Lipids have four main roles in Nature: storage materials, major membrane components, surface coverings and signalling molecules. Triacylglycerols (‘fats’) are the usual storage form, but they have a multitude of molecular forms. In many cases, the nature of their fatty acids is critical for their use. This article describes how different triacylglycerols are made by plants and then why particular fats (containing ω-3 (or n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids) are valuable in our diet.

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