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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Soap is a surfactant used in conjunction with water for washing and cleaning that historically comes in solid bars but also in the form of a thick liquid, especially from soap dispensers in public washrooms.

  • Historically soap has been composed of sodium (soda ash) or potassium (potash) salts of fatty acids derived by reacting fat with lye in a process known as saponification.

  • Soap is made by combining tallow (or other hard animal fat) or vegetable or fish oil with an alkaline solution. The two most important alkalis in use are caustic soda and caustic potash.

  • Soaps are commonly prepared from lipids, which are generally animal or vegetable fats or oils.

Process

  • Soap is produced industrially in four basic steps : Saponification, Glycerine removal, Soap purification, Finishing.

  • The most popular soap making processes today is the cold process method, where fats such as olive oil react with lye.

  • Soap has been manufactured by means of the reaction between an alkali, nowadays caustic soda, and animal fats or vegetable oils such as tallow, coconut or palm kernel oil. This process is known as saponification, and in a modern soap-making plant it is carried out by mixing together the oils and alkali, and then heating them under pressure to around 130 degree.

Market

  • The market for soap products is largely mature in developed markets and displays stagnant growth. The growth potential in developing countries is huge, but there are many obstacles to expansion.

  • The world market for soaps and detergents was worth US$ 88 billion in recent years Asia, Western Europe and North America account for about 87% of total industrial soap consumption.
  • The increasing trend toward added-value products has also boosted market value. To counter the growing threat from supermarket and chemists' own labels which have become increasingly sophisticated, leading manufacturers have stepped up their new product development programs with brand extensions and re-launches of core brands, focusing on added value and convenience.

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