INCI Name: Hexadecanoic Acid
CAS Numbers: 57-10-3
Palmitic acid mainly occurs as its ester in triglycerides (fats), especially palm oil but also tallow. Butter, cheese, milk and meat also contain this fatty acid.
Palmitic acid is mainly used to produce soaps, cosmetics, and release agents. These applications utilize sodium palmitate, which is commonly obtained by saponification of palm oil. Because it is inexpensive and adds texture to processed foods (convenience food), palmitic acid and its sodium salt find wide use including foodstuffs. Sodium palmitate is permitted as a natural additive in organic products. Hydrogenation of palmitic acid yields cetyl alcohol, which is used to produce detergents and cosmetics.