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Coconut 76 vs Palm Kernel Oil - why isn't PKO more popular?

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RogueRose

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I was just looking over some oil values and came across PKO and found that it is VERY similar to coconut in both makup, characteristics, price and availability. IMHO they are almost interchangeable in most recipes and if skin dryness is a problem with a CO recipe then switching to PKO may be helpful as it has almost 2x the conditioning factor as CO. I've added an image of the difference between the different types of palm and coconut oils.




So what is the deal with PKO and is there a reason it isn't used any where near as much?
 

TVivian

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I like PKO a lot. I use it 50/50 with CO. I don't like swapping it out completely for CO because the soap gets a rubbery texture that I don't like. The bar feels like a giant eraser if you could imagine that feeling. It's good stuff tho.
 

SplendorSoaps

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I use CO more than PKO because I can buy it in bulk and use it for other products, like lotion bars. I think that PKO is slightly cheaper in bulk than my CO supplier, but you just can't beat the versatility of CO. I do keep a 5 lb. bag of PKO on hand and use it on occasion.
 

not_ally

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I've only tried PKO a few times, but have experimented w/it and CO at various percentages totaling 20% - (1) 20% PKO; (2) 10% PKO/10% CO, and (3) 20 % CO - and liked the mix the best.
 

Obsidian

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I like PKO too but I can't get it local, CO I can. I've not found PKO to produce a rubbery bar, if anything, it makes a harder, shinier bar then CO.
 

TVivian

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I like PKO too but I can't get it local, CO I can. I've not found PKO to produce a rubbery bar, if anything, it makes a harder, shinier bar then CO.

That's interesting. Did you use lard or Palm? I used palm and the soap had a really odd texture with PKO.
 

doriettefarm

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I haven't noticed a rubbery texture with PKO instead of CO. But I do notice a difference between regular PKO and the hydrogenated stuff . . . when I combine the hydrogenated PKO with high amounts of tallow I get the waxy texture Obsidian described.
 

IrishLass

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Like others have mentioned, I like using a mix, too. I usually use more PKO in relation to CO.

I personally don't like using all PKO in place of CO. I made a batch of 100% PKO with a 20% superfat once, and I didn't like it anywhere as near as well as my 100% CO bar with the same superfat. Although it lathered well, the lather had a much different feel to it....less cushiony/oomphy, if you will. Or to explain it another way, it had less 'body' to it.


IrishLass :)
 

shunt2011

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I too use both CO and PKO. I like the combination better than just CO. I use the flakes. I get it from Soaper's Choice.
 

Obsidian

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I used the PKO with palm or lard, mostly lard. I've used the hydrogenated flakes and the solid oil form.
 

TVivian

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I haven't noticed a rubbery texture with PKO instead of CO. But I do notice a difference between regular PKO and the hydrogenated stuff . . . when I combine the hydrogenated PKO with high amounts of tallow I get the waxy texture Obsidian described.

Yes, waxy! That's the perfect description.
 

RogueRose

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While there is not a huge difference between the solid PKO and the flakes, the flakes are hydrogenated, which is like the difference between soybean oil and crisco/shortening (which is hydrogenated vege oil). For those who don't know that there is a difference, take a look at the chart on the first post to see the difference between the conditioning and creamy characteristics of the oil - I think those are the most important differences. The hardness difference is a factor but they are both relatively high that it shouldn't make too much of a difference.
 

lenarenee

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I tried pko a few times but just didn't care the bubbles of pko alone; coconut bubbles were better, and pko bubbles were almost blue in color. I like to keep my recipes as simple as possible (i.e. few oils, and use supplies I can get locally except for micas/fo). That way, even if I ran out of every single soapmaking supply....I can run around to the hardware/grocery/health food stores and still be able to make soap without waiting for the UPS truck!
 

snappyllama

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I think PKO works best in tandem with CO. I've been playing with varying ratios. Right now I like my PKO just a tad less than my CO... 7% PKO to 8% CO in a high lard bar. I seem to get a harder feeling bar, that's shinier, has lather with more structure, and the bar itself seems a little longer lasting than when I used CO alone. If I go higher than 15% PKO, the bar definitely feels waxy to me. It's really shiny, but just doesn't feel as good to my skin.
 

Relle

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PKO is a lot more expensive to buy here, that's why I stick to CO and with the cost of the Aussie dollar at 70 US cents it's even more expensive to buy oils now.
 

dibbles

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I've also read that PKO can accelerate trace - does it? I have quite a bit that a friend gave to me, and I'd love to use it.
 

snappyllama

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I haven't noticed anything moving faster, but I use at least 50% lard and max my PKO at 15% so fast trace isn't an issue in my regular recipe.
 

shunt2011

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I've also read that PKO can accelerate trace - does it? I have quite a bit that a friend gave to me, and I'd love to use it.
I haven't noticed that it makes it move any faster. I usually have plenty of time to do swirls or layers with multi colors.
 

dibbles

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I haven't noticed anything moving faster, but I use at least 50% lard and max my PKO at 15% so fast trace isn't an issue in my regular recipe.
Thank you Shunt. I am going to give it a try with my next lard batch!
 

IrishLass

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I've also read that PKO can accelerate trace - does it? I have quite a bit that a friend gave to me, and I'd love to use it.
The hydrogenated flake form of PKO causes pseudo trace for me if my soaping temps go much lower than 110F (i.e., it precipitates out of liquid suspension if my temps get too cool before the heat reaction of the lye can kick in). As long as I keep things warm enough for it to stay melted/fluid long enough for the heat reaction from lye to kick in, all goes well with me and PKO (or any other hard fat or butter for that matter).


IrishLass :)
 
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