2.1.4 Cyclic fatty acids

These acids are rather uncommon but, nevertheless, examples provide important metabolic inhibitors. The ring structures are usually either cyclopropyl or cyclopentyl. Cyclopropane and cyclopropene fatty acids are produced by many bacteria and are also found in some plants and fungi (Table 2.4).

2.1.5 Oxy acids

A great range of keto, hydroxy and epoxy acids has been identified in recent years. The most widely occurring epoxy acid is vernolic acid. Hydroxy acids do not occur very extensively although they occur generally in some sphingolipids. They are

Table 2.3 Some naturally occurring polyunsaturated fatty acids

No. of carbon Systemic name atoms

Common name

Melting point


Dienoic acids 18

cis,cis-6,9-octadecadienoic cis,cis-9,12-octadecadienoic


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