How does one synthesise 2-monoglycerides from triglycerides with additional ingredients if necessary?

My first instinct would be to add a catalyst for the reaction of $triglyceride \rightarrow 3 FA + glycerol$ (FA=fatty acid; for instance a catalyst could be sodium hydroxide) and then add additional glycerol so as to cause the reaction: $FA + glycerol \rightarrow 2$-$monoglyceride $ to occur but I just wanted to ask if this is true because to me this seems too simple to be true.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It is too simple to be true. In such way you will get mixture of 1- and 2-monoglicerides with some products of further reactions. $\endgroup$
    – permeakra
    Dec 13, 2012 at 11:56

1 Answer 1


One way I have learnt is by taking a page out of the human body's book and using pancreatic lipase, found in pancreatic juice, to catalyse the reaction:

$triglyceride+ 2H_2 O \rightleftharpoons 2$-$monoglyceride+2 FAA$

Where FAA stands for, 'Fatty acid anion.'

If someone has a better answer I'll readily accept it over this one, this is just one method.


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