I recently bought some SCI from Aquarius Aroma & Soap, and they've changed from prills to noodles, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to share with you some of the various ways you can find SCI or sodium cocoyl isethionate.
This is the new SCI flake...but it looks like a noodle!
This is how it melted in my most recent shampoo bars. I admit I was worried that it would be hard to melt and would solidify into some pellets in the product, but I think it worked really well. As usual, I melted it with some cocamidopropyl betaine and DLS mild to decrease the time it would take.
From this post about melting SCI (scroll down a bit): You can add some anionic surfactants like the alkyl sulfosuccinates, alkyl ether sulfosuccinates, sodium or ammonium taurates (see tomorrow's post), acyl glutamates, or acyl sarcosinates to melt your SCI easier and quicker. You can add the amphoteric surfactants like the betaines or hydroxysultaines. Or you can add some non-ionic surfactants like polysorbate 20 or 80, alkyl glucosides (like decyl glucoside), PEG glyceryl cocoates or PEG glyceryl laurates.
This is the prill I normally get from Aquarius Aroma & Soap. In my experience, it's been easy to melt and doesn't reform into little pellets if I don't melt it just right! This is what I normally use in my products, and I find it is really simple to use.
These are another type of SCI noodle. (I fear I can't remember where I bought this.) I have found these are a little harder to melt, even with the surfactants SCI normally likes, and they tend to solidify when the temperature drops below room temperature in a liquid product.
You can see the SCI solidifying when the temperature in my workshop fell below 15˚C.
This is an SCI flake that I think I bought from the Herbarie as SCI 85% flake. I find this melts nicely as well.
The noodles can be called flakes and flakes could be noodles. Prills are a very specific thing and you won't see them listed as noodles or flakes, but always as prills. Ask your supplier if you're in doubt or if it's vital for your project!