Caprylic acid is a medium-chain fatty acid compound with a chemical formula of C8H16O2. The chemical is a light-yellow liquid with a mild odor at room temperature. Traces of caprylic acid are found primarily on coconut oil and the compound is purified through distillation. Due to high acidity, the chemical quickly burns with oxygen under heat and corrodes metals.
Initially, palm oil is extracted from palm fruit. The crude oil is refined, bleached, and deodorized to produce RBD palm oil. The fabrication of caprylic acid is achieved by saponification of palm oil. Saponification is the process of breaking down triglycerides in oil to form fatty acid chains and glycerine. Fractional distillation of fatty acid and glycerol yields caprylic acid. The melting point of various fatty acid chains varies. Fractional distillation collects the fatty acid distillate by allowing it to evaporate and condense at a specific temperature. Glycerol as a by-product is removed and fatty acid chains of caprylic acid are purified.
Caprylic acid has antifungal and antibacterial properties that enable the treatment of yeast infection and bacterial infections respectively. Other properties apply to the treatment of the digestive system by ingesting small amounts of caprylic acid. Moreover, caprylic acid has antibacterial properties to be used instead of prescribed antibiotics to prevent antibiotic resistance.
On the other hand, caprylic acid antibacterial properties apply to food contact surface sanitizer to inhibit bacterial growth in food-grade industrial equipment. Furthermore, due to its calorie-burning capabilities, recent research suggests that caprylic acid is suitable as a dietary supplement.
Caprylic acid is utilized as a raw material to manufacture esters. These esters are used as a base ingredient to produce various perfumery and dyes. Caprylic acid is also used in the cosmetic sector as an emollient, cleanser, and surfactant.