Wax esters are produced by combining one fatty alcohol molecule with one fatty acid. Organic acids typically have a carboxyl (-COOH) group. Alcohols have a hydroxyl (-OH) group. Organic acids and Alcohols join to form esters. In wax esters, the hydroxyl group of the fatty alcohol joins the carboxyl group of the fatty acid to form ester bonds. There are diverse types of wax esters, with the primary differences being between saturated and unsaturated types. Saturated wax esters possess a higher melting point and are likely to be solid at room temperature. Compared with saturated wax esters, unsaturated wax esters have a lower melting point and are more apt to be liquid at room temperature. Both fatty acids and fatty alcohols may be of different carbon chain length. In addition, there are numerous different possible combinations of fatty acids and fatty alcohols and each combination will have a unique group of properties in terms of phase transition and steric orientation.
Citation InformationMelissa George. "waxesters" (2017)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/creativeproteomics/28/