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Increasing demand of shea products (kernels and butter) has led to the assessment of the state-of-the-art of these products. In this review, attention has been focused on macronutrients and micronutrients of pulp, kernels, and butter of shea tree and also the physicochemical properties of shea butter. Surveying the literature revealed that the pulp is rich in vitamin C (196.1 mg/100 g); consumption of 50 g covers 332% and 98% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of children (4-8 years old) and pregnant women, respectively. The kernels contain a high level of fat (17.4-59.1 g/100 g dry weight). Fat extraction is mainly done by traditional methods that involve roasting and pressing of the kernels, churning the obtained liquid with water, boiling, sieving, and cooling. The fat (butter) is used in food preparation and medicinal and cosmetics industries. Its biochemical properties indicate some antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Large variations are observed in the reported values for the composition of shea products. Recommendations for future research are presented to improve the quality and the shelf-life of the butter. In addition, more attention should be given to the accuracy and precision in experimental analyses to obtain more reliable information about biological variation.
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Nutritional Composition of Shea Products and Chemical
Properties of Shea Butter: A Review
Fernande G. Honfo a b c , Noel Akissoe a , Anita R. Linnemann b , Mohamed Soumanou c &
Martinus A. J. S. Van Boekel b
a Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques , Université d’Abomey-Calavi , 01 BP 526 , Cotonou ,
Benin
b Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences , Wageningen University and Research
Centre , 6708 , PB , Wageningen , The Netherlands
c Ecole Polytechnique d’Abomey-Calavi, Université d’Abomey-Calavi , 01 BP 2009 , Cotonou ,
Benin
Accepted author version posted online: 07 Feb 2013.Published online: 21 Nov 2013.
To cite this article: Fernande G. Honfo , Noel Akissoe , Anita R. Linnemann , Mohamed Soumanou & Martinus A. J. S. Van
Boekel (2014) Nutritional Composition of Shea Products and Chemical Properties of Shea Butter: A Review, Critical Reviews in
Food Science and Nutrition, 54:5, 673-686, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2011.604142
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Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 54:673–686 (2014)
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Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 1040-8398 / 1549-7852 online
DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2011.604142
Nutritional Composition of Shea
Products and Chemical Properties
of Shea Butter: A Review
FERNANDE G. HONFO,1,2,3 NOEL AKISSOE,1ANITA R. LINNEMANN,2
MOHAMED SOUMANOU,3and MARTINUS A. J. S. VAN BOEKEL2
1Facult´
e des Sciences Agronomiques, Universit´
e d’Abomey-Calavi, 01 BP 526 Cotonou, Benin
2Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences, Wageningen University and Research Centre, 6708 PB
Wageningen, The Netherlands
3Ecole Polytechnique d’Abomey-Calavi, Universit´
e d’Abomey-Calavi, 01 BP 2009 Cotonou, Benin
Increasing demand of shea products (kernels and butter) has led to the assessment of the state-of-the-art of these products.
In this review, attention has been focused on macronutrients and micronutrients of pulp, kernels, and butter of shea tree
and also the physicochemical properties of shea butter. Surveying the literature revealed that the pulp is rich in vitamin C
(196.1 mg/100 g); consumption of 50 g covers 332% and 98% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of children (4–8 years
old) and pregnant women, respectively. The kernels contain a high level of fat (17.4–59.1 g/100 g dry weight). Fat extraction
is mainly done by traditional methods that involve roasting and pressing of the kernels, churning the obtained liquid with
water, boiling, sieving, and cooling. The fat (butter) is used in food preparation and medicinal and cosmetics industries.
Its biochemical properties indicate some antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Large variations are observed in
the reported values for the composition of shea products. Recommendations for future research are presented to improve
the quality and the shelf-life of the butter. In addition, more attention should be given to the accuracy and precision in
experimental analyses to obtain more reliable information about biological variation.
Keywords Shea pulp, shea kernels, shea butter, nutrient composition, antioxidant properties
INTRODUCTION
The shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn, also classified
as Butyrospermum paradoxum or Butyrospermum parkii; family
Sapotaceae) is indigenous to the savanna belt in sub-Saharan
Africa, extending across 19 countries, from Mali in the west
to Ethiopia and Uganda in the east, viz. from 16Wto34
E
longitude and 1Nto15
N latitude (Chevalier, 1943; Masters
et al., 2004). The tree is generally found in semi-arid to arid areas
north of the humid forest zone and is characterized by its leaves
that persist for more than nine months per year and are not used
as feed or for food purposes. Its height reaches 15 to 22 m and
the trunk diameter varies from 0.5 to 1 m. The shea tree begins
to bear fruit after about 15 years and can produce good-quality
fruits with a high fat content for up to 30 years (Hall et al., 1996).
The fruits are produced from May to August; being subglobose
to ovoid in shape and resembling small avocado fruits with
Address correspondence to Anita Linnemann, PO Box 8129, 6700 EV
Wageningen, The Netherlands. E-mail: anita.linnemann@wur.nl
delicious pulp when ripe. The fruit weighs from 10 to 57 g and
its annual production is from 15 to 30 kg/tree (Agbahungba and
Depommier, 1989). The fruit, which is a berry, consists of a thin
epicarp and a soft mesocarp enclosing a single seed, sometimes
two or more (Ruyssen, 1957).
The importance of the shea tree was recognized centuries
ago through the fruit, its kernels, and the butter (Ruyssen, 1957;
Boffa et al., 1996; Hall et al., 1996). The sweet pulp of the
fruit is widely consumed in areas where the species occurs
and is a rich source of sugars, proteins, calcium, ascorbic acid,
and iron (Maranz et al., 2004a). An additional benefit is that it
becomes available at the beginning of the rainy season, which is
a period characterized by general food scarcity in sub-Saharan
Africa (Maranz et al., 2004a; Ugese et al., 2008a). The kernels
constitute a major commodity on the international market (Hall
et al., 1996). The fat extracted from the kernels, also known as
karit´
e or shea butter, represents an important export commodity
and plays, together with the kernels, a significant role in poverty
alleviation (Elias and Carney, 2004). The butter is widely used
for cooking and as illuminant in rural areas of the savanna
673
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674 F. G. HONFO ET AL.
zone of West Africa (Chevalier, 1943). Boffa et al. (1996) have
reported that despite the cultivation of modern annual oil crops
such as groundnut and cotton, and the influx of palm oil from
higher rainfall areas, shea butter is still the primary cooking fat
of the Sudanian savanna zone.
Shea butter is essentially composed of triglycerides with
oleic, stearic, linoleic, and palmitic fatty acids and unsaponifi-
able matter (Maranz et al., 2004a). Due to its high percentage of
unsaponifiables (viz. triterpenes, tocopherol, phenols, sterols),
to which anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are as-
cribed, shea butter is highly demanded by international cosmetic
industries (Alander, 2004; Maranz and Wiesman, 2004). Some
authors have also shown the usefulness of shea butter in Euro-
pean and Japanese food as well as its potential as a cocoa butter
replacer in chocolate manufacture (Gasparri et al., 1992; Hall
et al., 1996; CNUCED, 2006).
A monograph by Hall et al. (1996) on the shea tree provides
extensive information on the taxonomy, distribution, properties,
utilization, agronomy, and proximate composition of shea ker-
nels and butter. In addition, there is a database on Vitellaria that
was compiled by Maranz during 1999–2004, which is available
on the website of Prokarit´
e (http://www.prokarite.org/vitellaria-
dbase-EN/index-EN.html). It presents information on the fat
content, fatty acid profile, triglyceride content, unsaponifiable
compounds, shea fruit composition, and the nut quality param-
eters. All of the data on this website are derived from Maranz’
own research on shea products in different locations in Africa.
An omission of these two reviews is that they do not take all
the existing data on shea products with their different analysis
methods into account. Moreover, the data on shea products need
to be updated to cover the research done in the past 10 years. The
present review investigates the nutritional value of shea products
(pulp, kernels, and butter) and the quality properties of the butter
based on data from various authors and critically evaluates the
similarities and divergences of the values in relation to the re-
search methods used. For each component, the reported values
are, as much as possible, converted into the same unit, and their
minimum, average, and maximum values are calculated and re-
ported in Table 1. The review ends with recommendations for
further research based on the analysis of the present state of
knowledge.
NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF SHEA PULP
Macronutrients
The moisture content of shea fruit pulp ranges from 67%
(Maranz et al., 2004a) to 80.3% (Mbaiguinam et al., 2007)
(Table 1). The energy value has been reported by Ugese et al.
(2008a), who found it equal to 179.5 kcal/100 g dry weight (dw).
Mbaiguinam et al. (2007) and Ugese et al. (2008a) reported car-
bohydrate contents of 8.1 and 37.2 g/100 g dw, respectively.
Ugese et al. (2008a) have assessed the nutritional composition
of shea fruit pulp across its major distribution zones in Nigeria
and reported that the carbohydrate content decreased at higher
latitudes. They attributed this phenomenon to a more adequate
water supply leading to improved photosynthesis at latitudes
closer to the equator. The presence of sugars was mentioned
by Maranz et al. (2004a), who found a total soluble sugar con-
tent of 13.3g/100 g dw and a glucose content of 1.6 g/100 g
dw. Dako et al. (1974) reported glucose (1–2 g/100 g), fruc-
tose (1–1.9 g/100 g), and sucrose (0.7–1.7 g/100 g) in shea
pulp from Ghana. The reported crude protein content varies
from 4.4 g/100 g dw (Mbaiguinam et al., 2007) to 5.6 g/100 g
dw (Maranz et al., 2004a). Crude lipid and crude fiber content
were reported by Ugese et al. (2008a), who found it to be 1.3
and 42.2 g/100 g dw, respectively. Ash content ranges from
4.7 g/100 g dw (Mbaiguinam et al., 2007) to 5.4 g/100 g dw
(Ugese et al., 2008a).
The variations in the reported values of the macronutrient
composition of shea fruit pulp seem to be large even if the
number of authors who investigated the macronutrient com-
position of shea fruit pulp is limited, although Maranz et al.
(2004a) have evaluated the nutritional values and indigenous
preferences for shea fruits in various African agroforestry park-
lands. Variations are more pronounced between data reported by
Mbaiguinam et al. (2007), who collected the shea fruit in Tchad
(West Africa), and those reported by Ugese et al. (2008a), who
collected the shea fruit in Nigeria (West Africa). These differ-
ences seem to be primarily due to the methods of analysis used
by the authors, specifically with respect to the determination of
the carbohydrate content. Ugese et al. (2008a) determined the
carbohydrate content by difference after using the methods of
the Association of Official Analytical Chemists to assess the fat
content (determined by the Soxhlet analysis), protein content
(determined by the Kjeldahl method with a conversion factor
of 6.25), ash content (determined by incineration), and fiber
content. Mbaiguinam et al. (2007) assessed the carbohydrate
content by the colorimetric method described by Dubois et al.
(1956). In this method, the sample is first treated with a so-
lution of phenol (80%) and concentrated sulfuric acid (95%).
Next, the mixture is shaken and placed for 10–20 minutes in
a water bath at 25–30C before readings are taken. The ab-
sorbance of the color is measured by a spectrophotometer. To
determine crude fiber contnet, Ugese et al. (2008a) used the
method of Weende; this method is based on the solubilization of
noncellulosic compounds (protein, starch and other digestible
carbohydrates, and fat) by sulfuric acid and potassium hydroxide
solutions.
Minerals
Shea fruit pulp is particularly rich in potassium (K) according
to the literature (Table 1). With an average of 830.4 mg/100 g
dw, the highest value (1686 mg/100 g dw) was reported by
Maranz et al. (2004a) and the lowest value (21.7 mg/100 g
dw) by Mbaiguinam et al. (2007). The calcium (Ca) content
of shea fruit pulp varies widely from 2.5 mg/100 g dw (Ugese
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Tab le 1 Composition of shea pulp, kernels, and butter
Pulp Kernels Butter
Min. Average Max. Reference Min. Average Max. References Min Average Max References
Macronutrients
Moisture (%) 67.074.280.3 (Maranz et al., 2004a;
Mbaiguinam et al., 2007)
5.06.88.1 (Busson, 1965; Tallantire and
Goode, 1975; GRET, 2007;
Mbaiguinam et al., 2007)
0.11.44.9 (Greenwood, 1929;
Megnanou et al.,
2007; Olaniyan and
Oje, 2007; Chukwu
and Adgidzi, 2008;
Honfo et al., 2011)
Energy (kcal/100 g dw) 179.5 (Ugese et al., 2008a)
Carbohydrates
(g/100gdw)
8.122.637.2 (Mbaiguinam et al., 2007;
Ugese et al., 2008a)
25.0 30.934.8 (Greenwood, 1929; Busson,
1965; Tallantire and Goode,
1975; Duke and Atchley,
1986; Tano-Debrah and
Ohta, 1994; GRET, 2007)
22.3 (Chukwu and Adgidzi,
2008)
Crude protein
(g/100gdw)
4.25.25.6 (Maranz et al., 2004a
Mbaiguinam et al., 2007;
Ugese et al., 2008a)
6.88.19.0 (Greenwood, 1929; Busson,
1965; Tallantire and Goode,
1975; Duke and Atchley,
1986; Tano-Debrah and
Ohta, 1994; GRET, 2007)
Crude lipid
(g/100gdw)
1.3 (Ugese et al., 2008a) 17.4 45.259.1 (Greenwood, 1929; Busson,
1965; Tallantire and Goode,
1975; Duke and Atchley,
1986; Tano-Debrah and
Ohta, 1994; Maranz and
Wiesman, 2003; Di
Vincenzo et al., 2005;
Mbaiguinam et al., 2007;
Nkouam et al., 2007;
Akihisa et al., 2010)
75.0 (Chukwu and Adgidzi,
2008)
Crude fiber
(g/100gdw)
42.2 (Ugese et al., 2008a) 3.29.120.4 (Greenwood, 1929; Ruyssen,
1957; Duke and Atchley,
1986; Tano-Debrah and
Ohta, 1994)
Ash (g/100 g dw) 4.75.15.4 (Mbaiguinam et al., 2007;
Ugese et al., 2008a)
1,8 2.53.0 (Greenwood, 1929; Ruyssen,
1957; Duke and Atchley,
1986; Tano-Debrah and
Ohta, 1994; GRET, 2007)
1.62.33.2 (Adomako, 1985;
Chukwu and Adgidzi,
2008)
(Continued on next page)
675
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Tab le 1 Composition of shea pulp, kernels, and butter (Continued)
Pulp Kernels Butter
Min. Average Max. Reference Min. Average Max. References Min Average Max References
Mineral (mg/100 g dw)
Ca 2.5 117.3 426.0 (Eromosele et al., 1991;
Maranz et al., 2004a;
Mbaiguinam et al., 2007;
ugese et al., 2008b)
0.171.8 215.2 (Tallantire and Goode, 1975;
Duke and Atchley, 1986;
Megnanou et al., 2007;
Alhassan et al., 2011)
0.29.634.1 (Megnanou et al., 2007)
Cu 0 0.11.1 (Eromosele et al., 1991;
Maranz et al., 2004a)
0.3 Megnanou et al., 2007 0 0.81.5 (Megnanou et al., 2007)
Fe 0.48.5 16.0 (Eromosele et al., 1991;
Maranz et al., 2004a;
Mbaiguinam et al., 2007;
Ugese et al., 2008b)
0.01 1.63.1 (Duke and Atchley, 1986;
Megnanou et al., 2007)
0.53.66.7 (Megnanou et al., 2007)
K21.7 830.3 1686.0 (Maranz et al., 2004a;
Mbaiguinam et al., 2007;
Ugese et al., 2008b)
0.10.10.2 (Alhassan et al., 2011) 0 2.24.5 (Megnanou et al., 2007)
Mg 11.1 57.2 129.0 (Eromosele et al., 1991;
Maranz et al., 2004a;
Mbaiguinam et al., 2007;
Ugese et al., 2008b)
142.6 (Megnanou et al., 2007) 0 4.58.9 (Megnanou et al., 2007)
Mn 0.30.60.9 (Eromosele et al., 1991;
Maranz et al., 2004a)
0.10.40.7 (Alhassan et al., 2011) 0 0.006 0.14 (Alhassan et al., 2011)
P1.0 39.8 71.4 (Eromosele et al., 1991;
Maranz et al., 2004a;
Mbaiguinam et al., 2007;
Ugese et al., 2008b)
0.04 (Tallantire and Goode, 1975;
Duke and Atchley, 1986)
Na 19.3 (Ugese et al., 2008b) 0.920.973.9 (Megnanou et al., 2007;
Alhassan et al., 2011)
14.29.6 (Megnanou et al., 2007)
Zn 0.52.14.0 (Eromosele et al., 1991;
Maranz et al., 2004a;
Ugese et al., 2008b)
0.9 (Megnanou et al., 2007) 1.92.73.4 (Megnanou et al., 2007)
Vitamin (mg/100 g)
B7.0 (Maranz et al., 2004a)
C 196.1 (Eromosele et al., 1991)
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NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF SHEA PRODUCTS 677
et al., 2008b) to 426.0 mg/100 g dw (Maranz et al., 2004a),
with an average of 117.3 mg/100 g dw. The reported magne-
sium (Mg) content ranges from 11.1 mg/100 g dw (Mbaiguinam
et al., 2007) to 129 mg/100 g dw (Maranz et al., 2004a), with
a mean value of 57.2 mg/100 g dw. The phosphorus (P) con-
tent ranges greatly from 0.95 mg/100 g dw (Mbaiguinam et al.,
2007) to 71.4 mg/100 g dw (Ugese et al., 2008b). Mbaigu-
inam et al. (2007) and Maranz et al. (2004a) reported an iron
(Fe) content of 0.4 and 16 mg/100 g dw, respectively. The zinc
(Zn) content varies from 0.5 mg/100 g dw (Eromosele et al.,
1991) to 4 mg/100 g dw (Maranz et al., 2004a). Ugese et al.
(2008b) reported that the sodium (Na) content is 19.3 mg/100 g
dw. Copper (Cu) and manganese (Mn) contents are very low;
the highest values were reported by Eromosele et al. (1991):
1.1 and 0.9 mg/100 g dw, respectively, while the lowest values
were found by Maranz et al. (2004a): 0 and 0.3 mg/100 g dw,
respectively.
Eromosele et al. (1991) and Maranz et al. (2004a) used atomic
absorption spectrophotometry to determine all of the mineral el-
ements. Ugese et al. (2008b) used this method too, except for Na
and K, which were determined by flame photometry. Mbaigu-
inam et al. (2007) used a flame spectrophotometer to determine
K, while Fe, Ca, and Mg were determined by an atomic spec-
trophotometer and a colorimeter was used to determine P.
Vitamins
Maranz et al. (2004a) have investigated the vitamin B content
of shea fruit pulp and found it to be 7 mg/100 g dw. Eromosele
et al. (1991) have investigated the vitamin C content and found
that the pulp is particularly rich in vitamin C (196.1 mg/100 g) in
comparison with oranges (50 mg/100 g) (Table 1). Vitamin con-
tents were determined by high-performance liquid chromatog-
raphy (HPLC).
Amino acids
The literature is limited on amino acid contents of the pulp;
only Mbaiguinam et al. (2007) investigated the amino acids of
shea fruit pulp (Table 2). They found that the pulp contains as-
paragine/aspartic acid (6.6 g/100 g protein), glutamine/glutamic
acid (5.6 g/100 g protein), proline (3.9 g/100 g protein), and
leucine (3.1 g/100 g protein), and it is limited in cysteine
(1.1 g/100 g protein) and methionine (0.1 g/100 g protein).
NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF SHEA KERNELS
After gathering/collecting, shea fruits are depulped, boiled
for one to two hours and dried for 7–15 days to obtain the nuts.
Throughout the shea-butter-producing areas of West Africa, pro-
ducers employ different traditional methods for drying the shea
nuts. Most use exposure to the sun, while some use traditional
ovens. After drying, the nuts are shelled by mortar, pestle,
Tab le 2 Amino acids (g/100 g proteins) of shea fruit pulp
Amino acid
Amino acid Value (continued) Value
Asparagine/aspartic acid 6.6±0.3 Methionine 0.1±0.0
Threonine 1.7±0.2 Isoleucine 2.0±0.1
Serine 2.1±0.2 Leucine 3.1±0.1
Glutamine/glutamic acid 5.6±0.5 Tyrosine 1.7±0.2
Proline 3.9±0.2 Phenylalanine 1.5±0.1
Glycine 2.2±0.2Lysine 1.8±0.1
Alanine 2.4±0.1 Histidine 1.2±0.1
Valine 2.5±0.2 Arginine 3.1±0.14
Cysteine 1.1±0.1
Source: Mbaiguinam et al. (2007).
or stick and the kernels are sundried for three to seven days.
These traditional processes are common practice in the shea tree
locations.
Macronutrients
The moisture content of dried shea kernels ranges from 5%
(Busson, 1965) to 8.1% (Mbaiguinam et al., 2007), with an av-
erage of 6.8% (Table 1). The variation in the reported values
for kernels is low compared with the variation in the reported
values for the moisture content of the pulp. To our knowledge,
no author has investigated the energy content of shea kernels.
Reported carbohydrate contents vary from 25 g/100 g dw (Bus-
son, 1965) to 34.8 g/100 g dw (Tano-Debrah and Ohta, 1994).
Crude protein values range from 6.8 g/100 g dw (Tallantire and
Goode, 1975) to 9 g/100 g dw (GRET, 2007).
Many authors have investigated the fat content of shea ker-
nels. Crude lipid contents of dried kernels vary greatly among
the authors (Table 1). With an average of 45.2 g/100 g dw, the
highest value (59.1 g/100 g dw) was found by Tano-Debrah and
Ohta (1994), who extracted the fat by enzyme-assisted aqueous
extraction. The lowest value (17.4 g/100 g dw) was reported
by Nkouam et al. (2007) by using supercritical CO2.Theyalso
used hexane to extract the fat from the kernels and found that
the extraction yield varied from 44.9 to 53.8 g/100 dw, com-
pared with the yield of 17.4–39.6 g/100 g dw for extraction by
supercritical CO2. Mbaiguinam et al. (2007) used two different
methods to extract the butter: hexane extraction and traditional
manual extraction, as performed in the rural areas in which sun-
dried kernels were ground, churned with water, and heated to
get the butter. They obtained different fat yields, namely 50% by
solvent extraction and 30% by manual method, and concluded
that a chemical solvent permits far better extraction, but also
requires special equipment and chemical reagents, which are
not available on the farms. Apart from differences caused by
the use of different analytical methods, the variation in the fat
content of shea kernels could also be attributed to environmen-
tal influences, geographical location, agronomic factors, and
genetic variation (Maranz and Wiesman, 2003; Di Vincenzo
et al., 2005). High altitudes and cool temperatures (20–25C) are
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678 F. G. HONFO ET AL.
associated with high fat contents of shea kernels (Maranz and
Wiesman, 2003; Kapseu et al., 2001).
With an average of 9 g/100 g dw, the lowest fiber content
(3.2 g/100 g dw) of shea kernels was reported by Greenwood
(1929) and the highest value (20.4 g/100 g dw) by Tano-Debrah
and Ohta (1994), who have used the method of Lee et al. (1992)
with heat-stable α-amylase, α-glucosidase, and a protease. Ash
contents range from 1.8 g/100 g dw (Duke and Atchley, 1986)
to 3 g/100 g dw (Greenwood, 1929), with an average of 2.5 g/
100gdw.
Minerals
Few authors have investigated the mineral contents of shea
kernels (Table 1). The Ca content reported by Megnanou et al.
(2007) is equal to 215.2 mg/100 g dw, but Tallantire and Goode
(1975), Duke and Atchley (1986), and Alhassan et al. (2011)
observed a value of 0.1 mg/100 g dw. This great variation is also
observed for the Fe content, for which Megnanou et al. (2007)
found a value of 3.1 mg/100 g dw, while Duke and Atchley
(1986) reported a value of 0.003 mg/100 g dw. Except Alhassan
et al. (2011), who used neutron activation analysis (it consists
of the irradiation of the sample in one reactor) to determine the
mineral contents, all of these authors used atomic absorption
spectrophotometry. The variation in the reported data could be
attributed to the environmental and genetic influences and also
to the identification method. Megnanou et al. (2007) found a
value of 142.6 mg/100g dw for Mg, 73.9 mg/100 g dw for Na,
0.9 mg/100 g dw for Zn, and 0.3 g/100 g dw for Cu, and Alhassan
et al. (2011) found 0.1 mg/100 g dw for K and 0.4 mg/100 g dw
for Mn.
Vitamins
No author has investigated the vitamin content of shea ker-
nels, to our knowledge.
NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF SHEA BUTTER
The first stage of shea butter extraction by rural women after
obtaining the kernels involves roasting and grinding the kernel
into a powdery material or flour, which is then mixed with
warm or lukewarm water. The resulting semi-solid mixture is
then stirred continuously or kneaded by hand until separation
of the oily phase occurs. This fat-rich fluid is collected and
subsequently boiled until it is clear. The fat is then poured over
a sieve into a basin where it is left to solidify.
Macronutrients
The reported moisture contents of shea butter vary from
0.1% (Olaniyan and Oje, 2007) to 4.9% (Honfo et al., 2011)
(Table 1). However, exceptional higher values of 8.4% and
14.5% were mentioned by Megnanou et al. (2007), who eval-
uated the physicochemical and microbiological characteristics
of shea butter sold on markets in Cˆ
ote d’Ivoire. However, the
required moisture contents of shea butter destined for cosmetic
and food industries are 0.05% and less than 0.2%, respectively
(Kassamba, 1997). Carbohydrates and crude lipid contents were
reported by Chukwu and Adgidzi (2008), who found them to
be 22.3 g/100 g dw and 75.0 g/100 g dw, respectively. Reported
ash content ranges from 1.3 g/100 g dw (Chukwu and Adgidzi,
2008) to 3.2 g/100 g dw (Adomako, 1985), with an average of
2.2 g/100 g dw.
All of the authors used the methods of the Association of
Official Analytical Chemists to determine the different values.
Minerals
Some mineral contents of shea butter were assessed by Meg-
nanou et al. (2007) by atomic absorption spectroscopy and by
Alhassan et al. (2011) by neutron activation analysis (Table 1).
Ca value varies from 0.2 to 34.1 mg/100 g dw, Na reported is in
the range of 0.7–9.6 mg/100 g dw, Fe level is 0.5–6.7 mg/100 g
dw, Mg value is 0–8.9 mg/100 g dw, Mn content range is
0–0.14 mg/100 g dw, Zn level is 1.9–3.4 mg/100 g dw, Cu
content is 0–1.5 mg/100 g dw, and K value ranges from 0 to
4.5 mg/100 g dw.
Vitamins
No published reports on the vitamin contents of the shea
butter were found, but the tocopherol content of shea butter
was investigated by Maranz and Wiesman (2003), and more
details are given next. However, shea butter should contain some
vitamin A in view of its yellow color.
PHYSICOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF SHEA BUTTER
Shea butter is mainly composed of triglycerides and a large
fraction of unsaponifiable components, which are promising ac-
tive ingredients for new functional cosmetic products (Akihisa
et al., 2010a). As presented in Table 3, the average unsaponifi-
able content of shea butter is 8.1%. It ranges from 1.2% (Njoku
et al., 2000) to 17.6% (Megnanou et al., 2007). However, Adri-
aens (1943) found that the riper the fruit is, the lower the quantity
of unsaponifiable matter is, while Ruyssen (1957) reported that
the amount of unsaponifiable matter varied from year to year
and in accordance to the variation in rainfall. The values for
unsaponifiable matter reported by different authors are higher
than those found in most vegetable oils (Anhwange et al., 2004;
Dhellot et al., 2006; Tchobo et al., 2007).
The acid value of shea butter is a measure of the extent to
which the glycerides in the butter have been decomposed by
lipase or other actions such as heat and light. It is often used
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NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF SHEA PRODUCTS 679
Tab le 3 Physicochemical properties of shea butter
Parameter Min. Average Max. References
Unsaponifiable content (%) 1.28.117.6 (Greenwood, 1929; Peers, 1977; Gasparri et al., 1992; Tano-Debrah and Ohta,
1994; Njoku et al., 2000; Kapseu et al., 2001; Alander and Andersson,
2002; Letchamo et al., 2007; Mbaiguinam et al., 2007; Megnanou et al.,
2007; Chukwu and Adgidzi, 2008; Akihisa et al., 2010a)
Acid value (mg KOH/g) 0.08.521.2 (Mital and Dove, 1971; Renard, 1990; Ezema and Ogujiofor, 1992; Njoku
et al., 2000; Womeni et al., 2006; Mbaiguinam et al., 2007; Megnanou et al.,
2007; Nkouam et al., 2007; Womeni et al., 2007; Chukwu and Adgidzi,
2008; Dandjouma et al., 2009; Okullo et al., 2010; Honfo et al., 2011)
Peroxide value (meq O2/kg) 0.57.629.5 (Renard, 1990; Womeni et al., 2004; Megnanou et al., 2007; Womeni et al.,
2007; Chukwu and Adgidzi, 2008; Dandjouma et al., 2009; Okullo et al.,
2010; Honfo et al., 2011)
Free fatty acid (%) 1.05.310.7 (Greenwood, 1929; Badifu, 1989; Renard, 1990; Olaniyan and Oje, 2007)
Iodine value (mg I2/100 g) 21.68 51.489.5 (Mital and Dove, 1971; Renard, 1990; Gasparri et al., 1992; Tano-Debrah and
Ohta, 1994; Njoku et al., 2000; Kapseu et al., 2001; Womeni et al., 2004;
Mbaiguinam et al., 2007; Megnanou et al., 2007; Nkouam et al., 2007;
Chukwu and Adgidzi, 2008; Okullo et al., 2010; Honfo et al., 2011)
Saponification value (mg KOH/g) 132.0 180.9 207.5 (Mital and Dove, 1971; Renard, 1990; Ezema and Ogujiofor, 1992; Gasparri
et al., 1992; Tano-Debrah and Ohta, 1994; Njoku et al., 2000; Kapseu et al.,
2001; Womeni et al., 2004; Mbaiguinam et al., 2007; Megnanou et al.,
2007; Chukwu and Adgidzi, 2008; Okullo et al., 2010; Honfo et al., 2011)
Refractive index (40C) 1.45 1.51.5 (Renard, 1990; Ezema and Ogujiofor, 1992; Gasparri et al., 1992; Megnanou
et al., 2007; Chukwu and Adgidzi, 2008; Okullo et al., 2010)
Relative density (40C) 0.90 0.91.0 (Renard, 1990; Kapseu et al., 2001; Chukwu and Adgidzi, 2008)
Melting point (C) 25 35.9 45 (Mital and Dove, 1971; Renard, 1990; Ezema and Ogujiofor, 1992; Gasparri
et al., 1992; Tano-Debrah and Ohta, 1994; Kapseu et al., 2001; Womeni
et al., 2006; Megnanou et al., 2007; Chukwu and Adgidzi, 2008)
Impurity (%) 0 0.93.5 (Greenwood, 1929; GRET, 2007)
Color Yellow, yellow-orange, yellow-
green, pale-yellow, orange, beige,
ivory, gray, white, ivory-white,
brown, cream, light gray, white
(Greenwood, 1929; Letchamo et al., 2007; Megnanou et al., 2007; Okullo
et al., 2010)
as a general indicator of the condition and edibility of the oil.
The reported acid values of shea butter vary from 0 mg KOH/g
(Womeni et al., 2006) to 21.2 mg KOH/g (Nkouam et al., 2007),
with an average of 8.1 mg KOH/g. However, Nkouam et al.
(2007) found the high acid value of 128.2 mg KOH/g in shea oil
extracted by supercritical CO2in kernels that had been stored for
two years. The required acid values for butter that is to be used
for cosmetic and food applications are 0.3 mg KOH/g of oil and
less than 9 mg KOH/g of oil, respectively (Kassamba, 1997).
The decomposition of triglycerides is also measured by free
fatty acid (FFA) percentage. The FFA values reported range
from 1% (Badifu, 1989) to 10.7% of oil (Badifu, 1989), with
an average of 5.3% of oil. The maximum tolerated amounts of
FFA for cosmetic and food uses are 1% and 3%, respectively
(Kassamba, 1997). FFA produced irritation on the tongue and
in the throat (Kirk and Sawyer, 1991). Kapseu et al. (2001)
reported that the acid value and FFA of the butter increase with
the duration of the storage of the shea fruits. They explained
this increase by the physiological activity of fruits; thus, during
storage, the fatty acids are degraded to produce some energy
and precursors for the synthesis of new molecules.
Kirk and Sawyer (1991) described peroxide as a first product
of oxidation of unsaturated fats and oils. With an average of 7.6
meq O2/kg, the reported peroxide value ranges from 0.5 meq
O2/kg (Njoku et al., 2000) to 29.5 meq O2/kg (Dandjouma
et al., 2009). Most of the authors found peroxide values below
the average value reported here; the high value reported by
Dandjouma et al. (2009) is due to the kernels used for the butter
extraction, which were fermented before the extraction. For use
in the cosmetic and food industries, the required peroxide values
of shea butter utilizations are 1 meq O2/kg and less than 10
meq O2/kg, respectively (Kassamba, 1997). For this parameter,
Kirk and Sawyer (1991) found that during fat storage, peroxide
formation is slow at first during an induction period (which may
vary from a few weeks to several months), depending on the
particular oil and temperature.
The iodine value expresses the degree of saturation of oil.
It is an indicator of the storability of the oil; the higher the
iodine numbers, the higher the degree of unsaponification, and
the shorter the shelf-life (Hui, 1996). As presented in Table 3,
the average reported iodine value is 51.4 mg I2/100 g. It ranges
from 21.7 mg KOH/g (Nkouam et al., 2007) to 89.5 mg I2/100 g
(Womeni et al., 2004). The low value reported by Nkouam et al.
(2007) was found in butter extracted by supercritical CO2.
Literature values show a considerable range for the saponifi-
cation values, but most fall between 132 mg KOH/g (Ezema and
Ogujiofor, 1992) and 207.5 mg KOH/g (Womeni et al., 2004),
and the average is 180.9 mg KOH/g.
Kirk and Sawyer (1991) defined the refractive index of oil
as the ratio of the incident angle to the refracted angle when
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680 F. G. HONFO ET AL.
Tab le 4 Composition (%) in triglycerides of shea butter
Polyunsaturated Di-unsaturated Mono-unsaturated
SLiLiOOLi POLi OOO SLiO LiLiLi OLiO LiLnLi PLiP POO PLiS SOO AOO PPS POS SOS References
22.67.810.5– – –2.5–35.2–0.58.532.6 Kapseu et al., 2001
0.6 – 10.85.21.71.60.30.13.11.526.71.2–5.340.4 Di Vincenzo et al., 2005
S=stearic, Li =linoleic, O =oleic, P =palmitic, Ln =linolenic, A =arachidic.
light travels through the oil at a given wavelength. Fats/oils
have specific refractive indices, which are used as a character-
istic for identification and for checking purity. Concerning this
parameter, all authors reported values of about 1.46 at 40C.
The relative density is a measure of the purity of a substance
and is the ratio of the density of a substance to the density of
water (Kirk and Sawyer, 1991). It changes with temperature.
At 40C, the relative density found by most of the authors was
close to the average of 0.93 (Table 3).
The melting point is described by Letchamo et al. (2007)
as an important aspect of traditional processing of shea butter.
In many West African countries, women boil roots, grasses, or
branches, together with shea nuts, during shea butter preparation
to enhance the melting point of the butter. Hence, the degree of
variation in the melting point might not reflect the actual na-
ture of shea butter. The reported melting points vary between
25C (Womeni et al., 2006) and 45C (Gasparri et al., 1992),
with an average of 35.9C, depending on shea origin and pro-
cessing method. Bonkoungou (1987) stated that a melting point
close to body temperature is an attribute that makes the butter
particularly suitable as a base for ointments and medicines.
The insoluble impurities of shea butter reflect the presence of
unwanted components in the butter. Greenwood (1929) found
that the insoluble impurities varied from 0.1 to 0.4%, while the
Group of Research Technology Exchange (GRET) reported in
their bulletin of 2007 that the insoluble impurities ranged from
0 to 3.5% in shea butter extracted by a centrifugal process.
Cosmetic and food industries have set 0% and less than 0.2%,
respectively, as maximum limits for insoluble impurities of shea
butter (Kassamba, 1997).
The color of shea butter is reported to vary from white to
gray with many nuances. Kar and Mital (1981) reported that
the final shea butter color is related to the quality of the kernels
processed. The presence of fungal infection (visible as black
nuts) increases the darkness of the butter; this can be prevented
or reduced by more efficient drying and roasting techniques.
Chukwu and Adgidzi (2008) found that the color of shea butter
varies depending on the processing technique, in particular on
the temperature used during processing. Some roots or bark
of Cochlospermum tinctorium are often used to improve shea
butter color.
TRIGLYCERIDES AND FATTY ACIDS IN SHEA BUTTER
Kapseu et al. (2001) and Di Vincenzo et al. (2005) identified
three groups of triglycerides in shea butter: polyunsaturated, di-
unsaturated, and mono-unsaturated; no saturated triglycerides
were reported (Table 4). The main polyunsaturated triglyceride
was OOO (10.8%), while the principal di-unsaturated and mono-
unsaturated were SOO (35.2%) and SOS (40.4%), respectively.
Maranz et al. (2004b) assessed the variations in fat composition
across the Vitellaria species distribution range and found that
the main triglycerides in shea butter were SOS and SOO. SOS
ranged from 13% of total triglycerides in Ugandan shea butter
to 45% in Burkina Faso shea butter; while SOO was highest
(28–30%) in Uganda and some Malian shea butter. The SOS to
SOO ratio is an important indicator for the melting point of a
plant fat.
Kapseu et al. (2001) and Maranz et al. (2004b) used the equiv-
alent carbon number procedure and HPLC analysis to determine
triglyceride composition, while Di Vincenzo et al. (2005) used
a gas chromatograph to identify the triglycerides.
Fatty acid analysis shows great variability in shea butter
among the reported values (Table 5). After screening 150 sam-
ples of shea kernels from different origins, Di Vincenzo et al.
(2005) showed that shea butter fat is characterized by 16 satu-
rated and unsaturated fatty acids, but five of them (oleic, stearic,
palmitic, linoleic, and arachidic) are the most dominant. The ma-
jor fatty acid reported by different authors is oleic acid, which
ranges from 37.2% (Ugese et al., 2010) to 60.7% (Akihisa et al.,
2010a), with an average of 49.3%. The second fatty acid is
stearic acid, which varies from 29.5% (Okullo et al., 2010) to
55.7% (Akihisa et al., 2010a). Certain authors (Maranz et al.,
2004b; Di Vincenzo et al., 2005; Akihisa et al., 2010a) found
that oleic acid is dominant in butters from Uganda, while stearic
acid is dominant in samples of West Africa provenances. Con-
cerning the palmitic acid content, the highest content (7.5%)
was reported by Okullo et al. (2010) and the lowest (3.4%) by
Di Vincenzo et al. (2005), the average is 4.4%. The reported
linoleic acid content ranges from 5.5% (Mendez and Lope,
1991) to 7.9% (Mbaiguinam et al., 2007), with an average of
6.6%. Maritz et al. (2006) reported that the linoleic acid is an
essential fatty acid that is vital in nutrition because it intervenes
in the fabrication of the cell membrane and cannot be synthe-
sized by the body. According to Maranz and Wiesman (2004),
the linoleic acid content of 6–8% makes shea oil a moderate
source of essential fatty acids in the human diet. As reported in
Table 5, the content of arachidic acid varies from 0.6% (Mendez
and Lope, 1991) to 1.8% (Akihisa et al., 2010a), and linolenic
acid ranges from 0.2% (Tholstrup et al., 1994) to 1.6% (Tano-
Debrah and Ohta, 1994). Maranz and Wiesman (2004) reported
that the large variability in fatty acid profiles indicates that shea
butter is not a single uniform product across the continent. For
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NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF SHEA PRODUCTS 681
Tab le 5 Main fatty acids content of the shea butter
Gram fatty acid/100 g fat
Fatty acid Min. Average Max. References
Palmitic 16:00 3.34.47.5 (Tano-Debrah and Ohta, 1994; Tholstrup et al., 1994; Alander and Andersson, 2002; Maranz
et al., 2004; Di Vincenzo et al., 2005; Mbaiguinam et al., 2007; Letchamo et al., 2007; Akihisa
et al., 2010a; Okullo et al., 2010; Ugese et al., 2010)
Stearic 18:00 29.540.455.7 (Kershaw and Hardwick, 1981; Tano-Debrah and Ohta, 1994; Tholstrup et al., 1994; Kapseu
et al., 2001; Alander and Andersson, 2002; Maranz et al., 2004; Di Vincenzo et al., 2005;
Mbaiguinam et al., 2007; Letchamo et al., 2007; Akihisa et al., 2010a; Okullo et al., 2010;
Ugese et al., 2010)
Oleic 18:01 37.249.360.7 (Kershaw and Hardwick, 1981; Tano-Debrah and Ohta, 1994; Tholstrup et al., 1994; Kapseu
et al., 2001; Alander and Andersson, 2002; Maranz et al., 2004; Di Vincenzo et al., 2005;
Mbaiguinam et al., 2007; Letchamo et al., 2007; Akihisa et al., 2010a; Okullo et al., 2010;
Ugese et al., 2010)
Linoleic 18:02 4.36.68.0 (Mendez and Lope, 1991; Tano-Debrah and Ohta, 1994; Tholstrup et al., 1994; Kapseu et al.,
2001; Alander and Andersson, 2002; Maranz et al., 2004; Di Vincenzo et al., 2005;
Mbaiguinam et al., 2007; Letchamo et al., 2007; Akihisa et al., 2010a; Okullo et al., 2010;
Ugese et al., 2010)
Linolenic 18:03 0.20.41.7 (Tano-Debrah and Ohta, 1994; Tholstrup et al., 1994; Akihisa et al., 2010a)
Arachidic 20:00 0.81.31.8 (Kapseu et al., 2001; Maranz et al., 2004; Di Vincenzo et al., 2005; Letchamo et al., 2007;
Akihisa et al., 2010a; Okullo et al., 2010)
example, Malian shea butter has more resemblance to cocoa
butter, while Ugandan shea butter is more comparable to olive
oil, due to its high oleic content.
For all authors, fatty acid methyl esters were prepared by
KOH methylation and fatty acid profiles were determined by
gas chromatography.
THE UNSAPONIFIABLE FRACTION OF SHEA
KERNELS AND BUTTER
Triterpene Alcohol Compounds
The main components of the unsaponifiable fraction are
triterpene alcohols. Peers (1977) reported that the most char-
acteristic tritrepene alcohols of the unsaponifiable fraction of
shea butter were α-amyrin (26.5%), β-amyrin (10.2%), lupeol
(21.7%), and butyrospermol (25%), most of which occur as
acetic acid and cinnamic acid ester (Table 6). According to Alan-
der and Andersson (2002), the α-amyrin content was 40–50%,
the β-amyrin content 5–10%, the lupeol content 10–20%, and
the butyrospermol content 15–25%. Akihisa et al. (2010a) as-
sessed the triterpene alcohols in shea nuts from seven African
countries and showed four triterpene acetates (α-amyrin acetate,
β-amyrin acetate, lupeol acetate, and butyrospermol acetate)
Tab le 6 Main compound of triterpene alcohols of shea butter
α-Amyrin β-Amyrin Lupeol Butyrospermol
(%) (%) (%) (%) References
26.5 10.2 21.7 25 Peers, 1977
40–50 5–10 10–20 15–25 Alander and Andersson,
2002
31.3–41.1 8.2–13.2 17.5–25.1 14.9–26.3 Akihisa et al., 2010b
and four triterpene cinnamates (α-amyrin cinnamate, β-amyrin
cinnamate, lupeol cinnamate, and butyrospermol cinnamate). Di
Vincenzo et al. (2005) analyzed the percentages of acetyl and
cinnamyl triterpene esters and showed strong regional affin-
ity, with the highest values found in Nigerian provenances and
the lowest values in Ugandan butters. Combination of these data
suggests that West African provenances had significantly higher
levels of both acetyl and cinnamyl triterpenes than shea butter
from East Africa.
Tocopherol Content
Maranz and Wiesman (2004) evaluated the tocopherol con-
tent of shea butters from 11 African countries by HPLC and
found high variability between provenances and a significant
effect of climate on the α-tocopherol levels. They found that the
tocopherol content (α,β,γ, and δ) ranged from 29 to 805 μg/g,
and the main tocopherol was α-tocopherol with 64% (112 μg/g),
followed by γ-tocopherol (15%), δ-tocopherol (14%), and
β-tocopherol (7%). They stated that the α-tocopherol content
appeared to be directly related to the temperature of the climatic
zone from which the butter originated. The amount of both α-
tocopherol and total tocopherols in shea butter increases with
the temperature. Also, several factors linked to environmental
conditions, the storage period of the oil, and the genetic profile
have been reported to cause variation in α-tocopherol. It has
been reported that α-tocopherol always increases with tempera-
ture during seed maturation and also with drought (Kornsteiner
et al., 2005)
Phenolic Compounds
Maranz et al. (2003) identified and quantified eight cate-
chin compounds in shea kernels from 40 shea tree provenances
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682 F. G. HONFO ET AL.
Figure 1 Concentrations (parts per million) of phenolic compounds in shea
kernels. Error bars represent standard deviation. Source: Maranz et al. (2003)
(Color figure available online).
from 10 African countries by liquid chromatography and mass
spectrometry. The mean kernel content of the eight catechin
compounds was 4000 ppm (0.4% of kernel in dry weight), with
a 2100–9500 ppm range. They reported that among the six ma-
jor phenolic compounds, gallic acid was the major phenolic
compound, comprising an average of 27% of the measured to-
tal phenols and exceeding 70% in some populations (Fig. 1).
They found a wide variation in phenolic compound proportion
across the countries, and they also reported that the amount of
phenolic compounds followed a parabolic curve, with high con-
tent occurring under both cool, wet and hot, dry conditions and
low amount under unstressed, mesic growth conditions. Thus,
the overall concentration of phenolic compounds in shea ker-
nels may be linked to the level of environmental stress in the
source population, with the highest phenolic concentrations oc-
curring in Vitellaria trees at the upper and lower temperature
limits of the species. This phenomenon has been reported in
other species such as olive (Mulinacci et al., 2001; Patumi et al.,
2002). However, Shahidi and Alexander (1998) and Yang et al.
(2001) reported that the compounds from the catechin family
in shea kernels were similar to those found in green tea, which
has gained wide attention recently as an antioxidant-rich and
healthy beverage.
In the same study, Maranz et al. (2003) have extracted to-
tal polyphenol in some samples of shea butter by colorimetric
analysis using the Folin–Ciocalteu reagent method of Gutfinger
(1981). The different samples of shea butter were extracted by
hexane and the authors found an average of 97 ppm of total
polyphenols, with the values for different provenances varying
between 62 and 135 ppm. These values indicate that 90–98%
of the potential phenolic content of shea butter is lost in hexane
extraction of shea kernels.
Sterol Content
The unsaponifiable fraction of shea butter contains a small
fraction of sterols, and few authors have investigated this aspect.
Peers (1977) reported two sterol compounds in shea butter: stig-
masterol and 7-stigmasterol. In addition to these compounds,
Njoku et al. (2000) identified β-sitosterol and cholesterol
Tab le 7 Sterol contents of shea butter
Stigmasterol β-Sitosterol 7-Stigmasterol Cholesterol
(mg/100 g) (mg/100 g) (mg/100 g) (mg/100 g) References
1.74 2.01 Peers, 1977
0.5 0.4 0.2 Njoku et al., 2000
(Table 7). According to Li and Sinclair (2002) β-sitosterol,
campesterol, and stigmasterol are the main sterols in plants and
constitute bioactive compounds that can decrease plasma/serum
levels of lipids and lipoprotein lipids.
DISCUSSION
Variation in Reported Data
This review shows that the reported values of nutrient con-
tents of shea products (pulp, kernels, and butter) vary greatly.
The causes of these variations are well known and most authors
have worked on them. Variations are first due to the different
provenances of the samples, the age of the sample, the climatic
conditions, the genetic variation, and the soil structure and its
chemical composition. Variation can also be attributed to the
methods of analysis such as in the case of the determination of
the carbohydrate content, which was determined by difference
in one case and by a colorimetric method in the other case.
In addition, another cause of variation is linked to shea butter
composition and this is due to the distribution range of the shea
tree by the fact that the tree is wild, and the different methods
to extract the butter.
Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Effects of Shea Butter
The most valued product of the shea tree is the shea butter
extracted from the kernels. The majority of this fat is consumed
directly at home as cooking oil and food accompaniment. This
butter has been found to have high levels of tocopherol con-
stituents, with significant regional variation in the content of
α-tocopherol. In addition, shea butter contains some polyphe-
nols and its concentration depends on the extraction technique.
Then, in order to retain higher levels of phenolic compounds in
shea butter, the extraction and refining processes will need to
be modified. However, both tocopherol and polyphenol consti-
tute some antioxidants, and consuming antioxidant-rich foods
can contribute to the prevention of oxidation in the human cell,
and hence of some diseases. In general, antioxidants such as
α-tocopherol can be responsible for reducing degenerative dis-
eases and also for mopping up free radicals responsible for ox-
idative damage of cell membranes and the skin and for causing
cancer. Since α-tocopherol is one of the groups of fat-soluble
vitamin E compounds that cannot be synthesized by animal
cells, it must be obtained from plant sources through the diet
(Kornsteiner et al., 2005). Because of their vital role in
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NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF SHEA PRODUCTS 683
nutrition, the presence of α-tocopherol in shea butter makes it
an important fat, especially in human diet, nutrition, and health.
The non-glyceride constituents of shea butter permit its use
in skin care products and cosmetic product formulations. Most
of the non-glyceride constituents are triterpene alcohols of cin-
namates, which possess anti-inflammatory effects, especially
lupeol and α/β-amyrin in their esterified forms (Alander and
Andersson, 2002). Some anti-inflammatory activities against
tetradecanoylphorbol acetate (TPA)-induced inflammation in
mice were reported by Akihisa et al. (2010a), who also no-
ticed that the triterpene cinnamate isolated from shea fat could
be valuable as a chemopreventive agent in chemical carcinogen-
esis. Although these compounds can be found in other plants,
shea kernels are a particularly attractive source due to their high
levels of triterpene alcohols (up to 6.2% of unsaponifiable matter
in fat). In addition, triterpene alcohol esters are useful in high-
performance skin care products such as sunscreen and suncare
products because of the combination of its anti-inflammatory
action and protease-inhibiting effects (Alander, 2004). Accord-
ing to the findings of Di Vincenzo et al. (2005), the shea butter
from West Africa had significantly higher levels of both acetyl
and cinnamyl triterpenes than that of East Africa. Vissers et al.
(2000) and Maranz et al. (2003) reported that these results should
be of significant interest to the cosmetic and pharmaceutical in-
dustries. The good stability and the inherently good formulating
properties associated with shea butter in general open up a num-
ber of possibilities, extended by the variety of derived products
that can be obtained from this well-researched raw material.
Analysis of the Main Unit Operations
of Shea Butter Processing
The traditional extraction techniques for shea butter have
many unit operations that have an impact on the quality of the
butter. The boiling of the depulped shea fruit is generally done
during 15–60 minutes to inactivate the enzymes responsible for
hydrolysis of the fatty acids and to facilitate shelling. If the boil-
ing time is too short, shelling becomes difficult because latex
appears on the kernels, binding them to the shells, and enzymes
are not inactivated. The direct exposure of the nuts/kernels to the
sun for drying is one of the handicaps of shea butter production
because it takes several days (7–15 days) and, in the meantime,
the nuts are subjected to the prevailing climatic conditions with
the risks of pollution and hydrolysis of fatty acids by lipases,
which leads to increasing amounts of FFA in the product. Bup
et al. (2008) showed that shea kernels dried without direct expo-
sure to the sun yielded butter that was according to the standards
for cosmetic and pharmaceutical uses. The storage of the ker-
nels is not included directly in the shea butter extraction process,
but considering the annual gathering of the fruits, the storage of
nuts/kernels is inevitable for butter extraction around the year.
The kernels are usually stored for 1–12 months in bags or a gra-
nary before export or further use (Honfo et al., 2011). Most stor-
age conditions that are used at present could lead to germination
and infestation by microorganisms and birds. The germination
of kernels is due to the bad drying of kernels before storage.
According to processors, the roasting of the crushed kernels
is generally done for 30–60 minutes to facilitate fat extraction
and improve the sensory characteristics of the butter (Honfo
et al., 2011). Not controlling this operation could lead to cum-
bersome volatile compounds in the product. Bail et al. (2009)
compared the volatile profile of different shea butters and re-
ported that processing steps, including drying of kernels before
producing the fat and additional roasting procedures, influence
shea butter volatile compounds significantly. Most these volatile
compounds investigated by Bail et al. (2009) are composed of
fatty acid degradation products such as acetic and hexanoic acid,
carbonyl compounds (hexanal, heptanal, trans-2-heptenal, 2,4-
heptadienal), 2-pentylfurane, and processing compounds such
as furfural as well as glycerol. Insufficient heating during the
roasting may prevent the oil from attaining the maximum flow
during extraction and, at too high a temperature, can also reduce
the yield of oil. Finally, the storage of the shea butter is done
under bad conditions; it is one of the key causes of its quality
deterioration by, for example, hydrolysis and oxidation of fatty
acids. Some undesirable volatile/aroma compounds could also
be produced in shea butter during different storage conditions.
Tab le 8 Shea pulp composition with the recommended daily intake (RDI) for children (4–8 years old)
Carbohydrates Protein Ca Fe Mg
Nutrients Energy Vit C
RDI for children (g/day) 1710 (kcal/day) 130 130 19 19 0.8 0.8 0.01 0.01 0.13 0.13 0.025
Pulp composition (g/100 g) kcal/100 g HighestLowestHighest Lowest Highest Lowest Highest Lowest Highest Lowest
179.537.28.15.64.40.43 0.003 0.016 0.0004 0.13 0.01 0.1661
% RDI covered by
consumption of 50 g/d
5.214.33.114.711.526.60.280.02.1 49.64.3 332.2
% RDI covered by
consumption of 80 g/d
8.422.94.923.618.442.60.3 128.03.4 79.46.8 531.5
% RDI covered by
consumption of 100 g/d
10.528.66.229.523.153.30.3 160.04.299
.28.5 664.4
Source: RDIs for individuals for energy: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph/reni/renitable1.htm (accessed November 3, 2010).
Source: Other recommended daily intakes for individuals:http://www.iom.edu/Global/News%20Announcements//media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/
DRISummaryListing2.ashx (accessed November 3, 2010).
Highest and lowest values reported by different authors for nutrient composition of shea pulp.
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684 F. G. HONFO ET AL.
Tab le 9 Shea pulp composition with the recommended daily intake (RDI) for pregnant women (19–30 years old)
Nutrients Energy Carbohydrates Protein Ca Fe Mg
RDI for pregnant (kcal/day) Vit C
women (g/day) 2240 175 175 71 71 1 1 0.027 0.027 0.350 0.350 0.085
Pulp composition (g/100g) kcal/100 g HighestLowestHighest Lowest Highest Lowest Highest Lowest Highest Lowest
179.537.28.15.64.40.43 0.003 0.016 0.0004 0.13 0.01 0.1661
% RDI covered by
consumption of 50 g/d
4.010.62.33.93.121.30.129.60.818.41.697.7
% RDI covered by
consumption of 80 g/d
6.417.03.76.34.934.10.247.41.229.52.5 156.3
% RDI covered by
consumption of 100 g/d
8.021.34.67.96.242.60.359.31.636
.93.2 195.4
Source: RDIs for individuals for energy: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph/reni/renitable1.htm (accessed November 3, 2010).
Source: Other recommended daily intakes for individuals:http://www.iom.edu/Global/News%20Announcements//media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/
DRISummaryListing2.ashx (accessed November 3, 2010).
Highest and lowest values reported by different authors for nutrient composition of shea pulp.
Contribution of Shea Pulp to Recommended Daily Intake
In the following calculation, digestibility and bioavailability
could not be taken into account because of lack of data. There-
fore, the values given should be seen as maximum values; in
reality, they will be lower.
The vitamin C content (196.1 mg/100 g) of the shea pulp has
been reported by Eromosele et al. (1991). A comparison with the
recommended daily intake (RDI) for children (4–8 years old) is
presented in Table 8. Consumption of 50 g/day of pulp by a child
(4–8 years) will cover 332% of the RDI. On the other hand, the
consumption of 15 g of shea pulp by children is enough to cover
the RDI for vitamin C. Considering the lowest reported values
for the macro- and micronutrients, the consumption of 100 g of
shea fruit pulp will cover 6.2% of the RDI for carbohydrates,
23.1% of the RDI for protein, 4.2% of the RDI for Fe, 8.5% of
the RDI for Mg, and 0.3% of the RDI for Ca.
Similarly, the consumption of 50–100 g of shea pulp by a
pregnant woman will cover 97.7–195.4% of her RDI of vitamin
C (Table 9). As mentioned for the children, the coverage of
the macro- and micronutrients will be possible when the lowest
reported values are considered. Then, the consumption of 100 g
of the pulp will cover 4.6% of the RDI for carbohydrates, 6.2%
of the RDI for protein, 1.6% of the RDI for Fe, 0.3% of the RDI
for Ca, and 3.2% of the RDI for Mg.
The energy content is low for the RDI for both children and
pregnant women. The consumption of 50 g of shea pulp by
children and pregnant women covers 5% and 4%, respectively,
of their required energy intake.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
To date, research on Vitellaria products (fruit pulp, kernels,
and butter) has been fragmentary and undertaken mostly on a
local and national basis. The literature review shows a wide
variation of research on shea products, with a fair number of
investigations in a certain field such as the macro- and micronu-
trient composition of shea pulp and butter, tocopherols, and
sterols contents of the non-glyceride part of shea butter. Despite
this variability, the pulp is very rich in vitamin C and the ker-
nels in fat (butter). The shea butter will have some antioxidant
and anti-inflammatory activities even if most of this butter is
extracted by traditional methods. Of greater interest is the very
active level of research on the uses of shea butter in the medic-
inal, foods, and cosmetics industries, as evidenced by a steady
and current flow of research publications in these fields. Further
research is necessary to improve the quality of the butter ex-
tracted by traditional techniques. Some of the possible solutions
are highlighted below.
Further research is necessary to improve the sun drying and
the storage conditions of the nuts/kernels, to enhance the pro-
cessing and the quality of the butter in order to satisfy the
international demand, and to provide more information about
the fruit pulp consumption. In addition, more attention should
be given to accuracy and precision in analyses in order to get
more reliable information about biological variation.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The authors thank Nuffic for the PhD scholarship made avail-
able through the NPT/BEN/263 project, hosted at the University
of Abomey-Calavi in Benin.
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... Formerly known as B. parkii, V. paradoxa (C.F. Gaertn, 1807), also commonly known as Sheatree butter, is a native from central Africa, and it is rich in triglycerides (oleic, stearic, palmitic, linoleic, and arachidic) [62]. This tree from the Sapotaceae family reaches up to 22 m in length, and a good quality shea fruit only appears after 15 years of cultivation, G. max G. max (L. ...
... Formerly known as B. parkii, V. paradoxa (C.F. Gaertn, 1807), also commonly known as Sheatree butter, is a native from central Africa, and it is rich in triglycerides (oleic, stearic, palmitic, linoleic, and arachidic) [62]. This tree from the Sapotaceae family reaches up to 22 m in length, and a good quality shea fruit only appears after 15 years of cultivation, ...
... Formerly known as B. parkii, V. paradoxa (C.F. Gaertn, 1807), also commonly known as Sheatree butter, is a native from central Africa, and it is rich in triglycerides (oleic, stearic, palmitic, linoleic, and arachidic) [62]. This tree from the Sapotaceae family reaches up to 22 m in length, and a good quality shea fruit only appears after 15 years of cultivation, being the fruit's maximum fat content present only after 30 years of growth [62]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The photoprotective skincare segment is in high demand to meet consumer concerns on UV-induced skin damage, with a recent trend towards sunscreen alternatives with a natural origin. In this study, the use of natural ingredients, either from terrestrial or marine origin, in a panel of 444 sunscreen commercial formulations (2021) was analyzed. Ingredients from terrestrial organisms represent the large majority found in the analyzed sunscreen formulations (48%), whereas marine ingredients are present only in 13% of the analyzed products. A deeper analysis regarding the most prevalent families of ingredients from terrestrial and marine organisms used as top ingredients is also presented, as well as their mechanisms of action. This study provides an up-to-date overview of the sunscreen market regarding the use of natural ingredients, which is of relevance for scientists involved in the development of new sunscreens to identify opportunities for innovation.
... The shea tree is an economically important tree species, providing NTFPs for local communities. They include various ethnobotanical uses due to a range of phytochemical compounds [72], which have notable nutritional attributes (Table 2) [73][74][75][76]. Parts of the tree are used in traditional medicine to treat various diseases and injuries, including stomach aches, headaches, fever, and jaundice [77]. ...
... The fruit consists of a sweet, moist pulp surrounding an oil-rich seed. Highly perishable when ripe, the fruit is consumed fresh soon after collection, providing calories and micronutrients during the annual 'hungry season' when stored foods are in short supply, and agricultural labor is at a premium [85], the pulp can be dried for storage [86]; the pulp contains glucose, protein (0.8-4.4%), vitamins B and C, and minerals notably including calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus [51,72,75]. The kernels have a rich oil called shea butter that is heavily used by local populations [64,80]. ...
... It is characterized by a total of 16 saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, with 5 of them (oleic, stearic, palmitic, linoleic, and arachidic) showing relatively high levels [100]. Oleic acid is dominant, from 37.2% to 60.7% [117,126], followed by stearic acid, varying from 29.5% to 55.7% [75,103,117]. The quantity and quality of fatty acids differ from one region to another. ...
Article
Full-text available
Vitellaria paradoxa (C.F.Gaertn.) is a multi-purpose tree species distributed in a narrow band across sub-Saharan Africa. The species is integrated into cropping and agroforestry systems as a nutritional and economic resource, which provides a range of environmental services. Integration of the species into land-use systems provides an essential source of livelihoods and income for local populations. The economic potential of the shea butter tree derives from its edible products, which also serve cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications. To understand the current state of knowledge about V. paradoxa, this paper summarizes information about the ecology, population structure, and genetic diversity of the species, also considering compositional variation in the pulp and kernels, management practices, and efforts towards its domestication. Despite the great potential of the shea butter tree, there are some gaps in the understanding of the genetics of the species. This review presents up-to-date information related to the species for further domestication and breeding purposes.
... The shea tree is an economically important tree species, providing NTFPs for local communities. They include various ethnobotanical uses due to a range of phytochemical compounds [72], which have notable nutritional attributes (Table 2) [73][74][75][76]. Parts of the tree are used in traditional medicine to treat various diseases and injuries, including stomach aches, headaches, fever, and jaundice [77]. ...
... The fruit consists of a sweet, moist pulp surrounding an oil-rich seed. Highly perishable when ripe, the fruit is consumed fresh soon after collection, providing calories and micronutrients during the annual 'hungry season' when stored foods are in short supply, and agricultural labor is at a premium [85], the pulp can be dried for storage [86]; the pulp contains glucose, protein (0.8-4.4%), vitamins B and C, and minerals notably including calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus [51,72,75]. The kernels have a rich oil called shea butter that is heavily used by local populations [64,80]. ...
... It is characterized by a total of 16 saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, with 5 of them (oleic, stearic, palmitic, linoleic, and arachidic) showing relatively high levels [100]. Oleic acid is dominant, from 37.2% to 60.7% [117,126], followed by stearic acid, varying from 29.5% to 55.7% [75,103,117]. The quantity and quality of fatty acids differ from one region to another. ...
Article
Full-text available
Vitellaria paradoxa (C.F.Gaertn.) is a multipurpose tree species distributed in a narrow band across sub-Saharan Africa. The species is integrated into cropping and agroforestry systems as a nutritional and economic resource, which provides a range of environmental services. Integration of the species into land-use systems provides an essential source of livelihoods and income for local populations. The economic potential of the shea butter tree derives from its edible products, which also serve cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications. To understand the current state of knowledge about V. paradoxa, this paper summarizes information about the ecology, population structure, and genetic diversity of the species, also considering compositional variation in the pulp and kernels, management practices, and efforts towards its domestication. Despite the great potential of the shea butter tree, there are some gaps in the understanding of the genetics of the species. This review presents up-to-date information related to the species for further domestication and breeding purposes.
... Shea butter contains oleic acid (O) as major fatty acid (FA) (34-62%), stearic acid (St, 25-55.7%), palmitic acid (P, 1.9-10%), and linoleic acid (L, 1-10%) (Abdul-Hammed et al., 2020;Akihisa et al., 2010;Badu et al., 2018;Codex Alimentarius, 2017;Dubois et al., 2008;Honfo et al., 2014;JBL et al., 2010;Kougblénou et al., 2012;Lipp & Anklam, 1998a, b;Mbaiguinam et al., 2007;Morin & Pagès-Xatart-Parès, 2012). This FA form a high amount (more than 50%) of the saturated-unsaturated-saturated triacylglycerols (SUS TAG), which include stearic acid-oleic acid-stearic acid (StOSt,13-45%) and palmitic acid-oleic acid-stearic acid (POSt, 3.5-8.5%) ...
... In the pharmaceutical sector, SB is used as a raw material for drug formulation or alone as a drug in treating arthritis, eczema, herpes lesions, and nutraceuticals for lowering cholesterol (Animasaun et al., 2019;Lovett, 2010 Allal et al., 2013;Honfo et al., 2014;Israel, 2015;Kapseu et al., 2001;Alain Karleskind, 1992;Lipp & Anklam, 1998a, b;Maranz & Wiesman, 2004;Morin & Pagès-Xatart-Parès, 2012;Peers, 1977;Ray et al., 2013;Stübiger et al., 2015;Okullo et al., 2010;Ajala et al., 2016;Akihisa et al., 2010;Badu et al., 2018;Davrieux et al., 2010;Dubois et al., 2008;Megnanou et al., 2015;Segman et al., 2012;Talbot et al., 2008;Zhang et al., 2017;Alander, 2004;Krist et al., 2006;Nahm et al., 2013;Vincenzo et al., 2005) triterpenic compounds, catechins, tocopherols, polyisoprene hydrocarbons (kariten), and catechins. It shows antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, UV-protective, and protease-inhibition properties. ...
... The main terpenic compounds are triterpenes alcohol (α-amyrin, β-amyrin, lupeol, and butyrospermol) which amounted to 68-75% of total unsaponifiable (Vincenzo et al., 2005). Total catechin content ranged from 0.4 to 9.5% of extracted dry weight (Akihisa et al., 2010;Alander, 2004;Allal et al., 2013;Honfo et al., 2014;Maranz et al., 2003;Nahm et al., 2013). The total tocopherol content is 29 to 805 µg/g of SB, and the α-tocopherol was the most abundant form, accounting for up to 64% of the total value (Davrieux et al., 2010;Maranz & Wiesman, 2004), while β and δ fraction were < 1.5 μg/g (Allal et al., 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Shea butter is an important lipid material for food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. Most of the shea butter consumed in the world comes from Africa. The extraction protocol is not standardized among all regions of production. It can be done using either traditional or improved (semi-mechanical) processes. The quality of shea butter and its composition depend on multiple factors such as the edaphic parameters, morphology and harvesting method of the fruits, and treatment applied to fruits, nuts, and kernels, respectively. In this paper, all traditional and improved extraction processes reported, including the enormous possible variants, were reviewed and summarized. Several optimal conditions have been defined for both the traditional and the modern processes. Nevertheless, we are far from process harmonization, and therefore from the best conditions of shea butter processing. The screw press extraction was the most widely used among the modern processes due to its yield of butter extraction of about 82%. Microwave-assisted extraction gave the highest butter yield, 88%, and traditional shea butter extraction was about 20–35%.
... Shea butter is a fat of vegetable origin used as edible oil for frying and / or added to sauces. The reported moisture contents of shea butter vary from 0.1% [24] to 4.9% [25]. However, exceptional higher values of 8.4% and 14.5% were mentioned by [26], who evaluated the physicochemical and microbiological characteristics of shea butter sold on markets in Côte d'Ivoire. ...
... mg/100 g dw, Cu content is 0-1.5 mg/100 g dw, and K value ranges from 0 to 4.5 mg/100 g dw. Ash content ranges from 1.3 g/100 g dw [27] to 3.2 g/100 g dw [29], with an average of 2.2 g/100 g dw [25]. The values of the five major fatty acids in shea oil: palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and arachidic fatty acids in Uganda ranged between 6.52 and 8.12%, 28.65 and 30.94%, 54.99 and 57.72%, 6.18 and 7.79% and 0.65 and 0.90%, respectively. ...
Article
Full-text available
Forest species are very abundant in African ecosystems and contribute to the economy of households, through their use in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and agri-food. Among these species, Vitellaria paradoxa (sapotaceae) is a tree that can reach about fifteen meters, which grows exclusively in wooded savannas in Africa. Its area of distribution is Senegal, Ethiopia. The purpose of this study was to highlight the forms of valuation of shea butter in the food industry and in cosmetics. To do this, we carried out a literature review. The results revealed that shea butter is a fat extracted from the kernels of the shea fruit. It is obtained by shelling, drying and crushing the nuts. Crushed seeds and then mixed with water. Once immersed in water, the impurities will come out naturally from the butter and thus settle in the bottom of the container. Then, the butter that has remained on the surface is collected, and kneaded, to be cooked for a long time at a very low temperature. The water evaporates, leaving only room for the oil, which will be manually filtered through muslin and then conditioned. Once at room temperature, the butter (melted into oil) regains its solid and melting texture. This butter, for its properties, is on considerable importance in food industry and cosmetics. Thus, shea butter is used in cooking (edible oils), in pastry products, confectionery and in chocolate industry as a substitute for cocoa butter. In cosmetics, it is best known for its moisturizing and softening properties of the skin. It is also used as an excipient in cosmetic formulations such as ointments, shampoos, toilet soaps and in creams.
... Shea butter is a fat of vegetable origin used as edible oil for frying and / or added to sauces. The reported moisture contents of shea butter vary from 0.1% [24] to 4.9% [25]. However, exceptional higher values of 8.4% and 14.5% were mentioned by [26], who evaluated the physicochemical and microbiological characteristics of shea butter sold on markets in Côte d'Ivoire. ...
... mg/100 g dw, Cu content is 0-1.5 mg/100 g dw, and K value ranges from 0 to 4.5 mg/100 g dw. Ash content ranges from 1.3 g/100 g dw [27] to 3.2 g/100 g dw [29], with an average of 2.2 g/100 g dw [25]. The values of the five major fatty acids in shea oil: palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and arachidic fatty acids in Uganda ranged between 6.52 and 8.12%, 28.65 and 30.94%, 54.99 and 57.72%, 6.18 and 7.79% and 0.65 and 0.90%, respectively. ...
Article
Full-text available
Forest species are very abundant in African ecosystems and contribute to the economy of households, through their use in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and agri-food. Among these species, Vitellaria paradoxa (sapotaceae) is a tree that can reach about fifteen meters, which grows exclusively in wooded savannas in Africa. Its area of distribution is Senegal, Ethiopia. The purpose of this study was to highlight the forms of valuation of shea butter in the food industry and in cosmetics. To do this, we carried out a literature review. The results revealed that shea butter is a fat extracted from the kernels of the shea fruit. It is obtained by shelling, drying and crushing the nuts. Crushed seeds and then mixed with water. Once immersed in water, the impurities will come out naturally from the butter and thus settle in the bottom of the container. Then, the butter that has remained on the surface is collected, and kneaded, to be cooked for a long time at a very low temperature. The water evaporates, leaving only room for the oil, which will be manually filtered through muslin and then conditioned. Once at room temperature, the butter (melted into oil) regains its solid and melting texture. This butter, for its properties, is on considerable importance in food industry and cosmetics. Thus, shea butter is used in cooking (edible oils), in pastry products, confectionery and in chocolate industry as a substitute for cocoa butter. In cosmetics, it is best known for its moisturizing and softening properties of the skin. It is also used as an excipient in cosmetic formulations such as ointments, shampoos, toilet soaps and in creams.
... 1 In West Africa, Vitellaria paradoxa, Elaeis guineensis, Carapa procera, Pentadesma butyracea, and Lophira lanceolata are six relatively common oil species. [2][3][4][5] Apart from these species, which received the most attention from scholars, private sectors and decision makers, other wild oil species of high interest are marginalized and underutilized. 6 Among these, Vitex doniana Sweet, Cleome gynandra (L.) Briq. ...
Article
Full-text available
Ricinodendron heudelotii, Vitex doniana, and Cleome gynandra are three indigenous species of Benin/West Africa. This review focuses on the physicochemical characteristics of their seeds and the nutritional and functional properties of their oils. In this systematic review, scientific articles and reports were used to collect information. The minima, maxima, and mean values were considered and converted into a dry basis and/or the same units by using the international system of units when needed to allow comparison. Seeds of Ricinodendron, Vitex and Cleome fat contents were 51.83 g/100 g dw, 28.55 g/100 g dw and 27.35 g/100 g dw, respectively. The three seed oils contained 58.54% to 87% mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Ricinodendron seed oil contained a conjugated polyunsaturated fatty acid α‐eleostearic acid (49.3%–51.1%). Data varied from one author to another due to the methods used. R. heudelotii seeds oil is traditionally used for the treatment of several diseases. Its oil showed phytochemical and antimicrobial properties suggesting its possible use in pharmaceutical industries. Ricinodendron and Vitex seed oil should not be used for cooking at high temperatures or frying because of their high and medium levels of unsaturation.
... Shea butter is extracted from kernels of Vitellaria paradoxa and is constituted of triglycerides of stearic, palmitic, oleic, and linolenic FA. It also has a large unsaponifiable element containing phenol, triterpenes, tocopherol, and sterols, conferring antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties to this raw material [36]. Shea butter is also a refatting agent and presents water-binding properties, enabling water retention in the skin. ...
... Humans consume its sweet pulp (Bvenura & Sivakumar, 2017;Maranz et al., 2004;Ugese et al., 2008) and the fallen ripe fruits can be fed to livestock (Orwa et al., 2009). Because of its high vitamin C content, daily consumption of up to 50g can provide the needed vitamin C supplement for both children and pregnant women (Honfo et al., 2014). Looking at its numerous uses, V. paradoxa is regarded as a unique resource for economic development especially in rural areas (Chidiogo et al., 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Phenological studies provide information on functional rhythms of plants and plants communities. Timing of various phenological events may reflect biotic and/or abiotic environmental conditions. They are also useful for conservation and management of tree genetic resources because they determine reproductive success of species. This research aimed at studying phenological events in V. paradoxa and their interactions with some environmental factors. Thirty (30) V. paradoxa trees were randomly selected from two distinct locations (densely populated and sparsely populated sites and used in this research. From each selected trees, 8 branches were chosen and from each branch, reproductive phenological events and leaf phenological events were observed and recorded. The data collected were analyzed using Microsoft Excel ® and their relationship with climatic conditions was determining using PAST software. Results revealed that V. paradoxa flower from October to March and fruits form March to August. The result also showed variation between the two locations with respect to flowering start dates in which trees in the sparse areas flowered earlier than those in the dense areas; and the flowering synchrony was estimated to 69.2%. Observations showed that V. paradoxa trees shed their leaves from November to March. Furthermore, leaf fall have a positive linear relationship with temperature and wind speed and a negative relationship with relative humidity. The information from this studies will be useful in breeding programmes and management of this important species.
Article
Fusidic acid (FA) is an efficient anti-bacterial drug proven to be efficient against a wide range of bacteria. Nevertheless, the main restriction in its formulation is the limited solubility. To avoid such an obstacle, the drug is incorporated into the lipid core of the nanolipid formulation. Consequently, the present study was an attempt to formulate nanolipid preparation, mainly, solid lipid nanoparticle (SLN) integrating FA. FA-SLN was prepared using shea butter as a lipid phase owing to its reported anti-bacterial activity. Different FA-SLNs were fabricated using the central composite design (CCD) approach. The optimized formula was selected and integrated into a hydrogel base to be efficiently used topically. FA-SLN-hydrogel was evaluated for its character, morphology, in vitro release and stability. The formula was examined for irritation reaction and finally evaluated for its anti-bacterial performance. The optimized formula showed particle size 283.83 nm and entrapment 73.057%. The formulated FA-SLN-hydrogel displayed pH 6.2, viscosity 15,610 cP, spreadability 51.1 mm and in vitro release 64.6% following 180 min. FA-SLN-hydrogel showed good stability for three months at different conditions (room temperature and refrigerator). It exhibited no irritation reaction on the treated rats. Eventually, shea butter displayed a noteworthy effect against bacterial growth that improved the effect of FA. This would indicate prospective anti-bacterial activity of FA when combined with shea butter in SLN formulation as a promising nanocarrier.
Article
Full-text available
The effect of some processing parameters (thickness of kernels, kernels to butter mass ratio, temperature and duration of frying) on the add and peroxide values and the melting properties of shea butter was studied during deep fat frying of shea kernels (Butyrospermum parkii). The results showed that the frying of kernels results in low acidic butters fulfilling commercial criteria of acidity. The increase of the frying temperature increased the peroxide value. The thermograms of butters from fried kernels dispayed a peak intermediate to both typical peaks of shea butter. The melting enthalpy of this peak increased with increasing the temperature and the duration of frying. The best frying conditions to preserve the quality of shea butter are: kernel thickness 2-6 mm; frying temperature 140-150 °C, kernel to butter mass ratio 0,04-0,06 and duration of frying less than 10 minutes.
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Twenty five fruits found in Ghana have been analysed for glucose, fructose and sucrose, by enzymatic methods. Three distribution patterns of the sugars were obtained irrespective of ripeness or origin of fruit.
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A joint AOAC/AACC (American Association of Cereal Chemists) collaborative study of methods for the determination of soluble, insoluble, and total dietary fiber (SDF, IDF, and TDF) was conducted with 11 participating laboratories. The assay Is based on a modification of the AOAC TDF method 985.29 and the SDF/IDF method collaboratively studied recently by AOAC. The principles of the method are the same as those for the AOAC dietary fiber methods 985.29 and 991.42, Including the use of the same 3 enzymes (heat-stable α-amylase, protease, and amyloglucosldase) and similar enzyme Incubation conditions. In the modification, minor changes have been made to reduce analysis time and to Improve assay precision: (1) MES-TRIS buffer replaces phosphate buffer; (2) one pH adjustment step Is eliminated; and (3) total volumes of reaction mixture and filtration are reduced. Eleven collaborators were sent 20 analytical samples (4 cereal and grain products, 3 fruits, and 3 vegetables) for duplicate blind analysis. The SDF, IDF, and TDF content of the foods tested ranged from 0.53 to 7.17, 0.59 to 60.53, and 1.12 to 67.56 g/100 g, respectively. The respective average RSDR values for SDF, IDF, and TDF determinations by direct measurements were 13.1, 5.2, and 4.5%. The TDF values calculated by summing SDF and IDF were in excellent agreement with the TDF values measured independently. The modification did not alter the method performance with regard to mean dietary fiber values, yet It generated lower assay variability compared with the unmodified methods. The method for SDF, IDF, and TDF (by summing SDF and IDF) has been adopted first action by AOAC International.
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Derived from the shea nut in Sudano-Sahelian Africa, shea butter, or karité, has become an important ingredient in the global billion-dollar cosmetics industry. It has sparked the interest of aid organizations and fair trade advocates, who see promise with improved producer returns from marketing the nut butter. The most striking feature of contemporary shea commercialization, however, is that it represents a female commodity chain, linking traditional African women producers with female green consumers in the West. This unusual commodity chain provides unprecedented opportunity for women-indevelopment (WID) groups to organize female producers into cooperatives for improved prices and laborsaving technologies. However, as this case study of Burkina Faso reveals, butter preparation is time-consuming work that significantly augments rural women's seasonal labor burden. Research in one of sub-Saharan Africa's largest shea-producing countries indicates several concerns about the capacity of WID projects to improve rural Burkinabè women's incomes and shea market share.
Article
The effect of moisture content and drying temperature of Vitellaria paradoxa Gaertn kernels on some of its physical properties was investigated. The kernels which were harvested at a moisture content of about 60% (wet basis) and hence prone to high post harvest losses from two ecological zones of Cameroon (Bangoua in West province and Tchabal in Adamawa province) were dried in a forced convection dryer at 40oC, for 6, 20, 48, 72 and 96 hours to give moisture contents ranging from 10 to 60% wet basis. Ten trees from each of the zones were carefully selected to serve as sources for the ripe kernel bearing shea fruits that were used as samples for this study. For each parameter studied, a sample population of 30 kernels selected at random per tree was used. The results obtained revealed that there was a significant difference in the physical properties of the kernels from different trees irrespective of the locality. The bulk density, true density, sphericity and porosity varied non-linearly with the moisture content. Kernels with larger masses showed a different variation pattern of bulk density and porosity with moisture content compared to the lighter kernels. The variation of the bulk density, sphericity, porosity of sheanut kernels with moisture content and temperature was satisfactorily modelled with empirical equations. The samples underwent considerable shrinkage (up to 35%) during the drying process. Three empirical models were used to describe the shrinkage behaviour of the kernels and it is proposed that these models could be incorporated in drying models.