Record Information
Creation date2015-10-09 22:28:02 UTC
Update date2017-01-19 02:36:12 UTC
FoodComEx IDPC000080
FoodDB RecordFDB011679
Chemical Information
NameHexadecanoic acid
DescriptionPalmitic acid, also known as palmitate or C16, belongs to the class of organic compounds known as long-chain fatty acids. These are fatty acids with an aliphatic tail that contains between 13 and 21 carbon atoms. Palmitic acid is a very hydrophobic molecule, practically insoluble in water and relatively neutral. Palmitic acid, or hexadecanoic acid, is one of the most common saturated fatty acids found in animals, plants, and microorganisms. As its name indicates, it is a major component of the oil from the fruit of oil palms (palm oil). In humans and other mammals, excess carbohydrates in the body are converted to palmitic acid. Palmitic acid is the first fatty acid produced during fatty acid synthesis and is the precursor to longer fatty acids. As a consequence, palmitic acid is a major lipid component of animals. In humans, one analysis found it to make up 21–30% (molar) of human depot fat (PMID: 13756126), and it is a major, but highly variable, lipid component of human breast milk (PMID: 352132). Palmitic acid has been detected, but not quantified in, several different foods, such as sea-buckthornberries, avocado, star fruits, babassu palms, and acerola. Palmitic acid is used to produce soaps, cosmetics, and industrial mould release agents. These applications use sodium palmitate, which is commonly obtained by saponification of palm oil. To this end, palm oil triglycerides, rendered from palm trees (species Elaeis guineensis), are treated with sodium hydroxide (in the form of caustic soda or lye), which causes hydrolysis of the ester groups, yielding glycerol and sodium palmitate. Aluminium salts of palmitic acid and naphthenic acid were combined during World War II to produce napalm. The word "napalm" is derived from the word’s naphthenic acid and palmitic acid. Palmitic acid is also used in the determination of water hardness and is a surfactant of Levovist, an intravenous ultrasonic contrast agent.
CAS Number57-10-3
1-Hexyldecanoic acidbiospider
1-Pentadecanecarboxylic acidbiospider
Aethalic aciddb_source
C16 fatty acidbiospider
Cetylic acidbiospider
Edenor C16HMDB
Emersol 140HMDB
Emersol 143HMDB
FEMA 2832db_source
Glycon P-45HMDB
Hexadecanoate (N-C16:0)HMDB
Hexadecanoic acid (9CI)biospider
Hexadecanoic acid palmitic acidHMDB
Hexadecoic acidbiospider
Hexadecylic acidbiospider
Hexaectylic acidbiospider
Hydrofol acid 1690HMDB
Hystrene 8016HMDB
Hystrene 9016HMDB
Industrene 4516HMDB
Kortacid 1698HMDB
Loxiol ep 278HMDB
Lunac P 95HMDB
Lunac P 95kcHMDB
Lunac P 98HMDB
N-Hexadecanoic acidbiospider
N-Hexadecoic acidbiospider
Palmitic acidbiospider
Palmitic acid, USANdb_source
Palmitinic acidbiospider
Palmitoic acidHMDB
Pentadecanecarboxylic acidChEBI
Prifac 2960HMDB
Prifrac 2960HMDB
Pristerene 4934HMDB
Univol u332HMDB
Chemical FormulaC16H32O2
IUPAC namehexadecanoic acid
InChI IdentifierInChI=1S/C16H32O2/c1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16(17)18/h2-15H2,1H3,(H,17,18)
Average Molecular Weight256.4241
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight256.240230268
Chemical Taxonomy
Description Belongs to the class of organic compounds known as long-chain fatty acids. These are fatty acids with an aliphatic tail that contains between 13 and 21 carbon atoms.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassLipids and lipid-like molecules
ClassFatty Acyls
Sub ClassFatty acids and conjugates
Direct ParentLong-chain fatty acids
Alternative Parents
  • Long-chain fatty acid
  • Straight chain fatty acid
  • Monocarboxylic acid or derivatives
  • Carboxylic acid
  • Carboxylic acid derivative
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Organic oxide
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Carbonyl group
  • Aliphatic acyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic acyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Physico-Chemical Properties - Experimental
Experimental logP7.17SANGSTER (1993)
Experimental Water Solubility4e-05 mg/mL at 25 oCROBB,ID (1966)
Melting PointMp 63-64°DFC
Foods of Origin
FoodContent Range AverageReference
Production Data
Production Methodcommercial
Production Method ReferenceNot Available
Production Method Reference FileNot Available
Quantity AvailableProduction upon request, up to 3 g
Delivery TimeNot Available
Storage Formsolid
Storage Conditions-80°C
StabilityNot Available
PurityNot Available
Spectral Data Upon RequestNot Available
Provider Information
Contact NameContact InstitutionContact Email
Rosa Vazquez
Commercial Vendors
AKSci I728
AKSci J11127
Cayman Chemical 10006627
MetaSci HMDB0000220
Sigma-Aldrich HMDB0000220
Toronto Research Chemicals P144500