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From Shea Trees to Baraka Shea Butter

[POSTED ON: 20th February 2019]

From Shea Trees to Baraka Shea Butter. Shea Trees to Shea Fruit to Shea Nuts to crushing, roasting, grinding, whipping, finishing, packaging and on to you.  A process that creates an amazing product, and impacts lives, families and communities along the way.  Learn more – and watch the video!

Over the years, we have received so many questions from artisans, skincare companies and DIYers about how shea butter is made the Baraka way. We are excited to share with you today the process from start to finish.

Shea trees grow wild throughout Northern Ghana, covering vast areas of Savannah. Only about 15% of the fallen shea fruit/seeds are picked and used to make shea butter. The rest are left to germinate and turn into shea trees.

The shea fruit season is late April to early June. Small, sweet fruit, a treat for young and old, and with a seed that can be turned into shea butter. When in season, children line the streets selling shea fruit.

The fallen seeds and fruit are picked from beneath the trees (leaving plenty behind for regeneration). The seeds are cleaned, dried, and husked and packed in sacks for transport to Baraka Shea Butter processing centre.

The process starts with crushing the shea seeds/nuts, breaking them down into small pieces that can be evenly roasted. The crushed shea seeds/nuts are roasted just so over a fire, the first step in preparing them to release the magic that will turn into Baraka Shea Butter.

The second grind is amazing. The ground and roasted shea nuts, a dry, mealy mixture is poured into a hopper and ground. A viscous shea oil liquid comes out the bottom. The women have roasted the ground nuts just right to get them ready to release their magic.

Water is added to the viscous shea oil mixture, kneaded in until it reaches the right consistency and then whipped/churned by hand until the shea oil coagulates into early stage shea butter.

Hard work with amazing results.

The coagulated early stage shea butter is skimmed off and put into a large pot. The women process it through three stages: cooking, skimming, settling. This process has been passed down through generations.

The end result is Baraka Shea Butter that is carefully trained and left to cool and solidify.

The solidified Baraka Shea Butter is hand-packed into cartons that will be shipped to North America and around the world. It is carefully inspected and weighed and the woman who made it puts her handprint on top sending it from her hands to yours.

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