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Oleic acid 101: Don’t judge a fat by its culinary cover

Posted: Jul 03, 2024 4 minute read GAR 1 Likes

Forget the stereotype of fats being solely for cooking. Oleic acid is more than just a component found in olive oil.

From the smooth operation of complex machinery to the luxurious textures of cosmetics and skincare products, oleic acid’s uses extend far beyond the plate, silently shaping the world in unexpected ways. Read on to unveil more about oleic acid.

Table of Contents

What is oleic acid?

Oleic acid is a common monounsaturated fatty acid best known in olive oil. It is also naturally abundant in other vegetable oils, like palm, sunflower, and animal fats.

Oleic Acid

18-carbon chain and one double bond

Liquid at room temperature

Naturally odourless and has a yellow-tinge

Insoluble in water but dissolves in organic solvents like alcohol and oil

Highly stable to oxidation

Helps lower bad cholesterol and maintain good cholesterol in food

Did You Know?

What are the two crystal forms of oleic acid?
Answer :

Oleic acid exists in two crystal forms, alpha (α) and beta (β). The alpha form melts at a cooler temperature (around 13.4°C or 56°F) compared to the beta form (around 16.3°C or 61°F). In many applications, this difference might not be a major factor, and other properties of oleic acid might be more crucial for the desired outcome.

What is oleic acid used for?

Oleic acid is widely used across various industries:

Food Industry

Oleic acid, a key component in cooking oils and spreads, enhances stability against oxidation, making it ideal for frying and prolonging food shelf life.

Cosmetics and Personal Care

Oleic acid is valued for its moisturising and emollient qualities, and is often found in soaps, creams, and lotions. It is also used in hair care products to make hair softer and more manageable.


Oleic acid is used in the formulation of various drugs. It can aid in the delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients, extend the product’s shelf life and even make pills easier to swallow. It is also used in topical drug formulations due to its skin-penetrating properties.

Industrial Applications

Oleic acid plays a part in many industrial processes. Thanks to its protective qualities for metal surfaces, it is key in creating biodegradable lubricants. In textiles, it softens fibres and fabrics, augmenting their quality and durability. As a surfactant, it aids in blending oil and water in products like detergents and soaps. It also boosts the “spreadability” and longevity of paint and coating products.

At GAR, we’re bringing palm-based oleic acid to the market, offering a versatile and sustainable alternative for industries seeking quality and eco-friendly ingredients.

Palm oil-derived oleic acid: Here’s how we source it

While oils like olive oil are known for higher oleic acid content, palm oil also contains a relatively high percentage of oleic acid levels – over 40 percent.

Vegetable Oils Percentage of Oleic Acid Content / %
Olive oil 77.9
Rapeseed oil 64.5
Peanut oil 59.2
Canola oil 57.3
Palm oil 41.0
Sesame oil 40.0
Sunflower oil 30.4
Corn oil 28.4
Grapeseed oil 25.4
Flaxseed oil 20.4

Comparison of oleic acid content in vegetable oils1

Why GAR’s oleic acid? A look at quality and sustainability

Sourced from responsibly produced palm oil, we offer a sustainable and reliable oleic acid supply for the growing global demand. Discover the advantages of choosing GAR’s oleic acid product line.

Efficient Land Use and High Productivity

Palm is already known for having the most efficient land use among oil crops. Our oleic acid production benefits from our high-yield Dami Mas DxP seeds, bred for even higher oil extraction and productivity per hectare – essential to meet the growing global demand.

Sustainable Practices and Supply Security

Our commitment to sustainable growth through initiatives like replanting translates to a sustainable supply of oleic acid. Currently, we produce up to 440,000 tonnes of oleochemicals annually.

Versatile and Renewable Alternative

Our palm-derived oleic acid is a renewable substitute for petrochemicals, making it a versatile and eco-friendly option, especially for formulas which are plant-based.

Integrated Shipping & Logistics

Our dedicated shipping and logistics arm gives us control over our entire value chain – from plantations to your doorstep. Get your oleic acid at your desired destination in a safe and timely manner.

GAR’s oleic acid product: A brief view

GAR’s oleic acid product is tailored to meet a wide range of industrial needs. Learn more about this offering:

Oleic Acid 75%*
Appearance Liquid and light yellowish at room temperature
Ideal Applications Used for applications where a higher concentration of oleic acid is desired and minimal impurities might affect the end product
Example of Uses Soap manufacturing, pharmaceutical applications (ointments, creams, suppositories), cosmetic formulations (lotions and moisturisers), food applications

*The percentage refers to the concentration of fatty acid.



Discover the ideal palm-derived oleochemical fatty acids for your industrial requirements. Click here to explore more and make an informed choice for your needs.

Browse our extensive portfolio of palm-derived fatty acids, fatty alcohols, glycerines, and soap noodles designed to meet each customer’s needs here.


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