What Is It?
Pelargonic Acid, also called nonanoic acid, is a A natural organic compound that consists of a carboxyl group (oxygen, carbon and hydrogen) attached to a chain of carbon atoms with their associated hydrogen atoms. The chain of carbon atoms may be connected with single bonds, making a ‘saturated’ fat; or it may contain some double bonds, making an ‘unsaturated’ fat. The number of carbon and hydrogen atoms in the chain is what determines the qualities of that particular fatty acid. Animal and vegetable fats are made up of various combinations of fatty acids (in sets of three) connected to a glycerol molecule, making them triglycerides. with nine carbons. Isononanoic acid also has nine carbons but at least one single carbon branch. Esters of Pelargonic Acid and isononanoic acid including Butylene Glycol Diisononanoatie, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Cetearyl Nonanoate, Cetyl Isononanoate, Diethylene Glycol Diethylhexanoate/Diisononanoate, Dipentaerythrityl Pentaisononanoate, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Isodecyl Isononanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Isostearyl Isononanoate, Isotridceyl Isononanoate, Neopentyl Glycol Diisononanoate, PEG-2 Diisononanoate, PEG-5 Isononanoate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisononanoate, Polyglyceryl-20 Octaisononanoate, Propylene Glycol Diisononanoate, Tridecyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Pelagonate, Ethyl Pelargonate, Isobutyl Pelargonate, Methyl Pelargonate and Pentaerythrityl Tetrapelargonate may also be used in cosmetic and personal care products. Among the esters, Isononyl Isononoate, Cetearyl Isononanoate and Ethylhexyl Isononanoate are most likely to be used in cosmetics and personal care products.
Why Is It Used?
The following functions have been reported for Pelargonic Acid and its esters.
- Ingredients that hold together the ingredients of a compressed tablet or cake. – Pentaerythrityl Tetrapelargonate
- Ingredients that enhance the appearance and feel of hair, by increasing hair body, suppleness, or sheen, or by improving the texture of hair that has been damaged physically or by chemical treatment. – Cetearyl Isononanoate, Diethylene Glycol Diethylhexanoate/Diisononanoate, Ethyl Pelargonate
- Materials that soften synthetic polymers by reducing brittleness and cracking. – Diethylene Glycol Diethylhexanoate/Diisononanoate
- Skin conditioning agent – emollient – Butylene Glycol Diisononanoate, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Cetearyl Nonanoate, Cetyl Isononanoate, Diethylene Glycol Diethylhexanoate/Diisononanoate, Dipentaerythrityl Pentaisononanoate, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Isodecyl Isononanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Isostearyl Isononanoate, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, Neopentyl Glycol Diisononanoate, Tridecyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Pelargonate, Ethyl Pelargonate, Isobutyl Pelargonate, Methyl Pelargonate,
- Skin conditioning agent – occlusive – Butylene Glycol Diisononanoate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisononanoate, Propylene Glycol Diisononanoate, Pentaerythrityl Tetrapelargonate
- An ingredient that helps two substances that normally do not mix to become dissolved or dispersed in one another. Also called a surface active agent. – cleansing agent – Pelargonic Acid, Polyglyceryl-20 Octaisononanoate
- Surfactant – emulsifying agent – Pelargonic Acid, PEG-2 Diisononanoate, PEG-5 Isononanoate, Polyglyceryl-20 Octaisononanoate
- Surfactant – solubilizing agent – Polyglyceryl-20 Octaisononanoate
- Viscosity increasing agent – nonaqueous – Butylene Glycol Diisononanoate, Dipentaerythrityl Pentaisononanoate, Pentaerythrityl Tetrisononanoate, Propylene Glycol Diisononanoate, Pentaerythrityl Tetrapelargonate
Pelargonic Acid is a fatty acid that is found in almost all species of animals and plants and it is found in low levels in many foods. Because it contains nine carbon atoms, it is also called nonanoic acid. Pelargonic Acid is also used as an herbicide to prevent growth of weeds both indoors and outdoors, and as a blossom thinner for apple and pear trees.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Pelargonic Acid on the list of food additives (synthetic flavoring substances and adjuvants) permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption. The safety of Pelargonic Acid and its esters has been assessed by the The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) was established in 1976 as an independent safety review program for cosmetic ingredients. The CIR Expert Panel consists of independent experts in dermatology, toxicology, pharmacolgy and veterinary medicine. The CIR includes participation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the Consumer Federation of America. (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Pelargonic Acid and its esters were safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products.
CIR Safety Review:
The CIR Expert Panel reviewed data that indicated that Pelargonic Acid is not genotoxic or a reproductive or developmental toxicant. At concentrations of 12% and less, Pelargonic Acid is not a dermal irritant. Pelargonic Acid is not a sensitizer. Studies of the ester compounds indicated that these compounds are not genotoxic, and they are not dermal irritants or sensitizers. The esters of Pelargonic Acid, including Isononyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate and Cetearyl Isononanoate are not very soluble in water and do not readily penetrate the skin.
The CIR Expert Panel noted that these compounds may increase the dermal penetration of other compounds. The CIR Expert Panel cautioned that care should be taken in formulating cosmetic products that contain these ingredients in combination with other ingredients for which dermal absorption was a concern. Based on the available data, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that Pelargonic Acid and its esters, including Isononyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate and Cetearyl Isononanoate are safe for use as cosmetic ingredients.
FDA: Link to Code of Federal Regulations for Pelargonic Acid http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr…
Pelargonic Acid and its esters may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the Under the general provisions of the cosmetics regulation of the EU, ingredients appearing on the following function-specific annexes must comply with the listed restrictions and/or specifications: colorants (Annex IV), preservatives (Annex V), UV filters (Annex VI) and other ingredients with specific concentration limits and/or other restrictions (Annex III). Ingredients specifically prohibited from use in cosmetic products are listed in Annex II. Other ingredients listed in the EU cosmetic ingredient database (CosIng) may be used without restrictions..
Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/co0013_en.htm
Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration
Food Ingredients and Packaging: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/default.htm
Food Contact Substances: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/PackagingFCS/default.htm
Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (“GRAS” is an acronym for the phrase Generally Recognized As Safe. Under sections 201(s) and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), any substance that is intentionally added to food is a food additive, that is subject to premarket review and approval by FDA, unless the substance is generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use, or unless the use of the substance is otherwise excluded from the definition of a food additive.): http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/default.htm
Search the Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm
EU Cosmetics Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/