Fatty acid Nomenclature
Fatty acids can be named in a number of ways; mostly used are common name(denoting their origin and place of occurrence etc), symbolic name (based upon thestructure and arrangement of carbon atoms), and systematic name (based on IUPACnomenclature).
Oleic acid got its common name as it is present abundant in olive oil.
Symbolic name can be written as x
where x is the number of Carbons in thechain, y is the number of double bonds. a, b, and c represent the positions of thestart of the double bonds from C1,the carboxyl C.
Saturated fatty acids contain no C-C double bonds.
Monounsaturated fatty acids contain one C=C bond.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids contain more than 1 C=C bond.
configuration is present usually in the double bonds in fatty acids.
Almost all the fatty acids occurring in nature have an even number of carbon atoms.
Systematic name is given using IUPAC nomenclature. It gives the number of carbons present in a particular fatty acid. If the fatty acid is unsaturated, the basename reflects the number of double bonds.Examples:
-linolenic acidSystematic name: octadecatrienoic acidSymbolic Representation: 18:3
Common name: palmitic acidSystematic name: hexadecanoic acidSymbolic Representation: 16:0 (here the number of double bonds is 0since it is a saturated fatty acid.