provided that we have only the freezer to carry out the task. The solution first provides the basic information on the types of fatty acids, their properties and structures that makes them different and then in the last it provides how we can differentiate the type of fatty acid using a freezer.

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