noun, plural: lipases
A water-soluble enzyme catalyzing hydrolysis of lipids, thereby breaking down fats into glycerol and free fatty acids
In animals, lipases are secreted by digestive organs, liver, and pancreas. In certain plants, lipases are found in seeds. Most organisms, in fact, use lipases to break down and digest lipids. In humans, the HPL or the human pancreatic lipase is a major enzyme that digests dietary lipids, e.g. triglycerides into monoglycerides and (two) free fatty acids, which then are absorbed in the intestines. Gastric lipases and lingual lipases are another example of lipases secreted by the body to aid in the digestion.
Word origin: Greek lipos (fat)