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Antifungal Properties Of Shea Butter

Download complete project material on Antifungal Properties Of Shea Butter from chapter one to five 

Shea butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory colored natural fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree (vitellaria paradoxa) Alfred Thomas, (2002). Shea butter is a triglyceride (fat) derived mainly from stearic acid and oleic acid. Vitellaria paradoxa (formerly Butyrospermum parkii) commonly known as shea trees belong to sapotaceae family and were first named by German botanist Carl Gaertner (Gaertner ,1807) as Vitellaria paradoxa. The shea tree is a traditional African food plant.It has been claimed to have potential to improve nutrition, boost food supply in the annual hungry season,( Masters, 2010) foster rural development and support sustainable landcare .


Title page





Table of contents

List of tables

List of figures


1.0Introduction and Literature Review


2.0 Materials and Methods

2.1 Sterilization of Apparatus

2.2 Collection of sample

2.3 Preparation of potato dextrose agar

2.4 Culturing


2.5 Colonial and Morphological Examination

2.1 Testing of fungal isolates for susceptibility of Shea butter


3.0  Result


4.1 Discussion

4.2 Conclusion and Recommendation



Shea trees grow wild across a 5000km wide belt of savanna (Maranz et al.,2003; Masters et al., 2004) including west African countries of Senegal, Mali, Coted’ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria ,Niger, Cameroon, and further east in Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia (Chalfin ,2004; Goreja, 2004). In the wild, shea trees grow up 9-12m (30-40 feet) in height and begin to bear commercial quantities of fruit after approximately 20 to 50 year. Shea trees do not reach maturity until 45years and after getting mature,they can continuously produce shea nuts for up to 200 years.

Compared to other trees grown as plantation crops, shea trees take much longer time to reach maturity, which have discourage the commercial plantation. Shea trees blossom during February to march, and the fruit become matured in June to July (Alander, 2004). The fruit are harvested during June to September once they fall to the ground from the trees (Alander, 2004).

Shea fruit is light green colored with a diameter of 2-3 inches or 5-8cm similar a fig (Chalfin, 2004). Shea fruit consist of a green epicarp(the outer part),a fleshy mesocarp (pulp), and a relatively hard  endocarp (shell)  containing embryo (shea kernel) (Olaniyan et al., 2007). Mostly, shea fruit contain one or two kernels but occasionally have two or three from which shea butter is  extracted (Alander, 2004).

Traditionally, the extraction of shea butter has been done at the village level,where shea butter is sold in local markets. In recent years ,the dried kernels have been exported to processing countries in Europe, Japan, and India where shea butter is extracted in large scale industrial plant( Lovett ,2004).

Traditional extraction has been usually done by boiling water and skimming off the released oil while commercial one is conducted by pressing or solvent  extraction with further refining and deodorizing of shea butter (Alander, 2004). However, with the increased interest in naturally derived product ,organic shea butter production is preferred and thus efforts have been made to industrially produce shea butter by following the traditional extraction methods. The shea butter obtained from the traditional extraction procedure not including a refining stage is called ‘unrefined shea butter’.

Either at the village or industrial level, shea butter is extracted form dried shea kernels. Once shea fruit fall from the trees, the fruit are collected by African women from the ground and the pulp is removed by fermentation or manual peeling (Chalfin B. 2004) & (Loveth, 2004). Then, the nuts can be boiled or roasted.

The nuts are boiled to kill the embryo and thus prevent germination of the seeds. This method has the additional advantage of inactivating the lipases that are responsible for hydrolytic degradation of shea butter. After the boiling, the nuts are dried in the sun, though sun-drying of shea-nuts during rainy season can lead to mold contamination and thus affect the quality of the final products.

After then, the nuts are cracked to remove shells from the dried nuts and then kernels are further dried by roasting or sun-drying (Lovett, 2004). The dried kernels are stored with occasional re-drying. The dried kernels are then  subjected to pounding or wet milling to make a paste which is then emulsified by kneading and hand beating. The paste is then boiled to separate the fat from the shea nut cake and the resultant butter is scooped up, filtered through a filter cloth and placed in a cool place to solidify.



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