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Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil (pronounced "ho-HO-bah") is the liquid wax produced in the seed of the Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) plant, a shrub native to southern Arizona, southern California and northwestern Mexico. Jojoba oil makes up approximately 50% of the jojoba seed by weight.[1]

Jojoba oil is a straight chain wax ester, 36 to 46 carbon atoms in length. Each molecule consists of a fatty acid and a fatty alcohol joined by an ester bond. Each molecule has two points of cis-unsaturation, both located at the 9th carbon atom from either end of the molecule. The approximate percentages of fatty acids in jojoba oil are as follows:[2]

Fatty acid Min Max
Eicosenoic 66% 71%
Docosenoic 14% 20%
Oleic 10% 13%

Unrefined jojoba oil appears as a clear golden liquid at room temperature with a slightly fatty odor. Refined jojoba oil is colorless and odorless. The melting point of jojoba oil is approximately 10°C[3] and the iodine value is approximately 80[4]. Jojoba oil is relatively shelf-stable when compared with other vegetable oils. It has an Oxidative Stability Index of approximately 60[5], which means that it is more shelf-stable than oils of safflower oil, canola oil, almond oil or squalene but less than castor oil, macadamia oil and coconut oil.


  • Unlike common vegetable oils, jojoba oil is chemically very similar to human sebum. Most jojoba oil is consumed as an ingredient in cosmetics and personal care products, especially skin care and hair care. Jojoba derivatives, including jojoba esters, isopropyl jojobate and jojoba alcohol, are particularly widely used in this context.
  • Jojoba oil is popular with stretched lobes. The make up of the oil is very similar to that of human sebum. It aids in the healing process.
  • Jojoba oil is also used as a replacement for whale oil and its derivatives, such as cetyl alcohol. The ban on importing whale oil to the US in 1971 led to the discovery that it is "in many regards superior to sperm oil for applications in the cosmetics and other industries."[1]
  • Jojoba oil is also edible. It is acaloric, but unfortunately also non-digestible, meaning the oil will pass through the intestines unchanged and can cause an unpleasant result called steatorrhea.[6]
  • Jojoba biodiesel has been explored as a cheap, sustainable fuel that can serve as a substitute for petroleum diesel.[7]


  1. ^ a b D.J. Undersander, E.A. Oelke, A.R. Kaminski, J.D. Doll, D.H. Putnam, S.M. Combs, and C.V. Hanson (1990). "Jojoba". Alternative Field Crops Manual.
  2. ^ Jojoba Oil. Aroma Land.
  3. ^ AOCS Method Cc 18-80. Retrieved on 2006-10-13.
  4. ^ AOCS Method Cd 1-25. Retrieved on 2006-10-13.
  5. ^ AOCS Method Cd 12b-92. Retrieved on 2006-10-13.
  6. ^ [1] Study involving consumption of Wax ester oils
  7. ^ Jojoba oil could fuel cars and trucks. New Scientist (March 6 2003). Retrieved on 2006-10-13.

See also

  • Oleochemical
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jojoba_oil". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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