Do you remember the article “Shea Butter … an exceptional product“? Here is a small reminder. Once the fruits have fallen from the tree (called Shea), they are picked and shelled to remove a delicate almond where Shea Butter is found. Subsequently, the chosen almonds are crushed and roasted. Using a mechanical process, the heated fragments are ground to a thick paste. But this does not end here. The extraction process of Shea butter continues …. This paste will be purified thanks to natural techniques that do not deteriorate its exceptional virtues.
1st step: degumming
The paste is mixed with boiling water which separates the Shea Butter from impurities. These impurities are harmful to the stability of the product. A crude oil appears. This stage is called degumming. It is essential for the rest of the process and must be meticulously accomplished in order to proceed to the following steps.
2nd step: bleaching
In order to remove a natural yellowish colour, the degummed oil is bleached. Traditional methods are used: activated bleaching earths or if necessary activated carbon, are added to the oil. This bleaching clay will absorb the coloured pigments present in the oil. Filtering is needed after this step to remove the clay from the oil which will also promote the removal of impurities and secondary oxidation products.
3rd step: deodorization
Once filtered, the beached oil is heated at high temperature without air. Under these conditions, the free fatty acids are in a vapor form and are retrieved in liquid form after condensation at low temperature. This distillation goes firstly to deodorize the oil. Also, the deodorization step will allow the elimination of the last remaining impurities.
4th: cooling & storage
This last step consists in simply let the oil rest in order to make the Shea Butter solid again. Once cooled, the Shea Butter is packaged in our coloured boxes.
Your Shea Butter is ready for a cosmetic use. Have fun!