Fatty Acid Industries
Research shows that the usage of fats in industries can be divided into two major categories: food and non-food uses. Food uses include things such as cooking oils. Non-food uses include fuel, animal feed, paint, plastic, soap, and cosmetics. The usage of fatty acids in non-food products is more varied and less straight-forward than their usage in food products. According to a study published by IHS Markit in 2015, oils are used as a major ingredient in "shortening, margarine, salad oils, and cooking oils". This can either be direct, as with vegetable oil or canola oil, or as an additive/ ingredient (as in margarine).
One example of how the fatty acids are used in non-food industries is how soy fatty acid is particularly useful in the cosmetic industry, where it can act as an emulsifier, cleanser, skin-conditioner, and even antioxidant. The cosmetic site that reports these as potential uses for soy fatty acid further states that any of these are useful "in the formulation of bath products, cleansing products, eye makeup, hair conditioners, permanent waves, shampoos, suntan products, and other hair, skin and makeup products."
Another non-food use of fatty acids is in soaps (including detergents), where they "are used to optimize properties such as lather generation". For this purpose, blends of different types of fatty acids are typically used. The same source quoted above points out that soy oil is a soft oil, which makes it better for coating purposes. Therefore, it is typically used to make paints since it contributes to viscosity.
Palm fats are the most common fatty acid used across several industries (closely followed by soy fatty acids). One application of palm fats would be livestock feed. A study conducted at Ohio State University demonstrated that palm fatty acid is commonly used as a "fat supplement for livestock" due to its relative affordability and shelf-stability. Fatty acids are necessary to livestock in order to provide and energy source to the ruminants.
Tall Oil Fatty Acids (TOFAs) are used in the production of fuel additives, plasticizers, oilfield chemicals, and textiles. TOFAs provide lubricating properties for fuels, "plasticizers in rubber to aid in compounding", corrosion inhibitors in oilfield chemicals, and softeners in textiles.
Like TOFA, canola is used in the production of fuel, but in a different capacity. Though more commonly used as a cooking oil, the use of canola oil to make bio diesel reduces greenhouse gas emission by as much as 90%. It's stability and low melting point make it ideal for this purpose.
There are food and non-food industry uses of soy fatty acid, canola fatty acid, TOFA, and palm fatty acid. These include (but are certainly not limited to) cooking oils, margarine, fuel, animal feed, paint, plastic, soap, and cosmetics. While the food industries use them directly or as an additive, the use of these products in non-food industries varies with respect to why the product is being used. While soy fatty acid is utilized by the cosmetic industry for its compatibility with skincare needs, palm acid and TOFA are sought out for their stability and lubricating properties.