What Is Butter Processing

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High-Quality Shea Butter. Traditionally Handmade. Completely Pure.

Just what is shea butter? Where does it come from?
Shea butter (or karité in French) is a natural fat extract taken from the nut of the shea tree – an oak-like tree found only in the arid savannah regions of Africa. Shea butter has been hand-crafted and used for centuries by Africans as cooking oil, a therapeutic skin balm, as well as an intensive moisturizer.

Usage of Shea Products
The benefits of shea butter extend beyond cooking, for which shea butter has traditionally been used. Shea oil and butter contain a range of therapeutic properties and health-enhancing elements, such as vitamins A and E, as well as antioxidants which nourish hair and skin, and restore skin’s natural softness and elasticity.
Outside of Africa, shea butter is commonly used as cocoa butter equivalent (CBE) by the confectionary industry in the production of chocolate. Shea oil and butter are used in a wide range of personal care products including shampoos and conditioners, moisturizers, sun screen, lipstick and lip balm, anti-wrinkle and anti-aging products, soap, and body wash.
Medicinally, shea butter can be used to sooth burns, reduce scars, and to prevent or reduce stretch marks. Shea butter for skin effectively treats conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Processing Information
Shea butter is produced with improved quality nuts that have mainly been collected and processed by the women groups of the StarShea Network. All shea butter processors of the StarShea Network are also nut processors.
Through training, the women have been taught how to improve their traditional techniques, from the collection of the nuts to the optimal packaging of the butter. They have been taken through all the processing stages to ensure that all steps are followed to produce top-quality butter:

Refining shea butter
Pure or unrefined shea butter can be refined at various levels of intensity, from natural refinement using steam treatments, to chemical refinement using solvents such as hexane. The more rigorously the shea butter is refined, the greater the loss of the health-promoting qualities of the butter.
Refining is carried out in order to remove the natural colour and scent of the shea butter, and to ensure the consistency of the product, in preparation for industrial production processes for mass retail or confectionary use. However, pure unrefined shea butter, also referred to as raw, crude or virgin shea butter, has the highest content of the essential fatty acids and vitamins that give shea butter its health-enhancing properties. Through a decentralized processing model, the StarShea Network produces shea butter in its purest form using traditional handmade processing techniques. StarShea refines butter on demand following the specifications of our clients, thanks to a partnership with a renowned refinery in Europe.

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