noun, plural: monoglycerides
A monoglyceride is a glyceride that features a glycerol with an acyl moiety esterified to position 1 (particularly referred to as 1-monocylglycerol) or position 2 (particularly referred to as 2-monoacylglycerol. 1-monoglycerol is a type of monoglyceride wherein the fatty acid is attached to a primary alcohol. 2-monoacyglycerol is one in which the fatty acid is attached to the secondary alcohol. 2-monoacylglycerol is a major product during the degradation of triacylglycerol (triglyceride), a molecule with a glycerol and three fatty acids. Monoglycerides primarily serve as an intermediate in the degradation and synthesis of lipids.
Monoglycerides are produced naturally by hydrolysis. Two typical sources are triglycerides, through the aid of lipoprotein lipase and diglycerides, through the catalytic action of diacylglycerol lipase. Monoglycerides occur in some seed oils, e.g. olive oil, cottonseed oil, rapeseed oil, etc.
Monoglycerides are also produced artificially for industrial uses. They are used as surfactants (emulsifiers). They are used as an ingredient in ice cream, chewing gum, margarine, and confections. They are also used for increasing volume and texture in loaf bread. Monolaurin (as surfactant in cosmetics, food additive, dietary supplement, etc.), monostearin (an emulsifier and a preservative), and glyceryl hydroxystearate (as an emollient in cosmetics products) are examples of monoglycerides that are produced artificially.
Hydrolysis of monoacylglyceride results in the production of a fatty acid anion and a glycerol by the catalytic action of the enzyme, monoacylglycerol lipase.
Word origin: mono- (one) + glyceride