Shea Butter Extraction – Choose The Traditional Method

When thinking about Shea Butter Extraction there are a number of choices that you will come up against some of which are traditional and some not and using chemical-free processes should always be preferred as you can reap a number of benefits from them since they are environmentally sustainable and the local knowledge can be put to good use and cultures can also flourish.

And, the best part is that the oils produced are known to have full moisturizing as well as healing properties that are not lost or diluted by chemically treating them.

The Hexane Extraction

Still, hexane extraction is commonly used for sheabutter extraction and it is widely used in the more industrialized nations in the world and it is now even finding use in the somewhat under developed countries in the world as well. The advantage of the chemical extraction using hexane as solvent for sheabutter extraction is that hexane does not cost much and is found in abundance since it is an offshoot of gasoline production.

Because shea trees are widely found in Africa and because it has become an important economic crop in that part of the world, the sheabutter extraction is a way of providing good employment opportunities to the local population and that is why traditional Shea Butter extraction are preferred in these parts of the world.

The Traditional Extraction

Rural women and children are engaged in Shea Butter extraction and because the traditional methods are being used, there is little organization that goes into sheabutter extraction. Furthermore, the business is opportunistic due to the fact that no one has ownership rights over the trees and even gathering is a free for all activity.

Thus, the traditional method of using Shea Butter nuts goes through several stages including and beginning with gathering, followed by village processing, after which there is improvements made to the village processing.

Next, the shea fruits require to be treated followed by depulping in which fleshy mesocarp is removed and then the nuts are dried and finally de-husked.

The traditional sheabutter extraction starts with the grinding of baked kernel into powdery material after which it is mixed with lukewarm water and the mixture so derived need to be stirred without stopping and can even is kneaded into paste which is allowed to stand with the oil floating on top and the mixture is periodically decanted to leave behind a solid residue that is brown in color and which does not have any oil in it.

This is how the traditional sheabutter extraction process takes place which requires steps such as drying and smoking the kernels, pounding and grinding, mixing with water and treating, kneading as well as churning followed by floating washing and also filtering.

Pure Shea Butter