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Behenic acid

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Definition

noun, plural: behenic acids

A 22-carbon fatty acid, with the formula: C22 H44O2


Supplement

A fatty acid is a long chain of hydrocarbon. If there are no unsaturated linkages but only single bonds between carbon atoms them the fatty acid is a saturated type. This is in contrast to an unsaturated fatty acid that contains at least one double carbon-carbon bond. Behenic acid is a saturated type of fatty acid. It occurs in large amounts in jamba, mustard seed, rapeseed oils, and cerebrosides. As a dietary oil, the behenic acid is found to increase cholesterol in humans.1

Industrially, behenic acid is used mainly in the production of cosmetics, waxes, and plasticizers. It is used in hair conditioners and attributes for the softening of hair. The seeds of Pentaclethra macroloba are used to extract pracaxi oil, which is a natural oil containing high amounts of behemic acid, and is used in making hair conditioners.


IUPAC name:

  • docosanoic acid

Chemical formula: C22 H44O2 Synonym(s):

  • 1-Docosanoic acid
  • n-Docosanoic acid
  • n-Docosanoate
  • Glycon B-70

See also:


Reference(s):
1 Caterm, N. .B and Denke, M. A. (2001). Behenic acid is a cholesterol-raising saturated fatty acid in humans. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 73(1): 41-44.