What is it?
Caprylic / capric triglyceride is an oily liquid made from palm kernel or coconut oil. It is a mixed ester composed of caprylic and capric fatty acids attached to a glycerin backbone. Caprylic/capric triglycerides are sometimes erroneously referred to as fractionated coconut oil, which is similar in composition but typically refers to coconut oil that has had its longer chain triglycerides removed. Chemically speaking, fats and oils are made up mostly of triglycerides whose fatty acids are chains ranging from 6–12 carbon atoms, in this case the ester is comprised of capric (10 carbon atoms) and caprylic (8 carbon atoms).
What does it do?
Caprylic/capric triglyceride creates a barrier on the skin's surface, which helps to reduce skin dryness by decreasing the loss of moisture. Its oily texture helps to thicken and provides a slipperiness, which helps make our lotions and natural strength deodorants easy to apply and leaves a non-greasy after-touch.
How is it made?
Caprylic/capric triglycerides are naturally occurring in coconut and palm kernel oils at lower levels but to make this pure ingredient, the oils are split and the specific fatty acid (capric acid and caprylic acid are isolated and recombined with the glycerin backbone to form the pure capric/caprylic triglyceride which is then further purified (bleached and deodorized) using clay, heat and steam. No other additives or processing aids are used.
What are the alternatives?
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) including caprylic triglyceride are naturally found in a variety of animal and vegetable fats. These sources typically contain low amounts, but palm kernel oil contains a significant amount, which is why we source caprylic triglyceride from this source.
Is this the right option for me?
The FDA deems caprylic acid (this ingredient’s main component) as a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) substance to be used as a food additive.1
Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with naturally derived ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.
1 21 CFR 184.1025