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 Post subject: soap, lotions
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2003 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 10, 2003 5:48 pm
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Location: Weatherford,TX
:?: Does anyone know of cornmeal/cornmeal juice being added to soap or lotion with the benefical properties intact? I am interested in cornmeal as a soap additive. If it worked, it would possibly be great for skin problems and easy to use. Any feedback or opinions are appreciated. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 6:44 am 
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I imagine you already tried this, but when I plugged the words cornmeal and soap into Google, > 6000 Web hits popped up, and about 600 on the newsgroups. This site says that Maine Organic farmers were the inspiration for their rosemary and cornmeal soap:
http://www.mainemountain.com/store/items/item11.htm
Not all of the hits are for cornmeal in soap, but some soapers are using it. Maybe the soapers like the Maine one above can tell you what they have up their sleeves.

I don't know whether most of the soapers are using cornmeal for antifungal or other properties or for abrasiveness/texture (in solid soaps). I imagine the situation may be limited to cold-process, as I wonder if the antifungal character would survive hot-processing -- I could be wrong about that, though. Other than temp (and maybe processing pH), my other concern would be shelf life on liquid products. It might be tricky to preserve the antifungal properties without causing microbial blooms, but that isn't to say it's impossible. That may explain in part the reason that the people above add rosemary, but then they seem to be dealing with solid soap. I also wonder if the sap ingredients can be adjusted to retain the cornmeal character as much as possible. How, I don't know -- maybe using KOH instead of NaOH?

Where in the manufacturing process do you envision adding the cornmeal/cornmeal juice in either solid or liquid products? I wonder if any of the constituents of corn react in the sap reaction or react with any of the typical soap ingredients. Corn pH runs about 6.5, but adding cornmeal to the heart of the sap reaction would seem to me to be a way to make something close to hominy. If you're thinking about the antifungal effect of cornmeal, I suppose one way to test it is to compare your own plain soap vs. plain soap with cornmeal vs cornmeal juice vs water on a fungal sample (maybe a shower grout black fungus?). If you're thinking about other effects from cornmeal (which one(s)?), that might be a more subjective test. Maybe we can brainstorm about this some.

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 Post subject: corn meal soap
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 10:16 am 
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Joined: Sat May 10, 2003 5:48 pm
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Location: Weatherford,TX
Thanks for replying. My thought was to make a soap that would use the corn meal and the juice. The cornmeal would also act as an exfoliant. My worry is that the anti-fungal properties would disappear with the addition of either kind of lye used to saponify the product. Cold process still gets fairly warm (150 or so ?) in the soap mold. I plan on making small batches to test.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 1:39 pm 
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I could be full of soap bubbles, but I would work from the hypothesis that any temperature that will denature protein will destroy or serioulsy impair the the antifungal properties of cornmeal/cornmeal juice. Protein assays probably are not something you do on a routine basis, so it probably will be hard for you to test the upper temperature limits very well. So, I would start in the lab with trying to control the temperature of the sap reaction if you plan to do only single batching. That probably would amount to a slow and controlled feed of the alkaline solution under conditions where you can mix and cool the system. If there was a way to vary pressure, maybe that would help. I can't predict offhand how the harsh alkaline conditions in the initial batching would affect the proteins directly or affect their sensitivity to heat, but I'd rather avoid that issue.

Probably a better approach is to add the corn material during a "low" temperature re-batch. Maybe you'd have to produce a fairly wet product that takes longer to cure. I don't think I would want the temperature of the corn product to go much above 125 F, although there could be headroom to as high as maybe 150 F, depending on how heat labile the active proteins are. Ideally, the material would be under constant mixing in order to avoid hot spots, but how a particular formulation will work with trying to re-batch at < 140 F, I don't know. pH can affect the dynamics of protein denaturation, so that might be another reason for holding the corn materials for a re-batch. In case the proteins are pH-sensitive, it might be wise to let the first run cure long enough to moderate the alkaline environment before rebatching. I suppose a person could triple-batch if you have the time. Of course, maybe you could hot-process the first run and then rebatch that. That "should" give you as low a pH product to re-batch as one is likely to get.

Maybe another possibility is to make glycerine soap and then rebatch that with corn material. I haven't thought through how that would work, so that idea could be totally pointless. If I think of anything else, I'll try to edit this post. Happy soaping!

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 Post subject: Cornmeal soap
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
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Location: Dallas,TX
I make cornmeal soap with glycerin soap and then mixing in the cornmeal when it cools just enough to still blend it in. The teenagers in my family love it because it helps with their acne. Add rosemary & some peppermint for a nice mix. The lye soap just beats the beneficial properties out of it, in my experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Cornmeal soap
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 10:24 pm 
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Kathe Kitchens wrote:
The lye soap just beats the beneficial properties out of it, in my experience.


If you re-batch as I suggested above, that should moderate the alkalinity to a workable point. The problem then shifts to one of temperature control viz a viz the trichoderma promoting proteins. As a practical matter, the entire idea of translating corn in soap to a topical Trichoderma-promoting antifungal seems pretty far fetched to me. Of course, there apparently are other benefits from adding corn to soap. I haven't thought much about what the detergents in non-glycerin commercial bars would do to corn if it is added to the bar material, but I don't believe I'd expect great things.

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