Answer to Question #93387 in Biochemistry for Kylie

Question #93387
Explain how length and degree of saturation of fatty acids influence their
physical and physiological properties.
Expert's answer

The chain length and degree of saturation explain the properties that are found within the fatty acids and lipids. Unsaturated fatty acids have lower melting points than saturated fatty acids of the same length. Because double bonds cause the hydrocarbon chain to bend and thus the bend or the kink introduced disturbs the end to end packing of the side chains of the fatty acids thus lowering the melting and boiling point as now less energy will be required to disrupt their structure when compared to saturated fatty aids. For the same reason saturated fatty acids are solid at room temperature and unsaturated fatty acids are liquid.

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