The Fatty Acid Composition of Vegetable Oils and Their Potential Use in Wound Care

Adv Skin Wound Care. 2019 Aug;32(8):1-8. doi: 10.1097/01.ASW.0000557832.86268.64.


Objective: To evaluate the similarities among fatty acid compositions of vegetable oils sold in the Brazilian market and those present in a reference health product used to treat wounds.

Methods: The relative amounts of fatty acids in 21 types of vegetable oils, purchased in the Brazilian market, were assessed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and flame ionization detection.

Main results: The studied oils had similar fatty acid compositions to the reference product (caprylic acid, 18.8%; capric acid, 17.4%; oleic acid, 27.5%; and linoleic acid, 28.1%). The presence of caprylic acid (10.45% ± 0.07%), capric acid (5.8% ± 0.75%), lauric acid (45.63% ± 0.93%), and myristic acid (16.33% ± 2.23%) were detected in all the vegetable oils tested. Oleic acid (52.94% ± 12.54%) was present in andiroba, avocado, canola, copaiba, olive, palm, pequi, and pracaxi oils and featured prominently in olive oil (75.8%). Linoleic acid (57.09% ± 8.47%) was present in corn, cottonseed, grapeseed, passion fruit, and sunflower oils and in mixed oils (olive with soybean and sunflower with corn and canola).

Conclusions: Most of the vegetable oils tested are products of plants from tropical climates, where they are abundant and easy to cultivate. It is possible that a balanced composition of fatty acids obtained from natural sources could be an effective alternative treatment for wounds.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Brazil
  • Coconut Oil / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Humans
  • Olive Oil / chemistry
  • Palm Oil / chemistry
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*
  • Skin Care / methods*
  • Sunflower Oil / chemistry
  • Wound Healing*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Palm Oil
  • Coconut Oil