To this attitude he offered uncompromising opposition, and by the synthetical production of numerous hydrocarbons, natural fats, sugars and other bodies he proved that organic compounds can be formed by ordinary methods of chemical manipulation and obey the same laws as inorganic substances, thus exhibiting the "creative character in virtue of which chemistry actually realizes the abstract conceptions of its theories and classifications - a prerogative so far possessed neither by the natural nor by the historical sciences."
They are mainly carbohydrates such as starch and sugar, proteids in the form of globulins or albumoses, and in many cases fats and oils, while certain other bodies of similar nutritive value are less widely distributed.
It is obtainable from most natural fatty bodies by the action of alkalis and similar reagents, whereby the fats are decomposed, water being taken up, and glycerin being formed together with the alkaline salt of some particular acid (varying with the nature of the fat).
Berthelot, and many other chemists, from whose researches it results that glycerin is a trihydric alcohol indicated by the formula C 3 H 5 (OH) 3j the natural fats and oils, and the glycerides generally, being substances of the nature of compound esters formed from glycerin by the replacement of the hydrogen of the OH groups by the radicals of certain acids, called for that reason "fatty acids."
The chief constituent of hard animal fats, such as beef and mutton tallow, &c.; also contained in many vegetable fats in smaller quantity.
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