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Candelilla wax

Candelilla wax is a wax derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla shrub native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, Euphorbia cerifera and Euphorbia antisyphilitica, from the family Euphorbiaceae. It is yellowish-brown, hard, brittle and opaque to translucent.



Candelilla wax consists of mainly hydrocarbons (about 50%, chains with 29-33 carbons), esters of higher molecular weight (20-29%), free acids (7-9%), and resins (12-14%, mainly triterpenoid esters). It is insoluble in water, but soluble in many organic solvents (acetone, chloroform, benzene).


The wax is obtained by boiling the leaves and stems with diluted sulfuric acid and skimmed from the surface and further processed. Its melting point is 67-79 °C. It is mostly used mixed with other waxes to harden them without raising their melting point.


As a food additive, candelilla wax has the E number E902 and is used as a glazing agent. It also finds use in cosmetic industry, as a component of lip balms and lotion bars. One of its major uses was a binder for chewing gums.

Candelilla wax can be used as a substitute for carnauba wax and beeswax. It is also used for making varnish.

See also

  • Candelilla wax (WHO food additives series 30)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Candelilla_wax". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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