Food Science and Biotechnology

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 401–409 | Cite as

Hydrophilic and lipophilic characteristics of non-fatty acid moieties: significant factors affecting antibacterial activity of lauric acid esters

  • Kyung-Min Park
  • Seon Joo Lee
  • Hyunjong Yu
  • Jun-Young Park
  • Ho-Sup Jung
  • Keesung Kim
  • Chang Joo Lee
  • Pahn-Shick Chang


It has been proposed that the hydrophilic and/or lipophilic characteristics of fatty acid derivatives affect their antibacterial activities according to their ability to incorporate into the bacterial cell membrane. To verify this hypothesis, six kinds of lauric acid derivatives esterified with different non-fatty acid moieties were selected to confirm whether antibacterial activity from their precursor (i.e., lauric acid) is retained or lost. Three compounds, monolaurin, sucrose laurate, and erythorbyl laurate, exerted bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects against Gram-positive bacteria, while the others showed no inhibitory activity. Interestingly, the calculated log P (octanol–water partition coefficient) values of monolaurin, sucrose laurate, and erythorbyl laurate were − 4.122, − 0.686, and 3.670, respectively, relatively lower than those of the other compounds without antibacterial activity. Moreover, the hydrophilic-lipophilic balance values of the three compounds with antibacterial activity were higher than those of the other compounds, corresponding to the log P result.


Lauric acid esters Antibacterial activity Non-fatty acid moiety Octanol–water partition coefficient Hydrophilic-lipophilic balance 



This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, & Future Planning (NRF-2017R1A2B4009230) and the Ministry of Education (NRF-R1A6A3A01012396).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10068_2018_353_MOESM1_ESM.docx (232 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 231 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Food Science and Technology and Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science and BiotechnologyWonkwang UniversityIksanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural BiotechnologySeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Center for Food and Bioconvergence, Seoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Institute of Advanced Machinery and Design, School of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Research Institute of Agriculture and Life SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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