Lauric acid is also known by its chemical name dodecanoic acid. Lauric acid is a natural saturated fatty acids that are made from plants and animals as energy reserves. Lauric acid is the most potent fatty acid that is naturally found in coconut oil which mainly consists of approximately 12-carbon atoms chain. Lauric acid is a solid at room temperature but melts easily in boiling water. As lauric acid falls into the medium fatty acid chain it is generally white, powdery solid that has a faint baby soap or oil odour. Lauric acid belongs to the group of triglycerides. Lauric acid is a major constituent of laurel oil, and in palm kernel oil. Lauric acid is otherwise uncommon in nature. However, lauric acid constitutes to about 2.9% of the cow’s milk and 3.1% of the goats milk. Unlike many fatty acids lauric acid has a stronger shelf life, its non-toxic and is also safe to handle. Dietary sources of the lauric acid include human and animal milk, seeds, dairy products, nuts and their oils. Lauric acid has several benefits to the health as it possess various properties such as capric caid and butyric acid. In the body lauric acid is usually converted into monolaurin and monoglyceride compounds that exhibit several properties such as antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial and antiprotozoal properties. Lauric acid unlike several other fatty acids is generally inexpensive, non-toxic and has a longer shelf-life and hence has a wide range of applications in many end-use industries.
Lauric acid has several applications in pharmaceutical industry. Lauric acid is used for treating many viral infections such as avian flu, swine flu, common cold, influenza, fever blisters, genital warts and genital herpes caused by herpes simplex virus. Lauric acid is mainly used in preventing the transmission of HIV infection from mother to children. Lauric acid is also used for treating several intestinal infections which are usually caused by various parasites such as giardia lamblia and ringworm. Lauric acid also inhibits the growth of microbes that cause gonorrhea, yeast infections and bronchitis among others. Thus, changing lifestyle coupled with increase in dependency on fast food has reduced the immunity level against various infectious diseases among individuals. Thus, there is increase in the number of individuals suffering from several health disorders. Thus, increasing number of patients is expected to boost the overall growth of the pharmaceutical which in turn will boost the demand for lauric acid. Lauric acid being extremely inexpensive and easily available is widely used in several research laboratories to conduct intensive researches related to the investigations of melting-point depression. Lauric acid is also used as cryoscopic constant in many experiments. Lauric acid has very low toxicity and hence, is widely used in manufacturing a range of shampoos and soaps. Lauric acid is also used for its anti-acne. Thus, increasing cosmetic and health care industry is expected to boost the overall demand for lauric acid.
Cayman Chemical Company, ACME SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS and Konimpex are some of the few manufacturers of the lauric acid. Companies involved in manufacturing lauric acid are focused towards increasing their production capacities.
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