Lauric Acid is a saturated medium-chain fatty acid with a 12-carbon backbone. Lauric acid is found naturally in various plant and animal fats and oils, and is a major component of coconut oil and palm kernel oil. It is a white solid with a slight odor of bay oil. Lauric acid, or dodecanoic acid is the main fatty acid in coconut oil and in palm kernel oil, and is believed to have antimicrobial properties. It is a white, powdery solid with a faint odor of bay oil. Lauric acid, although slightly irritating to mucous membranes, has a very low toxicity and so is used in many soaps and shampoos.