Jojoba Oil

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Oil production

For the oil production, a cold-pressing process / oil press is used to grind the mature seeds and then mechanically press them. Besides this method, the more elaborate process of extraction is also used. Benzene, heptane, hexane, isopropyl alcohol, tetrachloroethylene or carbon tetrachloride serves as a solvent for dissolving the wax.

Oil presses for jojoba processing

Characteristics and shelf life

Jojoba oil features a clear, golden yellow color, a cosmetic, soapy fragrance and a mild taste.

This oil distinguishes itself from the other plant oils in that it is not a mixture of triglycerides, but rather forms from wax esters with a chain length of 38-44 carbon atoms. In doing so, the wax esters are composed of approx. 47-49% fatty acids and of approx. 50-52% fatty alcohols. The total amount of fatty alcohol is comprised largely of cetolic acid, around 45-52%; 39-46% eicosenoic acid; 6-11 nervonic acid; and 1-2% oleic acid. In contrast, the total amount of fatty acid consists of 66-71% eicosenic acid, 14-20% cetolic acid, 10-13% oleic acid and 1-3% nervonic acid. In addition, the oil contains further substances: provitamin A, amino acids, minerals, and  squalene.

The melting point of jojoba oil lies around 7° C, the pour point around 10° C, and the flash point at 295° C. Furthermore, the ignition point is around 338°C and the boiling point (under nitrogen) around 398° C.

Jojoba oil, owing to the high amount of Vitamin E tocopherols in it, possesses a strong resistance to oxidation. Thus it can be stored for 20-25 years without becoming rancid, preservatives being unnecessary.


In the pharmaceutical and medical industries

In pharmaceutical technology, jojoba oil (as liquid wax) finds application as a carrier or coating for medical preparations in the production of penicillin; in restricted diets; and in appetite suppressants. What is more, the oil also serves to replace spermaceti as a natural emulsifier and is also suitable for use as a carrier for oxidation-sensitive materials, since it is relatively stable against rancidity.

Cosmetic use

In the cosmetic realm, jojoba oil has diverse applications. It can be found as liquid wax, among other things, in hair-setting lotions, shampoos, hairsprays, hair dyes, soaps, shaving creams, hand creams, moisture creams, massage and body oils, bath oils, cleansing creams, make-up removers, lipstick, and so forth.

The oil can have a regulating effect on the moisture content of the skin; and develop a natural SPF of 4.

Industrial use

In industry, jojoba oil can be used as a lubricant, as hard wax or as fuel, among other things. It forms a high quality lubricant that withstands high pressure and high temperatures. Used as hard wax, the oil is applied in polishing waxes for flooring, shoes, furniture; for the auto industry; for protective coverings; for fruit and foodstuff; for candles, insulating material, and carbon paper. The single fatty alcohols and fatty acids are also found in disinfectants, solvents, detergents, plastics (plasticizers), corrosion protection, and so forth. What is more, numerous experiments have been carried out in Arabia and other places to test the effectiveness of jojoba oil as fuel. It would present an environmentally friendly fuel, being naturally low-carbon and sulfur-free, and only require the addition of methanol.

In the kitchen

Jojoba oil can be used as salad oil and also as frying oil. However, the culinary use of this oil is not advisable, since animal testing has shown that a regular consumption of jojoba oil over a longer period of time can cause changes in the liver, in the blood panel, and in the small intestinal region.

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In addition to their own knowledge acquired through press trials, the following sources were used to create the article:

  • Öle, natürlich kaltgepresst, Basiswissen & Rezepte, Marcus Hartmann, Hädecke, 2008
  • Heilende Öle, Pflanzenöle als Nahrungs- und Heilmittel, Neue Erkenntnisse, Günter Albert Ulmer Verlag Tuningen
  • Lexikon der pflanzlichen Fette und Öle, Krist, Buchbauer, Klausberger, SpringerWienNewYork, 2008