triglyceride, ester formed from glycerol and one to three fatty acids. Fats and oils are triglycerides. In a simple triglyceride such as palmitin or stearin, all three fatty-acid groups are identical. In a mixed triglyceride, two or even three different fatty-acid groups are present; most fats and oils contain mixed triglycerides.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.