Capric acid: structure, properties and food sources

Chemical structure of capric acid

Capric acid (10 carbon atoms), from the Latin word caper, meaning goat, is a saturated fatty acid (no double bond so in shorthand 10:0) member of the sub-group called medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), from 6 to 12 carbon atoms.

Properties of capric acid

Capric Acid
Fig. 1 – Decanoic Acid

Molecular weight: 172.2646 g/mol
Molecular formula: C10H20O2
IUPAC name: decanoic acid
CAS registry number: 334-48-5
PubChem: 2969

In purified form it is a crystalline solid insoluble in water with melting point at 31.4 °C (88.52 °F; 304.55 K) and boiling point at 270 °C (518 °F; 543.15 K) at 760 mmHg.

Other names of capric acid

  • n-decanoic acid
  • decylic acid
  • n-capric acid
  • caprinic acid
  • decoic acid
  • caprynic acid
  • n-decylic acid
  • n-decoic acidacid
  • 10:0

Food sources of capric acid

It occurs as glycerol ester in animal fats like those present in goat and cow butter, and plant oils like coconut oil.
The unpleasant odor reminiscent of goats is due to its free hence also his name.

References

Akoh C.C. and Min D.B. “Food lipids: chemistry, nutrition, and biotechnology” 3th ed. 2008

Chow Ching K. “Fatty acids in foods and their health implication” 3th ed. 2008

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