Meaning of the term

name of the term :



In cream from cow's milk


Palmitic acid is a saturated fatty acid. Fatty acids occur as triacylglycerols (also known as triglycerides) that make up to 98% of the fat content in breast milk.. Triacylglycerols are the main components in fatty oils and fats. If the palmitic acid[CA1]  is bound to the middle glycerol molecule, it is given the name β-palmitate, beta-palmitate or SN2-palmitate. In breast milk, about 70% of the palmitic acids are located at this middle position.

In cow's milk, this drops to around 40%, whereas in vegetable oils it is only around 10%.


Beta-palmitate supplies energy. The energy needs of an infant are high. In breast milk, about 50% of the energy comes from fat. Almost 100% of breast milk fats are triacylglycerols. Studies on premature and full-term newborns show that beta-palmitate may have a beneficial effect on the absorption of fat and calcium. In addition, fewer faecal calcium soaps appear to be formed, which may manifest itself in softer stools. Positive observations have also been made with regard to bone strength. In addition, beta-palmitate may influence the microbial composition of the intestinal flora in the first weeks of life by stimulating the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.

Synonyms : β-palmitate, SN2-palmitate