What is Shea Butter?
How Shea Butter is Made
The first step in making shea butter is collecting the nuts. The nuts are then cooled and cracked. This time-consuming process is often performed by groups of women. The shells are discarded and used for cooking fuel. The seeds are roasted and beaten with water. This releases the rich fats within the nut. They are then ground into a paste. The resulting product is pure white and has no smell.
The kernels are then separated. The final product is then refined to achieve its desired consistency. Shea Butter is considered a sacred ingredient in Ghana, and its increasing demand is increasing its value. The ripe shea fruit is about 5 centimeters in diameter and turns brown or yellow.
Different types of Shea Butter
Shea butter is produced by kneading. It can be highly refined or very raw. A manual process leaves more raw ingredients. Further refinement removes the smell. Nevertheless, Shea butter can be refined further to the desired consistency. This method is a sustainable way to obtain Shea butter. Soak the nuts to extract the butter. This process requires only a few ingredients.
The women that make Shea butter
Shea butter is produced by women in rural communities in Ghana, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. Many women in rural areas in Northern Ghana are involved in the process. Some of the women involve their children to help them with the work. The butter is an essential part of many cosmetics, and it is the main source of income for many people in these communities.