Castor Oil FSG/BSS
History of the Castor Seed: Ricinus Communis
Castor oil comes from the castor seed1, Ricinus communis, which has a very unusual chemical composition. Castor oil is a triglyceride, comprised of fatty acids, 90 percent of which is ricinoleic acid.
This unique fatty acid is found in lower concentrations in a few other seeds and oils (0.27 percent in cottonseed oil and 0.03 percent in soybean oil) and is thought to be responsible for castor oil’s unique healing properties. The castor seed plant is native to India.
Centuries ago, the plant was referred to as “Palma Christe” because the leaves were said to resemble the hand of Christ. This association likely arose out of people’s reverence for the plant’s healing abilities.
It was later adopted for medicinal use in Ancient Egypt, China, Persia, Africa, Greece, Rome, and eventually in 17th Century Europe and the Americas. Castor oil is now widely used in industry. The stem of the plant is used in the textile industry, particularly in Russia, where castor oil is known as “Kastorka.”
The oil has a very consistent viscosity and won’t freeze, which makes it ideal for lubricating equipment in severely cold climates. Modern non-medicinal uses for castor oil include:
- Food additive and flavoring agent
- Mold inhibitor
- Ingredient in skin care products and cosmetics (lipstick, shampoo, soap, and others)
- Used in the manufacturing of plastics, rubbers, synthetic resins, fibers, paints, varnishes, lubricants, sealants, dyes, and leather treatments; the lubricants company Castrol took its name from castor oil
Physical, Chemical Properties and Specifications:
|Appearance||Pale Yellow, Viscous, Clear Liquid|
|F.F.A (as oleic)||1.0% Max.|
|Acid Value||2.0% Max.|
|Moisture, Impurities & Volatile Matter||0.25% Max.|
|Hydroxyl Value(mg KOH/gm)||160-163|
|Color on lovibond in 1” cell ( Y + 5R)||Y- 20.0 Max. R – 2.0 Max|
|Iodine Value (By Wiss, gI 2 / 100g )||82-90|
|Saponification Value (mgKoH / gm)||177-185|
|Unsaponifiable matter||1.0 Max.|
|Specific Gravity @30° C / Relative Density 15 / 15.5 DC||0.954-0.960|
|Optical rotation||+3.5 to +6.0 deg|
|Viscosity at 25 deg C||710 to 950 cst (680-920 cps)|
|Ricinoleic Acid content||85 percent Min|
|Edible or Non Edible||Non Edible|
|Refractive Index @ 40° C||1.4700-1.4810|
The above information is for general research purposes only and is not a representation or warranty of any kind. This material is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The user of this material is solely responsible for determining fitness for any particular use; requesting and reviewing the applicable Material Safety Data Sheet; and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Terms and conditions apply.