Oleic acid, or Omega-9, is a pale yellow, oily liquid with a lard-like odor. It is also a monounsaturated fatty acid. Fatty acids are the main components of food fats, oils and fat deposits in animals and man.
- Monounsaturated fats like oleic acid are less susceptible to spoilage than some other fats, which makes them useful in food preservation.
- Oleic acid is widely distributed in nature. The highest sources of oleic acid are avocados, olive oil, table olives and canola oil. The second-best sources are beef tallow, peanut oil, lard and palm oil. Corn oil, butterfat, soybean oil and sunflower oil are fair sources of oleic acid.
- Emollient: In cosmetics oleic acid is often used as an emollient, or softening agent, in creams, lotions, lipsticks and skin products.
- Preservative: Foods prepared with oleic acid will remain safe to eat for longer periods, even without refrigeration. Such foods include bakery goods such as breads, cakes and pies.
- Cleaning: Oleic acid is also used as a cleaning agent in the manufacturing of soaps and detergents.
Source: Richardson, Alicia; “What is Oleic Acid?”, Jan 28, 2015, www.livestrong.com/article/438717-what-is-oleic-acid/