The puzzle of laurel fruit oil properties


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Apr 11, 2015
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New York City
Doubtless like many before me, I have researched the properties of laurel berry oil and was not left with a feeling of control over my soap formulation.

There is a notable lack of information about the technical characteristics of laurel oil, plus there are potential questions about the nature of the oil that's available to us. I'm not sure if we totally know what it is.

Laurel PULP oil is a deep green liquid and actually contains fairly little of the lauric acid that is probably desirable for adding some bubbles to your castile recipe. Laurel KERNEL oil is more brown and buttery and contains quite a bit of lauric acid. Theoretically the oil you buy is some combination of the two, but do we know what we're buying?

I don't trust the information in Soapcalc. It shows a plausible fatty acid profile for whole commercial laurel berry oil, but a SAP value that's more plausible for just the green pulp oil. If we believe the fatty acid profile listed there, I have to guess that the lauric acid would give it a SAP value over .200 KOH. Maybe 205 or 210?

Has anybody learned more or are we still stuck on this one?