Green Mountain soap is made from food grade oils as opposed to inedible or solvent-extracted oils more commonly used in commercial manufacturing processes. Each oil adds different properties to the soap. Tallow makes a hard, long lasting bar of soap. Coconut oil produces abundant glycerin that attracts moisture to the skin. Olive oil makes a rich, creamy lather, but because of its cost is rarely used in commercial soaps in meaningful quantities. Palm oil and tallow have similar lipid profiles, so palm oil can be substituted for tallow in our all vegetable bar formulation.
Green Mountain Soap uses only edible grade tallow as an ingredient in its original formulation for bar soap. Tallow is made from beef fat that has been rendered (heated) until it liquefies, after which the impurities are removed. Tallow quality is graded into four categories based on color and the amount of free fatty acids in the finished product (free fatty acids are used as an indicator of freshness). Tallow quality grades are categorized as edible, prime, inedible and stock feed. Edible and prime tallow can be consumed by humans, inedible is used in commercial soap manufacturing or added to pig and chicken feed. The purest level of tallow is sanctioned for human consumption. Edible tallow must contain no more than 1% solid matter such as muscles and bones, and no more than 2% water, which causes rancidity in higher percentiles. Cattle used for edible tallow must be in good health.
Most countries use the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) standards to define olive oil. The first criterion is that the oils must not have been adulterated in any way (e.g. mixed with nut or seed oils), and they also must conform to sensory and analytical standards. There are two main categories: olive oils obtained directly from the olive fruit without the use of solvents; and olive-pomace oils obtained by treating the ground olive flesh and pits left after oil extraction with solvents or other physical treatments. Pomace is considered an inferior grade and is used by large commercial manufacturers for soap making or industrial purposes. Green Mountain Soap uses premium olive oil obtained solely from the fruit of the olive tree, and never uses oils extracted with solvents. We purchase our oil from a reliable source to ensure the olive oil has not been adulterated.
Green Mountain Soap uses RBD (refined, bleached, and deodorized) coconut oil. RBD oil is usually made from copra (dried coconut kernel), which is placed in a hydraulic press with added heat to extract the oil. This process yields up practically all the oil present. This ‘crude’ coconut oil is refined with further heating and filtering. Unlike virgin coconut oil, refined coconut oil has no coconut taste or aroma. We use 76 Degree oil versus 96 Degree oil. 76 Degree and above oil melts at a lower temperature because it has not been hydrogenated (which produces transfats).
Palm oil comes from a fruit that grows in bunches called oil palm. It is not to be confused with palm kernel oil from the kernel of the same fruit, or coconut oil derived from the kernel of the coconut palm. Refined, bleached, and deodorized palm oil is an important raw material in the manufacture of soaps, washing powder and other personal care products. The use of palm oil attracts the concern of environmental activist groups. The high oil yield of the trees has led to removal of forests in parts of Indonesia in order to make space for oil-palm plantations. This has resulted in acreage losses of the natural habitat of the orangutan. Green Mountain Soap uses only palm oil sourced from certified sustainable palm orchards.