Myristic acid

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Myristic acid[1]
Myristic acid.svg
CAS number 544-63-8 YesY
PubChem 11005
ChemSpider 10539 N
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
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 N (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
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 spermaceti, 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[citation needed]. 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.[citation needed]

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

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.