General Information

Omegas consist of 3 forms of N-3’s, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) The main difference between these EPF’s is the location of the double bond, number of double bonds and the number of carbons in the chain. These differences change the function of the EPFs.

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N-3s belong to a family of PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids), this family contain conjugated and the other types of PUFAs. EFAs are distinct structures. They are chains that very long, linking together carbons and covered by hydrogens (see figure 1).

When there are not enough hydrogens, the molecule forms the double bond(s), making the EFA curl in molecular structure. These oils also will form into thick substances, at considerably lowered temperatures. The familiar sources in the kitchen that have this type of oil include Olive oil, Canola Oil, and Fish Oil (see figure 2).

When hydrogens cover the long carbon molecule, then it is considered to be saturated. This saturated molecule is called saturated fat and is common in thick oils at room temperatures such as margarine and the lard, such as the lard from bacon, when cooled to room temperature. The following chart are known melting points (see table 1).

Acid
Name
Number of
Carbons
Number of
Double Bonds
Melting
Point
Oleic1814
Linoleic182-5
Linolenic183-11
Arachidonic204-50

There most recognized test for saturation or unsaturation is known as the bromine test. This tests for how many hydrogens are missing from these molecules is called the bromide water test, where bromide is added to a solution to bromide, if bromide disappears when added to the solution, then the molecule is saturated. When added, bromine is unable to fit into the module. That makes the solution darken.  It is without to say, bromine itself is carcinogenic and hazardous. All of the properties described make specific fatty acids unique, each containing chemical properties, and some have physiological functions, playing an essential and crucial role in the chemistry of life.

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