Reduce number of fatty acids


I'm trying to reduce the number of fatty acids in a cream formula down to just sunflower oil.  Anyone have any idea of how I can replace the following ingredients with something that serves a similar function but isn't a fatty acid?
I need to remove:

Glyceryl Stearate
Stearic Acid
Jojoba Oil
Shea Butter

but I can keep Sunflower seed oil.  Here is the full ingredient list:

Xanthan Gum
SodAscorbyl Phosp (Vitamin C)
Sunflower Seed Oil
Glyceryl Stearate
Stearic Acid
Cetyl Alcohol
Jojoba Oil
Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (Shea)
Isopropyl Palmitate
Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide
Polysorbate 20
Pentylene Glycol
Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E)
Potassium Phosphate



  • EVchemEVchem Member
    Polymeric emulsifiers like Sepimax Zen or carbomer can still hold the product together, xanthan gum not so much. Your feel will be completely different from the benchmark product. You'll lose the emolliency and balance that the fatty acids provided.
  • YulinYulin Member
    Thank you!  I should have known carbomer would be an option.  I will look into Sepimax too.  I appreciate the help!
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    I don't quite understand why you want to reduce fatty acid derivatives (only stearic acid is a free fatty acid, all others aren't acids but esters) but think that fatty alcohols (derived from fatty acids), lecithin, sunflower seed oil, and polysorbate are okay... anyway, that's non of my business and neither what you asked for.

    Glyceryl Stearate and Stearic Acid -> up cetyl alcohol or replace it with cetearyl or even behenyl alcohol if you want to maintain melting point. I would certainly use a mix of different fatty alcohols. Only using fatty alcohols in a formulation designed as glycerol ester/fatty acid/fatty alcohol combo, this may lead to a lower viscosity, less cushioning, and maybe a less stable liquid crystal network. You could try octyldodecanol instead/in addition, though it will reduce viscosity and result in a quite different feel.
    Jojoba Oil -> squalane, that's the easy one to replace
    Shea Butter -> hydrocarbons like vaseline/ozokerite/paraffin, lanolin alcohol aka wool wax alcohol, phytosterols/cholesterol, sphingosine/cerebroside or a polymeric film former to reduce TEWL.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    edited July 15
    Forgot to mention: carbonate esters such as Cetiol CC or Cetiol 4 All or 'natural' hydrocarbons like undecane/tridecane don't contain fatty acids.
    And diisostearyl malate...
  • YulinYulin Member
    Thanks for the suggestions.  We have to reduce our formulas down to one fatty acid because some countries do HPLC analytical testing on a regular basis and if you can't prove that the ingredient list is in the correct order based on weight then they don't allow you to sell there.  All the labs we talked to said that they can only quantify fatty acids correctly if there is just one present in the formula so we have to make some revisions.  They said lecithin and polysorbate 20 won't interfere with their test.    

    We had an issue where a government tested our cream and claimed that sunflower oil should actually be higher in the ingredient list but that's just because their test added all the other fatty acids into the sunflower oil content.  Unfortunately there is no way for us to prove they are wrong without changing the formula.  
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    What country can be that stupid? Sorry, let me formulate this differently: I knew that certain people working for authorities don't work for private companies for a reason but THAT stupid?
    Unfortunately, there is NO reliable quantitative test for natural oil mixtures or non-pure natural constituents such as plant extracts unless you provide them with a standard (samples of your raw materials) and all that remains is finding a marker molecule for each of these.
    You might just provide them with samples of your used batch of pure ingredient X and the appropriate HPLC protocols which involve for example SPE separation of free fatty acids and hydrolysis of the esterified fraction followed by derivatisation (silylation or methylation) if they really want to determine unreliable fatty acid profiles. And they should use the right columns and couple the HPLC to a second device such as MS/MS and/or GC.
    A different, smarter and leaner strategy is to search for marketed products which contain different fatty acid derivatives and just tell them to suck it up.
    Seriously, they're complete uneducated, useless, stupid nutjobs.
    I wonder how they quantify the different gums...
    And don't tell them that sunflower oil contains some of the other ingredients such as water, glycerol, lecithin, potassium, and phosphate or they're going to kick that out too.
  • YulinYulin Member
    I think these types of government positions are filled by people who weren't able to make it in the private sector for whatever reason.  The gov pay is probably much  lower so the only reason to take that job would be if they couldn't get a job at a private lab or if they like the extreme job security that the gov provides.  Then the result is that there are poorly qualified people that have a lot of power as in this case.  I won't say which country it is besides it's in Europe and they have a very high testing rate.  

    We talked to a few different lawyers in that country and they said the only way to deal with it is to provide accredited testing that refutes their testing so that's what we're trying to figure out now.  Thanks for the suggestions.  I'll talk with the labs about these possibilities.  
Sign In or Register to comment.