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Introduction

Lipids are very diverse in both their respective structures and functions.
These diverse compounds that make up the lipid family are so grouped because
they are insoluble in water. They are however soluble in other organic solvents such
as ether, acetone and other lipids. Major lipid groups include fats, phospholipids,
steroids and waxes.
This definition has echoes of Bloors "simple and compound lipoids". In
practice, it is often necessary to subdivide the main groups further. For example, the
complex lipids for many purposes are best considered in terms of either the
glycerophospholipids (or simply as phospholipids), which contain a polar phosphorus
moiety and a glycerol backbone, or the glycolipids, which contain a polar
carbohydrate moiety.
For many years, lipids were considered to be intractable and uninteresting
oily materials with twomain functions to serve as a source of energy and as the
building blocks of membranes.
They were certainly not considered to be appropriate candidates for such
important molecular tasks as intracellular signaling or local hormonal regulation. In
1929, George and Mildred Burr demonstrated that linoleic acid was an essential
dietary constituent, but it was many years before the importance of this finding was
recognized by biochemists in general. With the discovery by Bergstrm, Samuelsson
and others in 1964that the essential fatty acid arachidonate was the biosynthetic
precursor of the prostaglandins with their effects on inflammation and other disease
states, the scientific world in general began to realize that lipids were much more
interesting than they had previously thought.
A major milestone was achieved in 1979 with the discovery of the first
biologically active phospholipid, platelet-activating factor. At about the same time,
there arose an awareness of the distinctive functions of phosphatidylinositol and its
metabolites. Since then, virtually every individual lipid class has been found to have
some unique biological role that is distinct from its function as a source of energy or
as a simple construction unit of a membrane. Indeed it is now recognized that lipids
in membranes function also in the trafficking of cellular constituents, the regulation
of the activities of membrane proteins and signaling. All multi-cellular organisms,
use chemical messengers to send information between organelles and to other cells
and as relatively small hydrophobic molecules, lipids are excellent candidates for
signaling purposes.
The fatty acid constituents have well-defined structural features, such as cisdouble bonds in particular positions, which can carry information by binding
selectively to specific receptors. In esterified form, they can infiltrate membranes or
be translocated across them to carry signals to other cells. During transport, they
are usually bound to proteins so their effective solution concentrations are very low,
and they are can be considered to be inactive until they reach the site of action and
encounter the appropriate receptor. Storage lipids, such as triacylglycerols, in their
cellular context are inert, and indeed esterification with fatty acids may be a

method of de-activating steroidal hormones, for example, until they are actually
required. In contrast, polar phospholipids have both hydrophobic and hydrophilic
sites that can bind via various mechanisms to membrane proteins and influence
their activities. Glycosphingolipids carry complex carbohydrate moieties that have a
part to play in the immune system, for example. Lipids have been implicated in a
number of human disease states, including cancer and cardiovascular disease,
sometimes in a detrimental and sometimes in a beneficial manner. In short, every
scientist should now be aware that lipids are just as fascinating as all the other
groups of organic compound that make up living systems.
Results
A. Acrolein Test
Sample
1. Glycerol
2. Coconut oil
3. Lecithin
4. Oleic acid

Results/Descriptions
black ppt
odor of burnt
grease
Brown ppt
odor of burnt
grease
Brown ppt
odor of burnt
grease
Black ppt
odor of burnt
grease

B. Test for Unsaturation


1.
2.
3.
4.

Sample
Glycerol
Coconut oil
Lecithin
Oleic acid

52
80
15
12

Results/Descriptions
drops
drops
drops
drops

C. Test for Phosphate


Sample
Lecithin

Results/Descriptions
Formed yellow ppt

D. Emulsification Test
Mixtures
1 mL coconut oil + 5
drops 0.1% bile salt
solution
1 mL coconut oil + 5
drops H2O tiny crystal of
cholesterol
1 mL olive oil + 5 drops

Description
White cloudy sol

White cloudy sol

White cloudy sol

Sketch

1% aqueous solution of
lecithin
E. Lieberman-Burchard or Acetic Anhydride Reaction
Samples
Cholesterol
Bile salts

Results
White cloudy sol to blue green sol
Dirty white sol with red ppt

F. Modified Furter-Meyer Test


Sample
Alpha tocopherol

Description
Bronze red solution

Description
Acrolein Test is use to detect presence of fats or glycerin. When a fat is
heated strongly in the presence of a dehydrating agent such as potassium bisulfate
(KHSO4). The glycerol portion of the molecule is dehydrated to form the unsaturated
aldehyde, acrolein (CH2=CHCHO). Acrolein has the odor peculiar to burnt cooking
grease. Further heating results in polymerization of acrolein, which is indicated by
the slight blackening of the reaction mixture. Both the pungent smell and the black
color indicate the presence of glycerol and therefore fat and/or lecithin.
Test for unsaturation is used to indicate the amount of presence of double
bonds in the lipid sample. All neutral fats contain glycerides of some unsaturated
fatty acids. These unsaturated fatty acids become saturated by taking up iodine. If
the fat contains more unsaturated fatty acids, it will take up more iodine. Iodine
solution reacts with starch producing a purple black color. The color can be detected
visually with concentrations of iodine. However the intensity of the color decreases
with increasing temperature and with the presence of water-miscible, organic
solvents such as ethanol. Also the test cannot be done at very low pHs due to the
hydrolysis of the starch under these conditions. This test identifies the level of
saturation and the number of bonds an oil, fat or lipid has. The more unsaturated,
multi-bonded, the lipid is, the more it absorbs iodine. The less iodine it absorbs, the
lipid is considered to be saturated, single bonded. The more the number of drops
required to discharge the pink color, the less is the unsaturation.
In test for phosphate, the presence of free phosphate in acidic solution can be
detected by adding a molybdate to the solution. Equation illustrates the pertinent
reaction between phosphate and ammonium molybdate solution in the presence of
nitric acid. After a few minutes, the yellow ammonium molybdo-phosphate
precipitates from the reaction mixture. When lipids containing phosphate groups in
their structures are added to a strong acid solution such as the solution used here,
the lipid hydrolyses, producing free phosphate.
Emulsification test is used to detect polar and nonpolar groups in bile and
lecithin.

Lieberman-Burchard test is used to detect the presence of cholesterol. The


cholesterol is react as a typical alcohol with a strong concentrated acids and the
product are colored substances. Acetic anhydride are used as solvent and
dehydrating agents, and the sulfuric acid is used as dehydrating and oxidizing
agent.
Modified Furter-Meyer Test is used to detect the presence of tocopherols by
giving a bronze-red solution. Only alpha - tocopherol is recognized to meet human
requirements.
Conclusion
Acrolein Test is use to detect presence of fats or glycerin. Test for
unsaturation is used to indicate the amount of presence of double bonds in the lipid
sample. In test for phosphate, the presence of free phosphate in acidic solution can
be detected by adding a molybdate to the solution. Lieberman-Burchard test is used
to detect the presence of cholesterol. Modified Furter-Meyer Test is used to detect
the presence of tocopherols by giving a bronze-red solution.