Palm oil is obtained from the fruit of the palm tree cultivated in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and West African countries. The pulp of the palm fruit contains from 30% to 70% of palm oil. Palm oil has an high melting point and a colour from brown to red. Thanks to its characteristics palm oil is the most used oil in soap manufacturing.
Animal Tallow is obtained from the recovery of fat tissue of cattle. Depending upon the country, also sheep, goat and other animals supply animal fat for Soap Manufacturing. Before the "Mad Cow" disease, tallow was widely used in soap manufacturing; while in the last years there is a tendency to avoid the use of animal fat.
Coconut oil is obtained from the kernel of the coconut fruit. This oil contains an important fraction of lauric acid. It is seldom used in oil blends with a percentage of about 20%. Thanks to his foaming properties, the coconut oil is widely used in cold process soap manufacturing, and a lot of soap makers produce 100% coconut oil soap.
Babassu oil is obtained from the kernel of the seeds of Babassu Palm that grows in Brazil. The properties of this oil are very similar to Coconut Oil and PKO. In Brazil the Babassu oil is used instead of the Coconut oil.
PALM KERNEL OIL
Palm kernel oil (also called PKO) is obtained from the kernel of the palm fruit. In term of characteristics, Palm kernel oil is very similar to Coconut oil, since it has an important fraction of lauric acid.
Olive oil is obtained from the fruit of the olive tree. The fruit contains from 20% to 60% of olive oil. Olive oil is expensive oil, but is an excellent edible oil used in Europe and other countries. The inedible olive oil is used in soap manufacturing; this soap is mainly produced with artisan system, because 100% olive oil soap is difficult to be extruded by means of industrials soap machines. In Middle East traditional Soap Industries produce 100% olive oils soap using big kettles for saponification. When the neat soap is ready, it is discharged on the floor and after solidification it is cut by hand. After the cutting stage the olive oil soap is left to dry naturally for weeks, before being marketed.
Cottonseed oil is obtained from the seeds of cotton plant. This oil is present in many Areas of the World, like India, China, Pakistan, USA and other countries. The seed contains from 25 to 40% of oil. If refined the cottonseed oil is an edible oil. A by-product of refining is the soap-stock useful in soap production.
Rapeseed oil is obtained from the seed of rape fruit. This oil is also called Colza Oil. It has been used as a lubricant for machinery but in the recent years Rapeseed is cultivated in Europe for the biodiesel production. During the chemical refining the soap-stock is produced as by-product. Acidulation of soap-stock recovers the Fatty Acids, useful for soap manufacturing, that are used in soap industries as a part of the blend for the saponification.
Corn oil is obtained from the germs of the corn. This oil is also called Maize oil. It is used in Food industry for edible purpose. a Low grade of corn oil is also used in Soap manufacturing. The germs contains from 40 to 50% of oil. The biggest manufacturers of Corn Oil are USA and China, but this oil is produced in many other countries.
Sunflower oil is obtained from the seed of sunflower fruit (yellow flower) cultivated in countries like Russia, Ukraine etc. It is used in Food industry for edible purpose. It is also used in cosmetic formulations as an emollient. The seed contains from 20 to 35% of oil, while the kernel contains from 45 to 55% oil. Sunflower oil is a cheaper option used in handmade soap manufacturing.
PALM STEARINE & PALM OLEIN
Palm Stearin is obtained from the fractionation of Palm Oil. During the fractionation, the palm oil is separated in two layers depending by the melting points. The part with lower melting point is called palm olein and it is liquid, while the part with higher melting point is solid and called palm stearin; this part is used in soap manufacturing and produce hard soap.