Wax Esters Fatty Acids and Alcohols

Wax esters arise from linkages between long-chain fatty acids and alcohols, and are usually the main components of cuticular wax. Free (unesterified) long-chain fatty acids and alcohols are also usually present. Existing procedures for analyzing plant wax markers hydrolyze wax esters into their component fatty acids and alcohols, and thus quantify total fatty acids and alcohols. The esters, free fatty acids, and alcohols have therefore not yet been evaluated as markers. The relatively high fecal recoveries of fatty acids and alcohols, plus their wide variation in pattern between plants species means that the compounds have great potential to complement n-alkanes as diet composition markers.

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