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The study was conducted to determine the characteristics of soap produced from different fats
and oils. Three different blends of Sesamum indicum seed oil, Butyrospermum parkii fruit oil and
Tallow were used; nine blends each of Sesamum indicum seed oil and Butyrospermum parkii
fruit oil, Sesamum indicum seed oil and Tallow, Butyrospermum parkii fruit oil and Tallow. Cold
method of soap making was employed for this research. A total of 30 blends were carried out.
Each of these blends were used in producing soap as well as individual oil samples. Palm oil was
used as control as well as two commercial soaps; Giv and B-29 soap. The soap samples SHS8
(Shea butter 80% - sesame 20%), SHS9 (Shea butter 90% - sesame 10%) SHT9 (Shea butter
90% - Tallow 10%) and G (Shea butter 60% - sesame 20% - Tallow 20%) with total fatty matter
(75.60±0.35), (75.10±0.35), (75.80±0.28) and (75.30±0.28) respectively, gave the best soap
judging by % Total Fatty Matter (TFM) while blends E (Shea butter 20% - sesame 60% - Tallow
20%) and F (Shea butter 20% - sesame 60% - Tallow 20%) with foam height (cm3) (91.50±0.71)
and (80.00±2.83) respectively gave a better soap in terms of foaming ability. The pH values
observed for blended samples at 10% soap solutions were ranged from 10.50±0.14 to
11.20±0.14, while pH values for the commercial soaps used as standard at 10% soap solutions
were 10.90±0.14 to 10.95±0.07. Soap sample C (100%Tallow) had the highest pH value of
12.00±0.30 which makes it harsh for the body. Thus, from the results obtained in the present
study it can be concluded that due to the favorable physicochemical properties (high %TFM,
high pH and high Foam height) of soap samples, some should be recommended for bathing (G,
SHS8, SHS9 and SHT9) and some for laundry (D, ST8, ST7, ST9, SHS1, SHS2 and SHS3)
judging by % TFM and pH values as well as from the comparison with the commercial soaps
used as control.
Soap may be defined as a chemical compound or mixture of chemical compounds
resulting from the interaction of fatty acids or fatty glycerides with a metal radical or organic
base (Kirk-Othman, 1963). Soaps are mainly used as surfactants for washing, bathing, and
cleaning, but they are also used in textile spinning and are important components of lubricants.
Soaps for cleansing are obtained by treating vegetable or animal oils and fats with a strongly
alkaline solution. Fats and oils are composed of triglycerides; three molecules of fatty acids are
attached to a single molecule of glycerol (Cavitch and Miller, 1994).
The alkaline solution, which is often called lye (although the term "lye soap" refers almost
exclusively to soaps made with sodium hydroxide), brings about a chemical reaction known as
saponification. The metals commonly used in soap making are sodium and potassium, which
produce water-soluble soaps that are used for laundry and cleaning purposes (Kuntom et al.,
1994). The qualities of soap are usually determined by the amount and composition of the
component fatty acids in the starting oil.
Blends of oils can be used in both the hot and cold soap production methods. Vegetable oil
blends could be obtained by mixing different vegetable oils such as the mixture of coconut oil,
palm kernel oil, groundnut oil and shea butter in different proportions (Kuntom et al., 1996) and
soaps of desirable quality can be produced by blending butyrospermum parkii fruit oil, tallow
and sesamum indicum seed oil.
The quality of soap produced is usually comparable to the quality of commercially available
soaps. This research work involves using various blends of Butyrospermum parkii fruit oil,
tallow and Sesamum indicum seed oil for the production of various soaps reported.
1.1 Statements of Research Problem
There is heavy dependence on palm oil as source of fatty acids for the production of soaps by
soap producers. Exploring other type of oils/fats would go a long way in reducing this total
dependence on palm oil. Blending various vegetable oils of different qualities could go a long
way in the production of quality soaps for laundry, bathing and general cleaning purpose.
1.2 Aim and Objectives
The aim of this research work is to study the quality of soap produced from blended oils. The
specific objectives of this work are to:
I. Blend oil/fats from Butyrospermum parkii fruit oil, tallow and Sesamum indicum seed oil;
II. determine the physicochemical parameters of the blended fat/oils;
III. produce soaps from the individual blends (saponification) and
IV. determine the quality parameters of the produced soap.
Two major sources of oil for soap making are available in nature, which includes vegetable oil
(from plants) and Tallow (animal fat). Vegetable oil has a unique quality of being able to form
lather water but its short coming is its inability to harden properly. Animal fat on the other hand
harden properly but does not readily form lather. Hence the need to blend two or more of these
oils with a view to producing a soap which lathers properly in both soft and hard water as well as
1.4 Scope of Research Work
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