Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Lauric Acid: Why does it taste like soap alone, but not in Coconut Oil?

  • Lauric Acid: Why does it taste like soap alone, but not in Coconut Oil?

    Posted by Zink on June 12, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Apparently coconut oil is ~50% lauric acid, but  it definitely doesn’t taste like soap which pure lauric acid you get from a formulator shop does. 

    What explains this? I was looking to use 1-2% lauric acid in an acne emulsion.
    Zink replied 8 years, 11 months ago 5 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • Microformulation

    Member
    June 12, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Why are you tasting your raw materials?

  • Zink

    Member
    June 12, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Why do you smell your raw materials?

  • Microformulation

    Member
    June 12, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Odor is an organoleptic test or measurement in my stability testing which follows the PCPC protocol in as much as they define it. Hence I smell the odor of my finished product. There really is no reason to taste raw materials especially as they are not intended for oral ingestion. In fact when they quantify the safety of Cosmetic materials they base the safety assessment on topical application. The LD50 really addresses the toxicity further.

    Do you taste your SD40B denatured alcohol also?

  • belassi

    Member
    June 13, 2015 at 1:38 am

    The first thing I told my students on entering the lab for the first time was “NEVER taste a chemical ingredient.” The previous incumbent had certainly obtained some deadly stuff, including 50% hydrofluoric acid, which I promptly organised to be collected safely.  The first lab I worked in - I was 17 - was a physics lab and it was stocked with items such as chromic acid and potassium cyanide (1Kg of powder.)

  • Zink

    Member
    June 13, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Lauric acid is not toxic, hence fine to taste. The reason to taste em is the same as to smell them, you can for instance taste differences in different coconut oil suppliers, but it’s frankly besides the point and sidetracking the conversation. 

    Could it be that lauric acid in purified form is somehow different from the one in coconut oil, and it makes me wary to use it on the skin in a moisturizer as it tastes like soap.

  • belassi

    Member
    June 14, 2015 at 1:19 am

    I think monolaurin is better. That’s what I use. 

  • MarkBroussard

    Member
    June 14, 2015 at 11:53 am

    There are reports that Lauric Acid can be a skin irritant.

  • MarkBroussard

    Member
    June 14, 2015 at 11:59 am

    “Could it be that lauric acid in purified form is somehow different from the one in coconut oil, and it makes me wary to use it on the skin in a moisturizer as it tastes like soap.”


    If it’s Lauric Acid in the coconut oil, then it is also Lauric Acid when purified.  Chemically, there is no difference.

    Scratching my head on the correlation between tasting like soap and effectiveness in a moisturizer … 
  • Ruben

    Member
    June 14, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    In fats and oils, fatty acids are not present as free acids, but as triglycerides. Inevitably, some free fatty acids are produced during the extraction process due to hydrolysis, which is something the industry tries to minimized because high concentrations of free fatty acids is considered a defect.

    For that reason, I wouldn’t expect that free lauric acid and lauric acid as part of a triglyceride, like in coconut oil, are going to taste the same because they are different compounds.

  • Zink

    Member
    June 15, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Thanks Ruben, that sounds very plausible and takes me back to the value of even tasting (a totally safe ingredient already in food) - some people see good effect using coconut oil for e.g. eczema, then if purified lauric acid is a fundamentally different chemical, it’s also plausible it won’t work the same as the lauric acid found in coconut oil.

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