Myristic acid

Myristic acid
Myristic acid[1]
CAS number 544-63-8 YesY
PubChem 11005
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C14H28O2
Molar mass 228.37092
Density 0.8622 g/cm3
Melting point

54.4 °C[2]

Boiling point

250.5 °C at 100 mmHg

 N (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Myristic acid, also called tetradecanoic acid, is a common saturated fatty acid with the molecular formula CH3(CH2)12COOH. A myristate is a salt or ester of myristic acid.

Myristic acid is named after the nutmeg Myristica fragrans. Nutmeg butter is 75% trimyristin, the triglyceride of myristic acid. Besides nutmeg, myristic acid is also found in palm kernel oil, coconut oil, butter fat and is a minor component of many other animal fats.[2] It is also found in spermacetin, the crystallized fraction of oil from the sperm whale.

Myristic acid is also commonly added co-translationally to the penultimate, nitrogen-terminus, glycine in receptor-associated kinases to confer the membrane localisation of the enzyme. The myristic acid has a sufficiently high hydrophobicity to become incorporated into the fatty acyl core of the phospholipid bilayer of the plasma membrane of the eukaryotic cell. In this way, myristic acid acts as a lipid anchor in biomembranes.

The ester isopropyl myristate is used in cosmetic and topical medicinal preparations where good absorption through the skin is desired.

Reduction of myristic acid yields myristyl aldehyde and myristyl alcohol.


  1. ^ Merck Index, 11th Edition, 6246
  2. ^ a b "Lexicon of lipid nutrition (IUPAC Technical Report)". Pure and Applied Chemistry 73 (4): 685–744. 2001. doi:10.1351/pac200173040685. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • myristic acid — [mi ris′tik] n. a white, oily, crystalline fatty acid, CH3 (CH2) 12COOH, used in making soaps, cosmetics, and food additives …   English World dictionary

  • myristic acid — noun a saturated fatty acid occurring naturally in animal and vegetable fats • Syn: ↑tetradecanoic acid • Hypernyms: ↑saturated fatty acid * * * mə̇ˈristik , (ˈ)mī|ristik noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary myristic, from New… …   Useful english dictionary

  • myristic acid — miristo rūgštis statusas T sritis chemija formulė H(CH₂)₁₃COOH atitikmenys: angl. myristic acid rus. миристиновая кислота ryšiai: sinonimas – tetradekano rūgštis …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • myristic acid — A saturated fatty acid present as an acylglycerol in milk, vegetable fats, cod liver oil, and waxes. SYN: tetradecanoic acid. * * * my·ris·tic acid mi .ris tik , mī n a crystalline fatty acid C14H28O2 occurring esp. in the form of glycerides in… …   Medical dictionary

  • myristic acid — noun A saturated fatty acid, CH(CH)COOH, tetradecanoic acid, found in both animal and vegetable oils and fats; used in the manufacture of soap, cosmetics etc …   Wiktionary

  • myristic acid — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary, from New Latin Myristica, genus of trees Date: 1841 a crystalline fatty acid C14H28O2 occurring especially in the form of glycerides in most fats …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • myristic acid — /meuh ris tik/, Chem. an oily, white crystalline compound, C14H28O2, insoluble in water, soluble in alcohol and ether: used in soaps, cosmetics, and in the synthesis of esters for flavors and perfumes. [1840 50; < NL Myristica the nutmeg genus… …   Universalium

  • myristic acid — my•ris′tic ac′id [[t]məˈrɪs tɪk[/t]] n. chem. an oily, white crystalline compound, C14H28O2, used in soaps, cosmetics, flavors, and perfumes • Etymology: 1840–50; < NL Myristica the nutmeg genus (the acid is a constituent of oil derived from… …   From formal English to slang

  • myristic acid — The myristoyl group is one of the less common fatty acyl residues of phospholipids in biological membranes but is found as an N terminal modification of a large number of membrane associated proteins and some cytoplasmic proteins. It is a common… …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • Myristic — My*ris tic (m[i^]*r[i^]s t[i^]k), a. (Chem.) Pertaining to, or derived from, the nutmeg ({Myristica}). Specifically, designating an acid ({C14H28O2}) found in nutmeg oil and otoba fat, and extracted as a white crystalline waxy substance. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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