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Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

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10.1007/s00431-009-0990-4

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Lipids

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Publish Date: 2009
Volume: , Issue:, Pages: 158-247
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Abstract

Lipids are formed from structural units with a pronounced hydrophobicity. This solubility characteristic, rather than a common structural feature, is unique for this class of compounds. Lipids are soluble in organic solvents but not in water. Water insolubility is the analytical property used as the basis for their facile separation from proteins and carbohydrates. Some lipids are surface-active since they are amphiphilic molecules (contain both hydrophilic and hydrophobic moieties). Hence, they are polar and thus distinctly different from neutral lipids. The two approaches generally accepted for lipid classification are presented in Table 3.1. The majority of lipids are derivatives of fatty acids. In these so-called acyl lipids the fatty acids are present as esters and in some minor lipid groups in amide form (Table 3.1). The acyl residue influences strongly the hydrophobicity and the reactivity of the acyl lipids.


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