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What are lipids ? Explain the following properties of lipids: 

(i) Amphipathic nature 

(ii) Saponification 

(iii) Hydrogenation

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Lipids: Lipids are a broad group of naturally-occurring molecules which includes fats, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E and K), monoglycerides, diglycerides, phospholipids, and others. The main biological functions of lipids include energy storage, as structural components of cell membranes, and as important signaling molecules. Lipids are largely hydrocarbon like, and therefore do not dissolve in water but in non-polar solvents like diethyl ether and benzene.

Properties :

Amphipathic nature : Most membrane lipids are amphipathic, having a non-polar end and a polar end. The amphiphilic nature of some lipids allows them to form structures such as vesicles, liposomes, or membranes in an aqueous environment.

Saponification : The hydrolysis of triacylglycerol in the presence of sufficient sodium hydroxide is called saponification. The fatty acids are released as sodium salts and the mixture of these salts of long-chain fatty acids is soap.

Hydrogenation : Vegetable oils (liquids) are generally less expensive to produce than animal fats (solids). Using hydrogenation, chemists can break some of the carbon-carbon double bonds and replace them with hydrogen to make them chemically identical to the triacylglycerols in animal fats. Breaking one of the three double bonds in the molecule above can make the product melt above room temperature.

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