Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Capsules that clean: New-look laundry detergents head for supermarket shelves

C&EN Assistant Managing Editor Michael McCoy explains that the technology behind films used to package the single doses of detergent have come a long way in the five decades since their debut. Previous versions of the encapsulating films interacted poorly with the detergent and had short shelf-lives. And another type of single-dose formulation — essentially a tablet of compressed laundry powders — didn't dissolve fully, leaving partially consumed chunks among the clean clothes.

In recent years, single-dose liquids packaged in polyvinyl alcohol film have caught on in the U.K. and France. The German company Henkel now has plans to market a similar "mono-dose" in the U.S. in the coming weeks, and Procter & Gamble plan to launch "Tide Pods" within a month. The same dose is used regardless of the amount of that needs to be washed. Although the main technical challenges have been solved, experts say that "the jury is still out" on whether are ready for these products.

More information: Selling Detergents One Load At A Time - http://cen.acs.org/articles/90/i4/Selling-Detergents-One-Load-Time.html

Provided by American Chemical Society (news : web)

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