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Fats and fatty oils (neutral fats) are esters of the trivalent alcohol glycerol (propane-1,2,3-triol) with three, mostly different, predominantly even-numbered and unbranched aliphatic monocarboxylic acids, the fatty acids. Compounds of this type are also called triglycerides.

The best-known fats are the substance mixtures of different fatty acid triglycerides that give them their name and are obtained from animals.

As natural substances, fats are classified as lipids and are soluble in lipophilic organic solvents such as petroleum ether, ether and benzene. With an energy density of 37 kJ/g (9 kcal/g), fats are the most important energy store for humans, animals and also some plants. In plants, fats are mainly found in seeds or germs, in animal organisms in fatty tissue. Fats and fatty oils are used as food (edible fats and oils).