Castor oil is generally a non-edible vegetable oil obtained by pressing the seeds of the castor oil plant (Ricinuscommunis). It is a triglyceride in which approximately 90 percent of fatty acid chains are ricinolate. Oleate and linoleates are the other significant components. Castor oil and its derivatives are used in the manufacturing of soaps, lubricants, hydraulic and brake fluids, paints, dyes, coatings, inks, cold resistant plastics, waxes and polishes, nylon, pharmaceuticals and perfumes Castor oil is famous as a source of ricinolein acid, a monounsaturated, 18-carbon fatty acid. Among fatty acids, ricinolein acid is unusual in that it has a hydroxyl functional group on the 12th carbon. In the food industry, castor oil (food grade) is used in food additives, flavourings, candy (e.g., polyglycerolpolyricinoleate or PGPR in chocolate), as a mould inhibitor, and in packaging. Polyoxymethylene castor oil is also used in the food industries.
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