biological chemistry

Difference Between Animal Fats and Plant Fats


Saturated fats and Unsaturated fats

Animal fats Vs Plant Fats
Similarities and Difference between Animal Fats and Plant Fats

Fats, oils and waxes are the general terms describing a structurally diverse bio-macromolecule called ‘lipids’. Lipids are esters of glycerol and fatty acids. One glycerol molecule is esterified with three fatty acid residues to form a triglyceride. Physical, chemical and structural diversity of fats varies with the fatty acid composition in the triglycerides. Lipids with saturated fatty acids (saturated fat) tend to be solid at room temperature (25oC) and hence we generally call it as ‘fat’. On the other hand, lipids with unsaturated fatty acids (unsaturated fat) tend to be liquid at room temperature and thus they are called ‘oils’. Lipids are present in all living organisms including Archaebacteria. They are very abundant in plants and animals. Fats of animal origin are called as ‘animal fat’ and those of plants are called ‘plant fats’. In this post we will discuss about what are the difference between animal fats and plant fats.


Similarities between animal fats and plant fats

Ø  Both animal and plant fats are triglycerides (one glycerol esterified with three fatty acid residues)

Ø  Both are food reserve of the cell

Ø  Unsaturated and saturated fats occurs in both plants and animals

Ø  Majority of the physical and chemical characters of animal and plant fats are same


Difference between Animal fats and plant fats

Animal fats (Fats)

1. Example for animal fat: Butter fat, Beef fat

2. Animals fats are relatively rich in saturated fatty acids

3. Animals fats due to their saturation, tend to stay solid at room temperature, hence commonly known as ‘fats’

4. Iodine number of animal fats will be relatively less (iodine number denote the degree of un-saturation in fatty acids)

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