Shea & Mango butters unsaponifiables

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ngian

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These days I'm planning to make some experiments using as main oils in a recipe mango and shea butters.

I have seen that a one oil soap of shea is acting very similar with a one oil soap of palm as maybe it is for the fact that they have very similar fatty acid profile.

Looking at them at the soapcal site I see that the % of all fatty acids of these two butters are not giving the property of "high in unsaponifiables" that one can read in wikipedia or from oils suppliers, as they sum up to 97-99% saponifiable fatty acids for both.

So are the numbers in soapcalc not correct?
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Soapcalcs numbers are based on what the salts of the fatty acids will be. Adjusting superfat does nothing to the numbers, nor does it consider the properties of any unsaponifiables - it is literally just the sodium/potassium palmate, lardate and so on
 

Soapmaker145

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The numbers have less to do with the unsaponifiables and more to do with the composition of the oils. There are chains that are shorter than lauric or longer than oleic which are not listed on soapcalc. If you look at fractionated coconut oil, you only see about 3% of the oil listed. What is left is saponifiable as reflected in the high SAP value for the oil. If things don't add up to a 100%, it doesn't mean that what is left is unsaponifiable.
 

ngian

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Well I knew that these numbers won't change if we have lye discount, but I thought that they would give somehow the real % when we put them in the vessel to make soap with 0% lye discount and leave out a few % for other that do not saponify or are other unpopular fatty acids .

Maybe just like Jojoba has only 12% fatty acids, and walnut has 87% of total famous fatty acids in soapcalc.

I'm reading here that the 10% of unsaponifiables in shea are triterpenes, karitene, sterols and some anti-oxidant tocopherols.

In contrast with olive oil that one can read here: Its content in unsaponifiable varies from 0.6 to 1.5 %


So I thought that it would be more realistic for soapcalc to show less than 99% of fatty acids in shea butter as there are 10% of things that does not saponify, in contrast with olive oil that has a more realistic % of fatty acids, in order to design a recipe with precision with the real amount of fatty acids in the final bar.

Am I talking nonsense?
 
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Soapmaker145

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Why do you expect soapcalc to care about unsaponifiable compounds? They don't need any NaOH. They can be ignored safely. Plus, they vary from batch to batch. Soapcalc needs to care only about the saponifiable oils.
 

DeeAnna

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I want to clarify that the % fatty acids in Soapcalc are per weight of the whole fat, not per weight of just the fatty acids. If the fat (1) contains fatty acids (FAs) other than the ones included in the Soapcalc database or if it (2) has unsaponifiable content, then the % of the Soapcalc FAs should correctly be less than 100%.

For example, fractionated coconut oil has a total FA % of about 3% in Soapcalc and that 3% is lauric acid. Why? Because 97% of the fatty acids in FCO are short-chain FAs smaller than lauric acid, and Soapcalc does not include FAs below lauric in its database.

I have no idea about mango and shea butters, Nikos. You may want to compare the chemical composition of the deodorized and refined versions vs. the raw/unrefined butters and see if the apparent discrepancy you're seeing is dependent on the level of purification. Just a guess.

I don't think it's unreasonable to want to know about unsaponifiables. There's a perception that these chemicals add a certain "something" to bath and body products. Also unsaponifiables can affect the softness and lathering ability of soap and a soaper wants to avoid that.
 
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ngian

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Why do you expect soapcalc to care about unsaponifiable compounds? They don't need any NaOH. They can be ignored safely. Plus, they vary from batch to batch. Soapcalc needs to care only about the saponifiable oils.
Well I want to know the real % of the fatty acids I'm inserting into the bowl so as for the "Soap Bar Quality" at soapcalc's table to be more accurate especially in the right bottom table with the FAs. I know that the fatty acid profiles of each oil that soapcalc has, is just average values because each oil differs from supplier to supplier as eventually oils from different countries also differs a bit in their quality and FA composition. But I'm ok with that. I'll take the average values, but if a butter is known to have ~10% of unsaponifiables, I need to see the sum of FAs at around 90% (and maybe less as there would probably be other unpopular FA).

My initial idea prior opening this thread is that I want to somehow reverse engineer the soap production. I will first make a soap recipe that I have tested and it works beautifully on my skin, maybe like the one below:

50% Palm
25% Olive
20% Coconut
5% Castor

which gives:

Lauric 10
Myristic 4
Palmitic 27
Stearic 4
Ricinoleic 5
Oleic 39
Linoleic 9
Linolenic 0

and then use totally different oils, apart from castor as it is one of a kind and works more or less like sugar, and create something very similar with the first soap:

x % Lard or Shea or Mango (as they have similar FA profile with palm)
x % SAO or Sunflower HO
x % Palm Kernel
5% Castor

I want to adjust the "x %" values so as to have almost the same FA profile with the first soap bar. But if the values in soapcalc are not valid for shea and mango butters I can't do this experiment as precise as I would like. I also have in mind that if I use shea or mango I will drop the lye discount from 3% (that I lately use) to 1% so as to balance the effect of the unsaponifiables probably have on lathering property.

Nikos :)
 

Soapmaker145

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I realized that my post didn't read quite right. I didn't mean to imply that the unsaponifiable compounds are irrelevant to the soap quality. They are just irrelevant to the lye amount. I don't think the OP can substract any of the lye amount given by soapcalc based on unsaponifiable compounds. Or maybe I totally misunderstood the question.

Shea butter and many other butters vary significantly between suppliers. I have 3 versions and all 3 look and fell different. I would be nervous making a soap using high percentage of any of them with the exception of probably cocoa butter. Somehow that seems more consistent between batches and suppliers.
 

Soapmaker145

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Well I want to know the real % of the fatty acids I'm inserting into the bowl so as for the "Soap Bar Quality" at soapcalc's table to be more accurate especially in the right bottom table with the FAs. I know that the fatty acid profiles of each oil that soapcalc has, is just average values because each oil differs from supplier to supplier as eventually oils from different countries also differs a bit in their quality and FA composition. But I'm ok with that. I'll take the average values, but if a butter is known to have ~10% of unsaponifiables, I need to see the sum of FAs at around 90% (and maybe less as there would probably be other unpopular FA).

Nikos :)
Some oils differ more than others and the butters are definitely up there. I think the number you see in soapcalc is for the refined shea butter with most the unsaponifiables removed. This is why it adds up to 99%. There are too many variables that you can't control without actually having the batch of oil you are using tested or getting a supply from a company that actually does testing on every batch. If you are only using a small percentage of shea butter in your batch, you won't notice the difference. If it is a high percentage, then you will run into a problem with the accuracy of the results. You also have to worry about the actual percentage of NaOH in the lye you are using. That alone can vary by several percentage points depending on the quality. The superfat is just a way to compensate for all the uncertainties.
 

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