Michigan State University
Acidolysis reactions of cottonseed oil, peanut oil, mahua oil (Madhuca latifolia), and palm oil with lauric acid were investigated with special reference to the influence of catalysts and the relative proportions of oil and lauric acid on the extent and type of fatty acids displaced from an oil. Catalysts such as sulfuric acid, zinc oxide, calcium oxide, magnesium oxide, aluminum oxide, and mercuric sulfate were used. The reaction generally was carried out by heating oil and lauric acid at 150C±2 for 3 hr. The reaction products were separated and then analyzed by UV spectrophotometry and GLC. Sulfuric acid was found to be the best catalyst with 1 part of oil and 1.2 parts of the displacing acid (lauric acid) for displacement of high-molecular-weight fatty acids from an oil by low-molecular-weight fatty acids. The nature of the displacement of fatty acids varied from oil to oil, depending on their compositions. It was further indicated that linoleic acid was displaced preferentially over oleic acid in an amount dependent on its initial content in an oil with a corresponding increase in saturated acids content. A broad similarity in displacement patterns, in general, was noted; the fatty acids above C 18 were not displaced as in the case of peanut oil. The results demonstrate the feasibility of introducing lauric acid in the vegetable oils for the production of interesting oils with vastly different physical and chemical properties. © 1968 American Oil Chemists.