Sapindus Trifoliatus: or how the fruit became a detergent – Part 2

The Ministry of Environment & Forest classifies industries as Red, Orange and Green, depending on how polluting they can be to the environment. Red industries are defined as heavily polluting industries, whose clearances are renewed every year.
Synthetic detergents and soaps fall into the Red classification.
Detergent manufacturing is usually a resource intensive, potentially heavy polluting activity.
How Krya manufactures the fruit that’s a detergent
We ‘manufacture’ our detergent by getting the friendly neighbourhood village ladies to pluck the ripe Sapindus trifoliatus from the tree at Harvest time.
The magic lies in deciding when a fruit is ripe enough to become a detergent – The experienced eyes of Mr.Anki Reddy, our resident soapnut & all things organic expert, help us decide that.
After removing the seed (the seed is stored carefully for re-planting), our friendly crew take the fruit or the pericarps to a giant stone platform which has been specially built on the farm.
The farm is in a dry, fiercely hot part of Andhra Pradesh, perfect to dry a water loving fruit like the Sapindus trifoliatus. The fruits dry slowly under the sun for 3 days in the sun until they become brittle.
We then collect them from the stone platform, clean them and take them into our ‘factory’ where they are powdered in a large mill (similar to the flour mill that makes the atta ,though much much cleaner).
We put a lot of thought into how fine the fruit gets powdered in a mill.
Powder them too fine, & they absorb too much moisture; Powder them too large, & you would need to use a lot more of them to wash.
We powder them just right – so that they don’t absorb too much moisture, and give you a perfect wash every time.
Once our Sapindus Trifoliatus has been powdered, we mix natural, organic Calcium Carbonate to the powder. Calcium Carbonate, also called Limestone, helps keep our dried fruit powder dry, so that it remains a powder, and easy to use.
And that completes our manufacturing.
We don’t use heavy machines that are energy intensive. The process also does not release harmful vapours.
We don’t use water in our ‘manufacturing, so no river or fishes or tadpoles are harmed during the making of our detergent.
We use just 2 ingredients and 97% of the ingredients are available in the farm right next to the factory. Normal manufacturing would require several ingredients, which would need to transported to the factory using fossil fuels.
It is a fruit, so all those 100+ litres of water that your washing machine used to wash clothes can be sent to your garden. The remaining detergent can be composted in the earth.
Your garden thanks you and so does the municipality whose load you’ve just lightened by reducing the load on the city’s sewage system.
That’s what we call being sustainable – from the farm, to your home, and back to mother earth.

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