Shea Butter Products In Cosmetics And Confectionary

It is well known that Shea Butter products take care of many skin problems like burns, cuts, dry skin, eczema, itchy skin, psoriasis, stretch marks, dry chapped lips, sunburn, skin rashes, hand dermatitis, athlete’s foot, splitting or torn cuticles and chapped hands.

Many of the elderly women in villages in Africa have nearly flawless skin with almost no signs of aging. The natural product Shea Butter has been used for centuries in parts of the African Continent because of its moisturizing and healing properties. Because of the natural healing and skin softening properties of Shea Butter, scientists have decided to take them a step further. Studies in these villages discovered what else these women were using from Shea Butter. The results were astonishing.

Chocolate, Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter

Further efforts on the refining and filtering of African Shea Butter in countries such Burkina Faso or Ghana came up with amazing results. They started new ways to better process and clean Shea Butter. They discovered these women used the bark from the shea trees for medicinal purposes and the shells of the nuts for mosquito repellant. As the nut and butter trade started to flourish, a substitute for cocoa butter was discovered.

Sheabutter products are not only skin moisturizers now, but are used in the chocolate manufacturing industry as an inexpensive and useful substitute for cocoa butter. Shea Butter helps to keep chocolate from melting. Therefore, the demand for Shea Butter products from Africa has increased dramatically. Shea Butter is very plentiful in Africa and is a wild resource in West, Central and East Africa.

The rural women in these regions of Africa, who harvest the nuts, send them to local markets that in turn, send them to the international market going to Holland, Sweden, Denmark and England. The women obtain the product Shea Butter by crushing and boiling and now scientists are learning how to separate the butter into two phases; the liquid (olein) and the solid (stearin).

Cosmetics And Confectionary

The solid is used for chocolate and the liquid part is used for cosmetics and healing products. The United States has yet to get approval from the FDA for allowing Shea Butter in chocolate.

As it is now, rich European Chocolates are often made with Shea Butter products. Evidently for the past 30 years vegetable oils have been substituted with Shea Butter oil in their chocolates. It seems that European Chocolates are known as a delicacy, so maybe the European Chocolatiers have really stumbled upon a good concept in cocoa butter substitutes.

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