Fats, and oils - what and where?

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by dxw, Feb 13, 2018 at 3:11 AM.

  1. Feb 13, 2018 at 3:11 AM #1

    dxw

    dxw

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    I’m having no difficulty sourcing the main vegetable oils that, so far, I have been using for my beginner soap-making efforts. I keep seeing tallow / lard mentioned, usually in the context of whiter soaps and harder soaps, and want to explore that direction a little more.

    I have two questions.
    1. Where, in general terms, do I find tallow / lard suitable for soap making?
    I have done some web-searching and can find large wholesale suppliers to various industries. I’ve been unable to find such products on the websites of local soap-making suppliers. I have seen small tubs of pork lard (400-500g) in supermarkets and semi-wholesale kitchen suppliers, and purchased one of these last weekend.

    NZ is a small country so I expect we simply do not have the options available to us that you would in, for example, the USA … but I am wondering where you obtain your animal-based fats for soap-making (notwithstanding the SMF contributor I just read about who uses the lard / tallow from her own cattle – not really an options for me). Am I going to be limited to half-kg tubs from the supermarket?
    1. Kitchen / cooking shortening?
    When I visited a beloved kitchen semi-wholesaler last week I saw pallets of various cooking shortening products. One brand rang a bell from previous visits to N America – Chef Aid IIRC – and I was wondering if such products were also suitable for soap making. There were 4 or 5 other brands, but I did not look at the fine-print to see what each was made up of. Some were labelled ‘vegetable shortening’ and some were not. Is this a resource that my soap making quest should explore a little further?
     
  2. Feb 13, 2018 at 3:34 AM #2

    Soapmaker123

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    What vegetable oils do you have better access to in NZ that other countries don't have ?

    For example, in the USA, olive oil and coconut oil and palm oil are imported; yet we have some very useful domestically produced oils.
     
  3. Feb 13, 2018 at 3:36 AM #3

    SaltedFig

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  4. Feb 13, 2018 at 3:40 AM #4

    Soapmaker123

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    Here's a prominent USA base oil supplier, a reference page, to get a feel for the types and prices for different-sized packages.

    https://soaperschoice.com/base-oils

    Oh, they've prettied it up with pictures since I've last gone over it.
     
  5. Feb 13, 2018 at 6:42 AM #5

    dxw

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    Hmmm, I have never done it but am not averse to the idea of learning about rendering. I shall explore that possibility a little further.

    No risk of the banknote policy creating a problem. My partner and daughter see it as their civic responsibility to inject all those oils back into the liquid economy. Absolutely no shortage.

    We're a temperate maritime environment, with some semi-sub-tropical influences in the north. So we grow most of the non-tropical mainstream oil sources, like you mention not coconut or palm. We do produce olive oil but also import the majority of it. There are probably also some esoteric and entirely native vegetable oils, but I neither know of them nor am likely to be using them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2018 at 11:44 AM
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  6. Feb 13, 2018 at 6:51 AM #6

    dxw

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    Thanks. Yes, my websearching does occasionally make me jealous of the size of your country and the consumer economy it supports. It's all there, somewhere, to be purchased if you want. Still, I'll look a bit closer at some of our local equivalents and see whether they do have low-end consumer level options.
     
  7. Feb 13, 2018 at 7:32 AM #7

    SaltedFig

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    Ok, found how you can find it (if that makes sense). Look for "dripping" (blame the Poms, Irish n Scots for that), you've got heaps of suppliers.

    Between Lard, Dripping and Suet, you should find a few places to buy it pre-rendered, or to do yourself (the biggest commercial rendering plant I could find in a quick search is Lowe in Hastings). Organic example: https://naturallyorganic.co.nz/product/beef-dripping-organic-500gm-approx/

    And I'm jealous - you have awesome access to non-gmo rapeseed oil!
    https://www.pureoilnz.co.nz/
     
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  8. Feb 13, 2018 at 9:23 AM #8

    Saponificarian

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    Rapeseed oil at not more than 40% makes great soap with Tallow, a bit of Shea (Or Lard: I can’t use Lard for religious reasons so I use Shea) and Coconut.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018 at 12:52 PM
  9. Feb 13, 2018 at 12:38 PM #9

    shunt2011

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    They aren't in the US.....
     
  10. Feb 13, 2018 at 2:16 PM #10

    lsg

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    Some shortenings contain large amounts of beef tallow. You can subsituted this for tallow. It is listed on SoapCalc as Walmart Great Value Shortening.
     
  11. Feb 13, 2018 at 9:24 PM #11

    dxw

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    lol, of course! I absolutely should have thought of that. A Great Depression delicacy in ANZ, and probably UK and other 'empire' nations, was 'dripping on toast' - bread toast, slathered with dripping, grilled and then salt-peppered. My father introduced us to this and, setting aside its cardiovascular implications, it was very tasty.
     
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  12. Feb 13, 2018 at 10:35 PM #12

    Steve85569

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    And soon you'll be wandering the oil aisle of the grocery wondering "what would this one do in soap?".:D
    I remember getting "hooked" by this hobby too!
    Welcome to the addiction that soap making becomes.
     
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  13. Feb 13, 2018 at 10:57 PM #13

    dxw

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    Absolutely. The kitchen industry wholesaler has taken on a whole new meaning to me now. At present I'm still boggling along the lines of "Hey, I did not even know you *could* make an oil from that" but have also found myself returning home and looking up the properties of oils for soap-making.

    Currently eyeing the February Challenge and wondering whether I can make a tilt at that. The January Challenge photographs are scarily good.
     
  14. Feb 19, 2018 at 8:39 AM #14

    Saffron

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    heheheeh... so true! :D
     
  15. Feb 19, 2018 at 10:35 AM #15

    old78

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    lard is from a hog and tallow is from beef.
     
  16. Feb 19, 2018 at 3:39 PM #16

    earlene

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    Yes, this is a good question about the shortening you have available in New Zealand. If it says vegetable shortening it's not going to have animal fats, if NZ labeling laws are similar to ours, and I would guess that they are to some degree.

    In a Google search I found that you do have Crisco shortening available via KiwiCakes as well as some of the other what we call shortenings in your markets. It was also interesting to find this link giving NZ substitutes for US products in for baking when using a recipe from the US. Anyway, your Kremelta is apparently made with hydrogenated Coconut oil and soy lecithen, so you'd be better off finding a cheaper source for CO, as Kremelta looks quite expensive to me. If you are interested in trying other shortenings you mention, I would highly recommend contacting the manufacturer for ingredients information.

    Or better yet, find some experienced soapmakers in NZ and ask if they have that information or maybe a recommendation where to find it. Maybe you have soapmaker gatherings (conferences, workshops, whatever) where you could go and get to know some other soapers in your area and learn more about products available to you in NZ. Using your internet search engine of choice, you can probably find a few handcrafted soap makers near you and contact them. I found a few, none of which are really close to Wellington, but you could probably find more I suspect.

    According to this link, Chefade is beef tallow, but I would still contact the manufacturer to verify if it is not listed as the only ingredient on the label.
     

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