Master Soapmakers and soap factories


There is a regulatory text to define “baker and bakery”. There is no similar text to name “Master Soapmakers and soap factory”.

The Master Soapmarkers converts oils (also named fatty acids) to soap by the action of the soda (for hard soap) or by the action of the lye (for soft soap or liquid soap). This chemical reaction is called “saponification”. A soap factory is where saponification is made.MS 002 - CopieV2

The Master Soapmaker is the man with the skills and the know-how to perform industrial saponification.

Modern soap was indirectly created by the French chemist Nicolas LEBLANC, who developed in 1791 a method to produce caustic soda in Marseille.

By the end of the XVIII century, the “Marseille” method to make soap takes shape. In just a few years, this manufacturing method became the reference method to make high-quality soap. For example, the German author DIETE describes in 1917 in this fourth edition of the “soap production manual” the universality of the “Marseille” method.

The method consists of 4 major stages which are:
– “Empattage” and boiling: this consists in bringing the oil and lye into contact and “boiling” the soap to ensure saponification
– Salting out or precipitating the glycerin in a salt medium
– Purifying the soap several times using a salt and soda solution
– Liquefaction or the addition of water allowing the soap to concentrate, eliminate excess salt and acquire a smooth consistency at 80°C

The soap paste obtained is then dehydrated to have a raw semi-finished product in the form of noodles : soap noodles.

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In 2003, the DGCCRF, France’s Competition Council, approved regulations concerning the name “Savon de Marseille”. There is an interprofessional code which forbid to call Marseille soap, a product made with soaps noodles manufactured with a different method in South-East Asia.

All our soaps “La Cigale” and “Cigale Bio” are fully developed in our workshops depending on the expertise of our Master Soapmakers.

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