Jojoba oil

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Glass vial containing jojoba oil

Jojoba oil Listeni/həˈhbə/ is the liquid produced in the seed of the Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) plant, a shrub, which is native to southern Arizona, southern California, and northwestern Mexico. The oil makes up approximately 50% of the jojoba seed by weight.[1] The terms "jojoba oil" and "jojoba wax" are often used interchangeably because the wax visually appears to be a mobile oil, but as a wax it is composed almost entirely (~97%) of mono-esters of long-chain fatty acids and alcohols, accompanied by only a tiny fraction of triglyceride esters. This composition accounts for its extreme shelf-life stability and extraordinary resistance to high temperatures, compared with true vegetable oils.


Native Americans extracted the oil from jojoba seeds to treat sores and wounds. The collection and processing of the seed from naturally occurring stands marked the beginning of jojoba domestication in the early 1970s.[2]

In 1943, natural resources of the U.S, including jojoba oil, were used during war as additives to motor oil, transmission oil and differential gear oil. Machine guns were lubricated and maintained with jojoba.[3]


Unrefined jojoba oil appears as a clear golden liquid at room temperature with a slightly nutty odor. Refined jojoba oil is colorless and odorless. The melting point of jojoba oil is approximately 10 °C[4] and the iodine value is approximately 80.[5] Jojoba oil is relatively shelf-stable when compared with other vegetable oils mainly because it contains little triglycerides, unlike most other vegetable oils such as grape seed oil and coconut oil.[6] It has an oxidative stability index of approximately 60,[7] which means that it is more shelf-stable than safflower oil, canola oil, almond oil or squalene but less than castor oil and coconut oil.


Physical properties of jojoba oil
freezing point 7-10.6 °C[8][9]
refractive index 1.4650 at 25 °C[8]
specific gravity 0.863 at 25 °C[8]
smoke point 195 °C[9]
flash point 295 °C[8]
iodine number 82[8]
viscosity 48 cSt at 99 °C[9]

127 cSt at 37.8 °C[9]

viscosity index 190-230[10]

Fatty acids present in jojoba oil[11]

Fatty acid Carbon atoms:double bonds double bond positions Percentage (mole fraction)
Palmitic acid C16:0 - 0.3
Palmitoleic acid C16:1 9 0.3
Stearic acid C18:0 - 0.2
Oleic acid C18:1 9 9.3
Arachidic acid C20:0 - -
11-Eicosenoic acid C20:1 11 76.7
Behenic acid C22:0 - trace
Erucic acid C22:1 13 12.1
Lignoceric acid C24:0 - 0.1
Nervonic acid C24:1 15 1.0

The fatty acid content of Jojoba oil can vary significantly depending on the soil and climate in which the plant is grown, as well as when it is harvested and how the oil is processed. In general it contains a high proportion of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, primarily 11-Eicosenoic acid (Gondoic acid).


Jojoba oil is used as a replacement for whale oil and its derivatives, such as cetyl alcohol. The ban on importing whale oil to the U.S. in 1971 led to the discovery that jojoba oil is "in many regards superior to sperm whale oil for applications in the cosmetics and other industries."[1]

Jojoba oil is found as an additive in many cosmetic products, especially those marketed as being made from natural ingredients. In particular, such products commonly containing jojoba are lotions and moisturizers, hair shampoos and conditioners. The pure oil itself may also be used on skin, hair, or cuticles.[12][13]

Jojoba oil is a fungicide, and can be used for controlling mildew.[14]

Like olestra, jojoba oil is edible but non-caloric and non-digestible, meaning the oil will pass out of the intestines unchanged and can cause a stool condition called steatorrhea. It also contains approximately 12.1% of the fatty acid Erucic acid that would appear to have toxic effects on the heart at high enough doses (were it digestible).[15]

Jojoba biodiesel has been explored as a cheap, sustainable fuel that can serve as a substitute for petroleum diesel.[16]

See also[edit]

Photo gallery[edit]


  1. ^ a b D.J. Undersander; E.A. Oelke; A.R. Kaminski; J.D. Doll; D.H. Putnam; S.M. Combs; C.V. Hanson (1990). "Jojoba". Alternative Field Crops Manual. 
  2. ^ "Jojoba". Retrieved 2016-04-17. 
  3. ^ Gentry, Howard Scott (1958-01-01). "The Natural History of Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) and Its Cultural Aspects". Economic Botany. 12 (3): 261–295. doi:10.1007/bf02859772. 
  4. ^ "AOCS Method Cc 18-80". Archived from the original on 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2006-10-13. 
  5. ^ "AOCS Method Cd 1-25". Retrieved 2006-10-13. 
  6. ^ "Learn the powerful benefits of jojoba oil". Retrieved 2011-07-01.
  7. ^ "AOCS Method Cd 12b-92". Retrieved 2006-10-13. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Jaime Wisniak. The chemistry and technology of jojoba oil. Page 24
  9. ^ a b c d Nasir El Bassam (1998). Energy Plant Species: Their Use and Impact on Environment and Development. pg 168
  10. ^ I. J. Heilweil. Review of Lubricant Properties of Jojoba Oil and its Derivatives.
  11. ^ Busson-Breysse, J.; Farines, M.; Soulier, J. (1994). "Jojoba wax: Its esters and some of its minor components". Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society. 71 (9): 999–1002. doi:10.1007/BF02542268. ISSN 0003-021X. 
  12. ^ "Jojoba Oil for Nails: Natural Care for Your Perfect Manicure". Body (personal) care. Oily Oily. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Lynn, Maggie (20 March 2011). "Jojoba Oil Benefits". Livestrong. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  14. ^ US 6174920  Method of controlling powdery mildew infections of plants using jojoba wax
  15. ^ A. R. Place (September 1, 1992). "Comparative aspects of lipid digestion and absorption: physiological correlates of wax ester digestion" (abstract). AJP - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 263 (3): 464–R471. PMID 1415629. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  16. ^ "Jojoba oil could fuel cars and trucks". New Scientist. March 6, 2003. Retrieved 2006-10-13. 

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