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Q&A on How to Differentiate Soapberry  

2010-06-08 22:48:30|  分类: English |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Q1: Can the pure extract of soapberry decorate iodine?
A: From the technical point of view, when iodine becomes colorless iodide, we termed this as “reduction”. In other words, so long as you understand the principle of chemical change for iodine, adding a certain proportion of reducing agent, you will be able to produce a chemical magic – iodine decolorization! However, what sort of reducing agent is required to achieve such effect? As far as I know, they include the following: stannous chloride, sodium thiosulfate, glucose, vitamin C, enzymes, lemon juice, citric acid, lemon oil, soapberry’s saponin and L–Ascorbic Acid.
For a soapberry, its saponin is the most click of all parts. In other words, it is the most concentrated essence of a soapberry obtained from the after-extraction process. What do you think the color of a soapberry is when it is ripe? Brown or coffee, as you may see! Saponin comes mainly from the flesh and the pericarp of soapberry, therefore, the color of the best quality soapberry is likely to range from light brown to coffee color. As for those “semi-transparent” soapberry products available in the market which people claimed that they are “the decolorization of soap produced by the latest technology”, are they really pure enough? Well, let’s put that open to question!
As we know, the most common practice is to soak the entire soapberry into diluted iodine (iodine mixed with water), and you’ll soon see the brownish yellow liquid “returns to its whiteness”. Actually, this is none but the effect of saponin. Furthermore, because the pericarp itself has a layer of membrane, the brown pigment therefore is unable to blend into the diluted iodine liquid, and thus, the brownish yellow liquid can return to its whiteness. However, the result would be entirely different if you used saponin extractant for experiment: the moment saponin extractant decolorizes the brownish yellow liquid, the brown colored pigment will blend with the diluted solution simultaneously, and the decolorizing liquid will become yellowish at once. Therefore, the gimmick of enabling the diluted iodine solution to “return to its whiteness” is meaningless; other than proving the effect of the saponin itself, it is not capable of bringing any confirmation to their products at all. For if the soapberry is of the top quality, then, the act of proving the simultaneous decolorization and pigmentation is somehow superfluous!
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