Buying Unrefined Shea butter
Shea butter is one of the main ingredients used to make cosmetics, moisturizing products like creams and lotions, and soaps.
If you are buying unrefined shea butter, check out this information as a guide.
UNREFINED SHEA BUTTER Vitellaria paradoxa
Unrefined Shea butter starts out in the nut of a tree that grows in Savanna grasslands spread out across the African Plains. The trees, the African shea tree Vitellaria paradoxa are not cultivated; they grow wild – starting out as just seedlings dispersed by birds, the winds, and water. The trees are harvested annually after the nuts fall from the trees. They are gathered, typically by local women from nearby villages who dry them, crush them and take the inner nuts out of a shell. The nuts are then cracked and the butter roasted – constantly stirred so as not to burn the shea butter as it is worked. It is hard heavy, smokey work. Water is added to the process as the butter is further cleaned and worked. The butters and oils float to the top and are taken out and molded in to balls. Sometimes after this process the shea butter might be taken to be worked again, to further clean it, and package it, so that the shea butter is the best quality to ship to and sell in to markets world-wide.
The very best unrefined shea butter processors will not use ANY bleaching products, or any chemicals, to change the appearance of the unrefined shea butter. Nor will any deodorizers like fragrances be used to change the scent of pure unrefined Shea Butter.
Pure unrefined shea butter has a very distinct look and aroma. The raw, unrefined shea butter has a particular clean but slightly earthy, often nutty aroma.
Buying unrefined shea butter
Buying good quality unrefined shea butter can be challenging without some guidance. Using our information as a guide should help.
The most simply processed unrefined shea butter is the best shea butter. You need to find a shea butter that has been through a simple process to make sure the product is clean, and has no impurities that might damage the long term stability of the product. If you buy a shea butter that is not free of discolorations, free of particles of debris, or has an odor other than the typical scent of good quality shea butter, keep looking. Good quality unrefined shea butter can vary in color from an off white to different shades of a beige. Since it is a natural product that is to be expected. The shea butter, typically,should have a nice firm buttery feel to it.
Aside from the commercial aspects of Shea butter, keen consumers know that when they buy top quality, ethically produced unrefined shea butter, there is also a human element as well. Shea butter has been a very important part of the communities where it is gathered and processed. Shea butter is not just a commercial product to be sold there. The harvesting, the simple processing, are as important as the usefulness of the product itself. Shea butter not only produces an economic benefit to those that harvest, process and package it is a part of the lives of everyone in the community and regions all across the African continent where the trees grow.
When you purchase unrefined shea butter from sellers that buy directly from local villages you then are directly supporting the people whose lives touch it as it makes its way from the villages in Ghana, Nigeria, or Uganda in Eastern Africa.
Our Unrefined Shea Butter is purchased direct from one of three villages in Ghana, where it is packaged and then shipped direct in to the United States. it is an excellent quality having the distinctive color and odor of top quality unrefined Shea Butter.
Two good resources for good quality Unrefined Shea Butter:
If you are looking for resources for other widely used ingredients- citric acid, sodium bicarbonate or sodium alginate for example, check here in our EASY LINKS to Citric Acid , Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Alginate