Fatty acids vary in length and in the number and location of double bonds; three fatty acids linked to a glycerol molecule form fat. On the basis of nutritional value, the fatty acids are classified into two. They are essential and non essential fatty acids.
Essential fatty acids: the fatty acids which cannot be synthesized by the animal body are called essential fatty acids. The essential fatty acids promote growth and maintain integrity.
Example: Arachidonic acid, Linoleic acid and Linolenic acid.
Non essential fatty acids: The fatty acids which can be synthesized by the body are called non essential fatty acids.
Example: Palmitic acid, Stearic acid etc.