SHEA BUTTER PRODUCTION PROCESS

100% unrefined shea butter on a blue plate

Shea butter is a an amazing ingredient used for a host of skincare products such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, body butter, moisturisers, face creams, hair masks, hair creams etc. It is an oil that come from the nut of the shea tree that grow’s wildly in West and Central Africa.

In West Africa it has been used for thousands of years and for a host of things like a cooking oil, for candle/soap making, hairdressing, lamp fuel, as an ingredient in medicinal ointments for sprains, arthritis and as a decongestant. To read more about the benefit and uses of shea butter please see our blog post Shea Butter Ingredient Spotlight.

10 Step – Shea Butter Production Process

The traditional shea butter production process is similar across the region, however there are certain steps that have been refined and improved upon, the women of both Alibarka and Sorou Ada craft the butter using quality and sustainability principles received during training from Association Karite Benin using guidelines from the Global Shea Alliance trying to align and standardised the production process across the region.

To extract the butter from the nuts is a laborious process that takes several steps, the butter Mino Collective purchases has gone through this 10 step process. To watch it in action please see the video below.

From Nuts to Shea butter

10 step shea butter production process

Step 1

Gathering of the fruits that have ripen and fallen to the ground

Step 2

Separate the nuts from the collected fruits, once all the nuts have been separated they will be boiled for approximately 30 minutes

Step 3

The shea kernels will be laid out to dry in the sun and once dried they will get cracked and the nut will be separated from the kernel

Step 4

The good nuts are selected from the bad ones (nuts that are cracked or too dry will be removed)

Step 5

The nuts are grinded in the mill into small pieces

Step 6

The nuts are roasted in a rotating oven

Step 7

The roasted nuts are grinded in the mill for a second time, this time the nuts are grinded into a chocolate looking paste

Step 8

In this step the shea butter paste is mixed by hand, water is added to the mix and creates a reaction which separates the oil from the water

Step 9

In the step the white shea butter paste is put on fire, as the oil rises to the top it get scoped up and put in a different bowl

Step 10

This is the final step where the oil gets filtered with a fine sieve and then stirred until it increases in thickness and viscosity

Shea butter in calabash created using shea butter production process

MINO COLLLECTIVE’S SHEA BUTTER

Our Premium Grade A 100 % Unrefined Shea Butter is made from top-quality nuts that have been wild harvested from the local area. As the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) grows wildly in the West and Central African savannah and it’s made without the use of chemicals or preservatives our butter is as pure and green as it comes. Although we are not certified organic or products are 100% natural, green and organic.

Our shea butter have a bio-active fraction at 14% this is exceptionally high compared to other plant oils which tend to range at 1-2 %. The bio-active fraction contain the valuable properties such as anti-inflammatory agents, vitamins A, E, cinnamic acid and other important antioxidants.

Our shea butter have a bio-active fraction at 14% this is exceptionally high compared to other plant oils which tend to range at 1-2 %. The bio-active fraction contain the valuable properties such as anti-inflammatory agents, vitamins A, E, cinnamic acid and other important antioxidants.

Shea butter Product specification

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS PROFILE

Shea butter is composed of mainly two fatty acids, stearic and oleic, although it also contains linoleic, palmitic acid, linolenic and arachidic acid (the graph has excluded arachidic acid as it is below 1%). Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are necessary for healthy skin, as our bodies don’t produce them our selves we have to get them through our diet but you can also get them through your skincare using products such as shea butter that contains them, EFAs act as a skin protector, it also moisturises and rejuvenates the skin.

Shea butter fatty acid profile

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