Facts and Food Sources of Palmitic acid (C16)


Palmitic acid is a saturated long-chain fatty acid having 16 carbon backbone. In the body, excess carbohydrates are converted to palmitic acid. It is the first fatty acid formed during fatty acid synthesis and is a precursor to longer fatty acids. The chemical formula of palmitic acid is CH3(CH2)14COOH. The name itself indicates it as a major component of oil from fruit of oil palms. It is naturally present in palm kernel oil and palm oil as well as in cheese, butter, meat and milk. This common saturated fatty acids are found in plants, animals and microorganisms. It is regarded as the major component of palm oil. Palmitates are salts and esters of palmitic acid. Palmitate anion is an observed form of palmitic acid at physiologic pH (7.4). In purified form, it is a white crystalline scales which are insoluble in water having boiling point at 215 °C (419 °F; 488.15 K) at 10 mmHg and melting point at 63-64 °C (145.4-147.2 °F; 336.15-337.15 K).

This acid is one of several fatty acids used as a moisturizer or emollient in skin care. Fatty acids are oily molecules which integrate with glycerol for making many fats in nature. For pure palmitic acid, oil is boiled to break fatty acids off of the glycerol and different acids are separated out based on its boiling point. It is commonly used in skin care products in form of alkali salt where fatty acids react with alkali like sodium hydroxide for forming sodium palmitate.

Dietary Sources of Palmitic acid

Food name Weight (g) Palmitic acid (g)
Pilinuts 120 26.442
Pork 113 21.979
Kielbasa 370 21.967
Margarine 232 13.345
Brazilnuts 133 12.803
Cottonseed 149 12.565
Muenster cheese 132 12.168
Fontina cheese 132 11.165
Swiss cheese 132 11.033
Colby cheese 132 10.866
Egg 85 9.189
Salami 113 8.633
Monterey cheese 132 8.395
Blood sausage 100 8.3
Peanuts 146 8.284
Macadamia nuts 134 8.088
Pistachio  123 6.476
Sesame seeds 150 7.909
Parmesan cheese 100 7.481
Feta cheese 150 7.122

Side effects

The diet with large amounts of Palmitic acid can promote chances of heart disease.







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