I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I

c—c—c—c—c—c—c—c—c=c—c—c=c—c—c=c—c.—n -

HHHHH H H

Double bonds

(d) 18:3 co-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acid (linolenic acid)

Figure 5.3 (a) Saturated fatty acid showing the alpha (a) and omega (<b) carbons.

(b) The monounsaturated and (c,d) polyunsaturated fatty acids have their unsaturation points indicated.

By nature, when two adjacent carbon atoms in a fatty acid are linked to only one hydrogen atom each, the carbon atoms must bond to each other twice. Chemists call this a double bond and if a fatty acid has only one double bond, it is referred to as a monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA). Meanwhile, if there is more than one double bond, then it is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA).

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