Fatty acid, in biochemistry is a saturated or unsaturated carboxylic acid that consists of long aliphatic chain. Fatty acids that are derived naturally have even number of carbon atoms i.e. from 4 to 28 in the chain. Fatty acids are derived from phospholipids and triglycerides. When these are detached to another molecule, they are free fatty acids. As fatty acids yield a large amount of ATP after metabolism, they are said to be an important source of fuel. Various cell types use fatty acids or glucose as source of fuel. Particularly, skeletal muscle, brain and heart use fatty acids as a fuel source. Types of fatty acids vary based on length of free fatty acids and carbon bonds. The fatty acids with carbon-carbon double bonds are unsaturated fatty acids and those fatty acids fatty acids make upto 46% of human fat. Many animals cannot synthesize more than one fatty acids and hence they have to ingest it through food. Fatty acids undergo reactions similar to carboxylic acids such as acid base reactions and esterification. The reactions include hydrogenation and hardening, auto-oxidation and rancidity, acidity, ozonolysis and analysis.
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Fatty acids are used in the human nutrition as deficiency of fatty acids may lead to biological effects. Other areas of applications include pharmaceuticals where fatty acids are used as an inactive ingredient in preparation of drugs and as carriers for lipid formulation. They act as a part of complex lipids and therefore are used in the manufacture of cosmetics, soaps, fat liposomes and emulsions. Hence fatty acids also find its place in the personal hygiene products. The primary end uses of fatty acids include Synthetic organic detergents, paints, varnishes, rubber compounding, textile chemicals, insecticides, plastic and plastic fabrication, synthetic rubber formulations and paper and paper products among others.
The major driving factors of fatty acid market are growing demand from personal and home care products and emerging economies in the Central and South America. In addition, the increasing demand from the detergent and soap industry is expected to fuel market growth of fatty acids in near future. Biological effects due to deficiency of fatty acids are expected to hamper the growth of fatty acids. Potential effects include blood pressure, stroke, coronary artery disease, inflammation among others.
The key regional segments for fatty acid market include North America, Asia Pacific, Europe and Rest of the World (RoW). Asia Pacific is expected to be the largest consumer of fatty acid. China is the major consumer in Asia Pacific as they consume large amount of fatty acid in production of soap and detergents. Rest of the World is expected to show significant growth in near future. Europe is also anticipated to grow due to huge imports mainly in Turkey.
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Some of the major companies in the market include Aker Biomarine, BASF, Aurora Algae, Acasti Pharma, Croda International, Golden Omega, GC Rieber Oils, Jiangsu Auqi Marine Biotechnology, Maruha Nichiro Foods, Omega Protein, Nippon Suisan Kaisha(Nissui), Solutex GC, Stepan, Sinomega Biotech Engineering and TASA Omega among others.
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