Milkweed Seed Fatty Acids

Most seed oils contain a narrow range of functional groupings, which limit their application for industrial and pharmaceutical usage. However, seed oil from common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), a native flowering plant preferred by butterflies, is highly unsaturated and can be hydroxylated to increase reactive groupings, thereby broadening the utility and stability of the oil. Such modifications could allow this oil to be used as a viscosity modifier in foods, as a lubricant, in pharmaceuticals, or in biodegradable plastics. A group of researchers, including ISTC’s B.K. Sharma, investigated the physical characteristics of the polyhodroxy fatty acids of milkweed oil, confirming that it is a stable material with unique properties that could be useful as an additive in pharmaceutical applications.

milkweed seedsmilkweed flowers