Hoseaps

Shea butter is a natural fat obtained from the fruit of the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa).

The shea tree is an indigenous African tree which generally grows in the wild. It grows extensively in the dry savannah belt of the West Africa and parts of Eastern and Central Africa. The tree starts bearing fruits from 10 to 15 years old and reaches its peak production at about 30 to 50 years. At maturity, shea nut kernels contains 47 to 50 percent fat or oil which when extracted is called Shea Butter.

Shea butter is a triglyceride (fat), made up of predominantly stearic and oleic fatty acids. Other fatty present in shea butter are palmitic, linoleic and arachidic acids. Locally, crude shea butter is used is consumed as food and for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. Value added derivatives such as RBD shea butter, Stearin and Olein have high value in the confectionary, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

Stearic acid in shea butter is responsible for the texture and melting characteristics and has useful applications in the confectionary industry. CBE and CBS are made from shea Stearin. Shea Olein or oleic acid has tremendous emollient properties and widely used in cosmetics for the manufacture of hair and skin care products.

Shea Nut Processing

After harvesting the fruits, the pulp is removed to expose the nuts. The following is the process involved:

  1. Harvesting the nuts from the farm
  2. Accumulating in pits
  3. Heating the nuts on fire by boiling or roasting
  4. Drying the whole nuts (if boiled)
  5. De-husking the nuts to get kernels (usually cracked by hand)
  6. Drying the kernels & storing in a secure place ready for export.

Shea Nut Processing

After harvesting the fruits, the pulp is removed to expose the nuts. The following is the process involved:

  1. Harvesting the nuts from the farm
  2. Accumulating in pits
  3. Heating the nuts on fire by boiling or roasting
  4. Drying the whole nuts (if boiled)
  5. De-husking the nuts to get kernels (usually cracked by hand)
  6. Drying the kernels & storing in a secure place ready for export.

Uses of Shea

Shea nuts are generally processed into shea butter. Apart from the massive use of shea butter in the confectionery industry as a replacement for cocoa butter (CBEs), Shea butter is good emollient and moisturiser in cosmetic products due to its unique combination of triglycerides.

Shea butter could also be processed into soaps thus useful in manufacturing shampoo. Shea Butter creams and lotions are used to:

  • Moisturize and regenerate skin and hair
  • Reduce inflammation, stretch marks and wrinkles
  • Treat eczema and arthritis

Chemical Properties of Shea nuts

Shea consists of chemicals with known bioactive properties:

  • Antioxidants such as tocopherols (vitamin E), and flavonoids (including catechins)
  • Triterpenes with anti-inflammatory and protease-inhibition properties
  • Phytosterols including campesterol, stigmasterol, sitosterol, spinasterol, delta-7 avenasterol
  • Polyisoprenic hydrocarbon karitene (up to 2%)

Packaging

Shea Nuts are packaged in Jute Sacks and it comes in various weights 86kg and 100kg. Whiles the Shea Butter is packed in Plastic Bag inside a Corrugated Box.