Oleic acid

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Oleic acid is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in various animal and vegetable sources. It has the formula C18H34O2 (or CH3(CH2)7CH=CH(CH2)7COOH).[1] The saturated form of this acid is stearic acid.

Oleic acid makes up 55-80% of olive oil, though there may be only 0.5-2.5% or so as actual free acid, and 15-20% of grape seed oil and Sea buckthorn oil.[2]

Reduction of oleic acid at the carboxyl end yields oleyl alcohol.

Oleic acid is emitted by the decaying corpses of a number of insects, including bees and Pogonomyrmex ants and triggers the instincts of living workers to remove the dead bodies from the hive. If a live bee[3] or ant[4] is daubed with oleic acid, it is dragged off as if it were dead.


  1. Bishop, Paul L. (2000). Pollution Prevention: Chapter 2 - Properties and Fates of Environmental Contaminants, instructional slides to accompany Pollution Prevention:Fundamentals and Practice, by Paul L. Bishop (ISBN 0-07-366147-3). Retrieved 2005-03-07.
  2. Li, Thomas S. C. (1999). Sea buckthorn: New crop opportunity, from Perspectives on new crops and new uses by J. Janeck (ed.) Retrieved 2006-10-28.
  3. Anies Hannawati Purnamadjaja, R. Andrew Russell (2005). "Pheromone communication in a robot swarm: necrophoric bee behaviour and its replication". Robotica. 23 (6): 731–742. doi:10.1017/S0263574704001225.
  4. Ayasse, M, Paxton, R (2002) Brood protection in social insects. In: Hilker, M, Meiners, T (eds.). Chemoecology of Insect Eggs and Egg Deposition. Blackwell, Berlin, 117-148.

External links

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bg:Олеинова киселина ca:Àcid oleic cs:Kyselina olejová de:Ölsäure ko:올레산 id:Asam oleat it:Acido oleico lv:Oleīnskābe nl:Oliezuur no:Oljesyre fi:Oleiinihappo

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