The book is designed for `beginners' ± but who are they? They may be graduate students in many disciplines, whose studies require a knowledge of lipids; graduates and others in later life coming afresh to an industry using oils and fats; they may be interested in nutrition, or they may be technologists in the food industry. All of these people may find their knowledge of lipids to be inadequate and require a more thorough introduction to the topic. This book is a good place to start.
In recent years I have edited several texts on various aspects of lipid science and I have tried to incorporate some of the information from these texts into this broad-ranging book. I have not provided references for every statement made but the Bibliography and References attached to each chapter contain some key references cited in the text and some general references where more detailed information may be sought.
I acknowledge the assistance of my colleagues. Charlie Scrimgeour has read the whole manuscript and has saved me from several trivial errors and a few more serious ones. Bill Christie has given me sound advice on the analytical sections of the book. They and others have allowed to me to work in an environment where lipid problems are discussed regularly.