Palm Kernal Oil vs. Palm Kernal Flakes

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Kamahido

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While toying around with my soap calculator (again :-D) I noticed that Palm Kernel Oil and Palm Kernel Flakes have significantly different amounts of Steric Acid and Oleic Acid. Why is that?
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topofmurrayhill

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While toying around with my soap calculator (again :-D) I noticed that Palm Kernel Oil and Palm Kernel Flakes have significantly different amounts of Steric Acid and Oleic Acid. Why is that?
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They come from different parts of the plant. You should really think of them as completely separate oils.

Palm kernel is a "bubbly" oil and interchangeable (or combinable) with coconut oil. Look at the lauric acid and compare with CO. They are both referred to as lauric oils.

Palm oil is called a palmitic oil, but more generally a hardening oil. It doesn't contribute the big bubbles but it increases the longevity of the soap.

Let me know if that answers your questtion.
 

Obsidian

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Lol topofmurrayhill, you need to reread the post, think you missed something:)

The flakes are hydrogenated, can't really explain what that means but it makes the oil harder and changes the fatty acid profile. I really prefer the flakes, not only are they easier to work with but they help harden the bar.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Lol topofmurrayhill, you need to reread the post, think you missed something:)

The flakes are hydrogenated, can't really explain what that means but it makes the oil harder and changes the fatty acid profile. I really prefer the flakes, not only are they easier to work with but they help harden the bar.
Hah, you are right! I am used to the more common question.

The hydrogenation process converts oleic acid to stearic acid, so that's why the flakes have more stearic and create a slightly harder bar.

Stearic is simply oleic with an additional hydrogen atom (hence the term hydrogenation).
 

lenarenee

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Hah, you are right! I am used to the more common question.

The hydrogenation process converts oleic acid to stearic acid, so that's why the flakes have more stearic and create a slightly harder bar.

Stearic is simply oleic with an additional hydrogen atom (hence the term hydrogenation).
I don't use palm oils any more, but I'm curious as to how the hydrogenated and
and non-hydrogenated compare. How would a 100% bar of each oil differ from each other?
 

topofmurrayhill

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I don't use palm oils any more, but I'm curious as to how the hydrogenated and
and non-hydrogenated compare. How would a 100% bar of each oil differ from each other?
Hydrogenation is used to harden and stabilize oils. That carries forward into the soap. I've never tried to make these hypothetical single oil soaps, and I only use PKO flakes, but at 100% I imagine you'd notice the extra hardness and stearic properties from the hydrogenated version of the oil.
 

lenarenee

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Hydrogenation is used to harden and stabilize oils. That carries forward into the soap. I've never tried to make these hypothetical single oil soaps, and I only use PKO flakes, but at 100% I imagine you'd notice the extra hardness and stearic properties from the hydrogenated version of the oil.
Right - but possibly also less "conditioning" since the oleic turns to stearic? (although, I love stearic acid in lotions!)

Any difference in bubbles?

But overall then, not a huge difference between the 2?
 

topofmurrayhill

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Right - but possibly also less "conditioning" since the oleic turns to stearic? (although, I love stearic acid in lotions!)

Any difference in bubbles?

But overall then, not a huge difference between the 2?
Probably not a huge difference between the two palm kernel oils in the quantity that they're typically used.

Even theoretically, I don't think you can look at the amount of any one fatty acid in a recipe and determine how it affects mildness. It's always the balance between fatty acids. You can for instance have a recipe with 20% coconut oil be drying and another with 30% be mild, particularly if the latter soap is much harder. In that case, a hardening oil with stearic would be contributing more to mildness than an oleic oil.
 

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