Myristic acid is a common fatty acid that is found in both plant oils and animal fats which is also known as tetradecanoic acid. It is found widely distributed in fats throughout the plant and animal kingdom, including common human food, for instance, nutmeg. Myristic acid is an important fatty acid, which the body utilises to stabilize different proteins, including proteins used in the immune system.
Commercially, myristic acid is obtained by fractional distillation of coconut, palm kernel and babassu oil fatty acids. By repeated fractionation steps, myristic acid can achieve 99 percent purity.
Myristic acid is used to manufacture isopropyl myristate, which is used in cosmetic where good absorption through the skin is desired. In facial creams, it is used as an emulsifier.
Myristic acid is used as a plasticizer, intermediate, internal and external lubricant in plastic industry.
Myristic acid is used as an anionic or non-ionic surfactant for chemicals, textiles, and food. It is used in the production of surface active agent, chemical reagent, etc. It is also used in topical medicinal preparations. Myristic acid is used in the production of soaps, because it adds hardness to soap, has good cleansing properties and produces nice fluffy lather.