Palm-derived Dihydroxystearic Acid for Sensory and Technical Applications

In Malaysia, palm kernel oil is obtained as a co-product of the production of palm oil with the general ratio of palm oil : palm kernel oil being 10:1.1. Due to both increased demand for oils and fats and to the success of natural trends in cosmetics, attempts are being made to increase the production of these oils by improving plantation practices and extraction methods and introducing new varieties of palms; in fact, one new variety of oil palm was introduced in 2002 that increased the yield of liquid oil and palm kernel oil to 30%.1

Palm kernel and coconut oil contain lauric and myristic triglycerides, as well as triglycerides of other fatty acids, including capric, caprylic, caproic, palmitic, stearic and oleic. With the increasing demand for lauric and myristic acids from the oleochemical industry as feedstock to produce surfactants, the oleochemicals industry typically splits the lauric oils, whereby the fatty acids of C10 and below are removed (stripped) and the C12-14 are distilled off. The by-product containing C16, C 18 and C18:1 fatty acids is usually fractionated to yield C16-18 and C18:1 fractions.

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