Many standards constitute shea butter trading conditions, but the exploitation of this greasy product is submitted to other industrial exigencies. The aim of this study was to characterize and evaluate the utilization potentiality of the artisanal shea butter produced in Côte d’Ivoire, on the basis of the industrials exigencies. Hence, both beige and yellow artisanal (original and market) shea butters were collected and analyzed. The refractive indexes (1.46 ± 0.00) did not vary while specific gravity at 40 °C (0.86 ± 0.00 - 0.92 ± 0.00), unsaponifiable matter (1.80 ± 0.01 - 3.76 ± 0.02%) and pH values (5.39 - 6.69) showed significant differences from a sample to another. The viscosity was very high at 40 °C (86.78 ± 0.89 - 130.10 ± 0.26 mPas) and decreased with the temperature increasing (40 to 65 °C). The UV-Vis spectrum showed a very weak absorption from 300 to 400 nm (UV-B and UV-A domains) while the near infra-red (NIR) one, revealed peaks at 450 and 700 nm for yellow shea butters only and peaks at 1200, 1400, 1725 and 2150 nm for all the samples. The fatty acids profile highlighted four main fatty acids (palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids); saturated fatty acids (56.00 ± 0.20 - 63.00 ± 0.20%) were the most important. All these interesting characteristics should arouse attention for using traditional shea butters in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.


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