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Technical Info - Oil

Fruit Pulp | Oil | Literature Review

Marula oil is prone to hydrolytic rancidity but has exceptional resistant to oxidative rancidity. Some scientists have ascribed Marula oil's resistance to oxidation to its fatty acid composition. However, more recent understanding of the role of fatty acid compositions to triglyceride stability suggests that this may not be the case. The stability of marula oil also cannot be explained by the presence of known antioxidants such as tocopherol. (Marula Oil has a Y-tocopherol content on average of 22mg per 100g oil.) Other factors must be responsible for the Marula Oil stability. MNP focuses on quality control throughout the supply chain to minimise lipase activity. A mini lab situated at the MNP plant in the Limpopo Province of S.A is another point of internal control to ensure quality oil.

Fatty Acids
The fatty acid profile is similar to that of olive oil. Palmitic acid (12.9g/100g), stearic acid (6.0g/100g), oleic acid (69.9g/100g), and linoleic acid (7.8g/100g) are the major fatty acids. The expected profile of a refined sample of oil is as follows.

Fatty Acid Profile (Major Acids)

    Range (%) Result (%)


C16:0 9.0-12 11.2


C16:1 0.05-0.15 0.1


C18:0 5.0-8.0 7.3


C18:1 70-78 75.1


C18:2 4.0-7.0 4.4

Alpha Linolenic

C18:3 0.1-0.6 0.2


C20:0 0.3-0.7 0.6


C20:1 0.1-0.5 0.4


C22:1 0.1-0.5 0.1

Minor Components



Excellent Stability
Marula oil has exceptional resistance to oxidative rancidity. Published examples include Rancimat Induction Periods of more than 48 hours at 120¡C ~ 20L / Hour. The exceptional oxidative stability has long been part of indigenous traditional knowledge systems.

Oil Quality
Marula Oil is subject to hydrolytic rancidity and Marula Natural Products Pty Ltd. works hard to bring you a high quality oil by minimising lipase activity and reducing the free fatty acid content of the oil.

Our laboratory based at our oil processing centre in Limpopo Province of South Africa is working with our suppliers to minimise lipase activity and is continually improving on the quality of oil we supply. For a recent C.O.A please consult us at

Marula Natural Products Pty Ltd is seeking collaborative arrangements with commercial companies with expertise in commercialising novel and active cosmetic ingredients. Click here to contact us.

New Natural Oils and their Properties
Marula oil is a valuable commercial opportunity as an active ingredient in personal care / cosmetic products. To read more about how this oil compares with three other vegetable oils for skin hydration, skin smoothness and transepidermal water loss, skin redness and relative stability click here.

A hard copy of this complete report and other literature is available from our office - contact us.


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