Oils - what do the specifications mean to me?

edited August 2014 in Formulating
Whenever I get specification sheets for oils, I see acid value, saponification value, iodine value and (sometimes) Free Fatty Acid Content. I know technically what these measurements are, but what do they mean to me as a cosmetic chemist? Can anyone elaborate on FFA value?



  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    edited August 2014
    It doesn't answer all your questions but here is some information you might find helpful about certificate of analysis tests.

    Free Fatty Acid content is the amount of fatty acids in the formula that have been liberated from the natural occurring triglyceride molecule.  See this for more information.  http://www.hrpub.org/download/201310/cme.2013.010306.pdf

  • edited August 2014
    Thank you, Perry, for taking me way back in time! I'd read this post before - but forgot about it when thinking about my current situation. I will be sure to refer to this in the future.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    the free fatty acid content is indicative of how fresh the oil is; if it's above the upper limit of the supplier's spec, it's been significantly degraded
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
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