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Coloured Triglycerides

Fatty acid chains absorb light.
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Triglycerides contain long hydrocarbon chains. Three of them, to be precise. Unsaturated fats have double bonds in these chains.

But supposed you used conjugated double bonds in your hydrocarbon chains. Then your chains would absorb various wavelengths of light. Make several of these fats have chains of different lengths, mix them together, and only a few wavelengths would reflect, and you would see colour.

Besides being hideously unstable, and almost impossible to synthesize, this would be a most awesome feat.

Cuit_au_Four, Sep 14 2006

Fluorescent lipids http://www.nature.c.../full/nmeth728.html
Pretty close? [jmvw, Sep 14 2006]

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       How do the "conjugated double bonds" in your colored triglys differ from the double bonds in unsaturated fats? Are you conjugating them to something other that hydrogen?
bungston, Sep 14 2006
  

       //this would be a most awesome feat.//
Is awesome really the right word? I mean, pink butter is only going to be exciting the first couple of times, after that you're just going to get used to it.
zen_tom, Sep 14 2006
  

       //Is awesome really the right word? I mean, pink butter is only going to be exciting the first couple of times, after that you're just going to get used to it.//   

       I think he means scientifcally not aesthetically zen'.
webfishrune, Sep 14 2006
  

       "Conjugated" means the double and single bonds alternate, ie /\/\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\/\/\ or ------=-=-=-=---   

       as opposed to the isolated double bonds in a normal "unsaturated" chain. This has the effect of creating a large system of pi-electrons which forms a large section of the molecule which absorbs and emits light in the visible spectrum.
K o R, Sep 16 2006
  

       I honestly don't know if a continuously conjugated linear hydrocarbon will ever absorb in the visible range, no matter how long you make it. Even if it will, from the "flourescent lipids" paper it looks like you'd have to do more than 5 continguous conjugated bonds. At that point you're basically making polyacetylene and it can be expected to oxidize fairly readily under ambient conditions.
iamanangelchaser, Nov 29 2006
  
      
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