Cuphea Yields in Iowa, 2002
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Cuphea is a potential source of lauric and capric acids, which are medium-chain-length fatty acids. They are used to manufacture various products such as detergents (lauric) and high quality lubricants (capric). The fatty acids are contained in oils that are produced and stored in cuphea seeds. Currently, all of the lauric acid used for detergents is derived from imported palm and coconut oils. There is no domestic source of this fatty acid, which is a dilemma that U.S. industries, such as Proctor & Gamble and ADM, would like to resolve.