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The concentration of free fatty acids (palm oil) was determined by the recommended titration method using phenolphthalein as the indicator. The palm oil was purchased from bori main market. It exhibited sensitive colour changes in basic medium. Single-line manifold using phenolphthalein as indicator was developed. Titration operating parameters such as; average volume of base used, concentration of base, volume of acid, concentration of acid, number of moles of base and acid used, titre value and acid value were optimized. The method is recommended for the determination of oil samples with acidity degree higher than 0.5. A sample of palm oil was tested using the appropriate titration method and the result obtained was 0.308 g/dm3, which is the mass concentration of the free fatty acid.




Fatty acids, both free and as part of complex lipids, play a number of key roles in metabolism – major metabolic fuel (storage and transport of energy) are made possible by fatty acids in the body. They serves essential component of all membrane and as gene regulations. In addition dietary lipid provides long chain fatty acids that have multiple double bonds that generates locally acting substances that takes part in metabolism (Arlid et all 2003).

All human beings from time immemorial have been using plants for a multiple of purposes. Oils have always been an integral part of human food, being essential for health. Industrially, they play an important role in the development of different area of chemical products, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, plants and most importantly, food (Atef, 2010).

Oils are naturally occurring esters of long straight-chain carboxylic acids. They belong to the saponifiable group (contain an ester groups) of lipids. Lipids are biologically produced materials that are relatively insoluble  in  water  but soluble in polar and non-polar organic solvents. Edible oils are constituted of triacylglycerol molecules, mainly formed by unsaturated (oleic, linoleic, linolenic acids etc.) and saturated fatty acids (myristic, palmitic, stearic acids etc.) esterified to Glycerol units (Andersson et al., 2010).

They can be formed from a single fatty acid that could be esterified up to three times into glycerol backbone, or at least by three different ones. Almost every adult at present times develops some degrees of atherosclerosis, commonly known as “hardening of the arteries”. Atherosclerosis leads to strokes, heart attacks and other serious health problems. High cholesterol, smoking and high blood pressure are the principal risk factors linked to heart disease.  The word “cholesterol” may quickly be associated with chronic heart disease and other heart problems. However, cholesterol also has essential functions in the body such as providing essential components of membrane and serving as a precursor of bile acids, steroid hormones and vitamin D. Consuming cholesterol in our diet increases the level of low density lipoproteins (LDLs). There are so many different varieties of vegetable oil brands in our markets and all of them claim to be cholesterol free. Due to increasing awareness on the health implications of high cholesterol in the diets, most people now prefer to purchase cholesterol free vegetable oils (Attarde et al., 2010).


In this experiment a technique known as titration will be used to determine the concentration of fatty acid. A titration involved performing a controlled reaction between a solution of known concentration (The titrant) and a solution of unknown concentration (The analyte). Here, the titrant is an aqueous solution of potassium hydroxide (KOH) and the analyte is fatty acid. When mixed, a neutralization reaction occurs between sodium hydroxide and the fatty acid. The potassium hydroxide will be gradually added to the fatty acid in small amount from a burette. Aburette is a device that allows the precise delivery of a special volume of a solution. The potassium hydroxide (KOH) will be added to the fatty acid sample until all the fatty acid has been exactly consumed (reacted away). At this point, the reaction is completed and no more potassium hydroxide is required. This is called the equivalence point of the titration.

In order to know when the equivalence point is reached, an indicator solution called phenolphthalein is added to the fatty acid at the beginning of the titration. Phenolphthalein is a pH sensitive organic dye. It is colorless in acidic solution and deep pink in basic solution like sodium hydroxide. As the titration is performed the following data will be collected;

  1. The molarity of potassium hydroxide (KOH(aq)) used.
  2. The volume of potassium hydroxide used to neutralize the fatty acid.
  3. The volume of fatty acid.

Using these sets of data, the molarity and mass of fatty acid can be determined by performing a series of solution stoichiometry calculations.


Many years ago, fatty acids have been existing and it is of great importance to know the concentration of it. Based on this fact, a technique known as titration has been derived to determine the concentration of fatty acids sold in bori. Titration is a technique where a solution of known concentration is used to determine the concentration of an unknown solution. The titrant (the solution of known concentration) is added from a burette to a known quantity of the analyte (the solution of unknown concentration) until the reaction is complete. Therefore, performing a titration on fatty acids, is a technique that will reveal the concentration of fatty acids.


The experiment determines the concentration of fatty acid. In order to determine the concentration of the fatty acid the method or procedure involved in titration will be used.


In this experiment, fatty acids will be purchased from bori main market, sodium hydroxide will be obtained and all apparatus involved in the titration shall be used in the experiment.


Fatty acid is one of the major components of lipid, which is used in the body to store energy. Therefore, this study is important because it real reveal many hidden facts about fatty acids. In this study we shall know the concentration of fatty acids, source of fatty acids and how important it is to human living. We shall also determine how much of its quantify needed to be consumed at an average rate in human beings.


Metabolism:- This is the broken down of food particles into simplerones in order to turn them into energy for the use of  body.

Pharmaceutical:- This  refer to medical products medicine, medication or medicament used to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent diseases.

Cosmetic:- This refer to make-up substances used to enhance the beauty of the human body.

Eicosanoids:- These are signaling molecules made by oxidation of 20-carbon fatty acids.

Receptors:- These are protein molecules usually found embedded within the plasma membrane surface of a cell that receives chemical signals from outside the cell.

Polyunsaturated:- This related to long chain organic compounds that have multiple double bonds.

Intracellular:- This is inside or within a cell

Methylene:- The divalent radical in which the free valences are part of single bonds.

Carboxyl:- This is the univalent functional group consisting of a carbonyl and a hydroxyl functional group.

Saturated:- This is the state whereby a substance becomes inert by a chemical combination with all that it can hold.

Oleo-Chemistry:- This is the study of vegetable oils and animal oils and fats.

Membrane:- This is a flexible or separating tissue forming a plane and separating two environments. A flexible or semi-flexible covering or waterproofing whose primary function is to exclude water.

Sodium Hydroxide:- This is also known as caustic soda. This is an inorganic compound. It is a white solid and highly caustic metallic base and alkali sult which is available in pellets, flakes, granules and as prepared solution at a number of different concentrations.


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