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Seje

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I. GENERAL

COMMON NAME

Seje

BOTANICAL NAME

Jessenia bataua

Jessenia polycarpa

FAMILY

Palmae

OTHER NAMES

Batana, pataua, sejen, coumou, unamo, coroba, milpesos (Spanish)

CULTIVATION CONDITIONS

The tree is found in the tropical rainforests of South America and has a wide range of growing conditions, from swampy lowlands to mountainous regions (Anon) .

MAJOR PRODUCING COUNTRIES

VENEZUELA, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Panama, Caribbean Islands.

DESCRIPTION AND YIELD

Adult palms produce two fruit bunches per annum. These weigh between 8-35 kg and can contain up to 1 000 fruits (FAO).

MAIN USES

The kernels yield an edible oil somewhat similar to olive oil. It is also made into soap and is used in the cosmetic industry. The fronds of the palm also find use for thatching.

 

II. AGRICULTURAL ASPECTS

CULTIVATION

The trees have never been cultivated commercially, all palms occur naturally.

HARVESTING PERIOD

The fruit is collected between April and November.

HARVESTING METHODS

The bunches are harvested by climbing the trees and picking the crop or by felling the palm if the leaves are needed for thatch (FAO).

 

III. PROCESSING

Oil is extracted by simple floatation methods. The pounded fruit coat is boiled with water, the oil separates to the top and is scooped off.

The oil extraction process leaves behind a milky white residue which is consumed locally as a beverage known locally as "yucuta" (Anon).

FATTY ACID COMPOSITION OF OIL

Palmitic acid 8.8%
Stearic acid 5.6%
Oleic acid 76.5%
Linoleic acid 3.4%

(Source: FAO)

The oil is yellow and does not easily turn rancid.

EQUIPMENT

Boiling pans/pots, ladles or similar items for skimming oil away.

There is a lack of identifiable information for the following areas: GENERAL, production; AGRICULTURAL ASPECTS, varieties, planting material, major pests and diseases; POST HARVEST, pretreatment, preservation, storage methods and equipment.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ANON, "Underexploited Tropical Plants with Promising Economic Value", pp.l03-104, National Academy of Sciences, 3rd Print, 1977.

BACHARACH, A. L. "Two Plant Products from Colombia", Reprinted from The Analyst, The Journal of the Society of Public Analysts and Other Analytical Chemists, August 1918.

BUCHER, H. "Useful Plants of Neotropical Origin and their Wild Relatives", pp.137-138, Springer-Verlag, 1989.

FAO, "Oilseed Mission for Venezuela 1949", FAO Washington USA, 1949.

Shea nut

I. GENERAL

COMMON NAME

Shea Nut

BOTANICAL NAME

Butryospermum parkii

FAMILY

Sapotaceae

OTHER NAMES

Karite (French), Nku (Ghana), Shea butter tree, Bambuk butter tree

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION

The tree can be found growing naturally in the southern regions of the Sahel and the northern regions of the Guinea zone. It thrives in savanna areas where oil palm cannot grow due to low rainfall (GTZ). Temperatures range from 24 - 32 deg C, and rainfall is between 800 - 1400 mm per annum (Godwin).

MAJOR PRODUCING COUNTRIES

WEST AFRICA, Mali, Baukina Fassau, Bennin, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Gambia, Nigeria.

PRODUCTION

Using landstat remote sensing images in Mali, 18 million shea butters trees were counted over a distance of 200 km (Fleury). It is also estimated that Mali produces 150 000 - 200 000 tons of nuts per annum (Anon).

YIELD

In general, trees do not usually yield fruit until they are 20 years old, and do not reach full maturity until they are 45 years old. However, once productive, they will continue to bear fruits up until their 200th year (Fleury). An average of 25 - 55 kg of berries can be expected each year from one tree, although one tree in three will be productive each year (Godwin).

MAIN USES

The nut is processed to produce shea butter which is a very important vegetable oil in West Africa. The high allantoic content in the butter also makes it a useful base for local pharmaceutical preparations. The butter is also used to make soap and in the construction industry it is used on the walls of houses to prevent them from being washed away during the rainy season. Shea butter can also be used to form a coco butter substitute (Fleury).

 

II. AGRICULTURAL ASPECTS

PLANTING MATERIAL

Trees are not usually grown in plantations due to the long period it takes before reaching maturity. As most trees grow in the wild therefore, long distances are often incurred for collection (Fleury). In a few examples where plantations have been established, trees are grown from seed in nurseries and are then transplanted (Godwin).

PLANTING PERIOD

Transplantation of the seedling takes place during the second dry season after sowing. Two years later the saplings are replanted before being moved again to their final position during the following year -4 1/2 years after sowing. The final spacing is at 1.5 - 2m intervals in rows 8m apart (Godwin).

MAJOR PESTS

Damage to foliage is caused by the larvae of Cirina butryrospermi and Anacridium moestum. Muissida nigriveriella and Ceratitis silvestrii larvae may develop inside the pulp of mature fruit and also cause damage (Godwin).

MAJOR DISEASES

Trees may suffer from feat spot which is caused by Pestalotia heterospora and Fusidadium butyrospermi (Godwin).

HARVESTING PERIOD

Harvesting generally takes place between June and August, peaking during July (Fleury).

HARVESTING METHODS

Berries ripen and fall to the ground. They are gathered by women and children and stored in ditches for collection (Fleury).

 

III. POST HARVEST PRETREATMENT, PRESERVATION AND STORAGE

PRESERVATION AND STORAGE

The harvest is piled into pits one meter square by 1.5m deep. Up to 600 kg of berries can be stored in four pits using this method. When the pits are full, the nuts are covered with leaves and earth. An opening is left in the centre which lets rain seep through. As a result the berries ferment and the pup disintegrates. The increase in temperature caused by this procedure also prevents germination occurring, which affects the amount of fat produced (Fleury, Godwin).

 

IV. PRIMARY PROCESSING

PROCESSING METHODS

After fermentation the harvested berries are crushed underfoot to remove pulp. The berry (almond) sticks to the shell wall. To separate them, the nuts are immersed in boiling water and then sun dried for a few days. During the drying stage, the berries become detached. Nuts can now be stored for months without deterioration.

Shelling is carried out at village level using stones, hammers or pestles. Winnowing is achieved by holding baskets filled with nuts at arms length and gradually emptying them. If there is a strong wind the pieces of shell will be blown away, if not, then the operation is repeated many times (Fleury).

The day prior to oil extraction, the shelled almonds are dried again from a moisture content of 40-50% to 6-7% (Godwin). This process usually takes up to a day and a night, or until the oil begins to "sweat" from the almond (Fleury). Alter-natively, the kernels are broken in a mortar and pestle after winnowing and are then fried in clay pots to remove moisture. After 2-3 hours complete dryness has occurred and a hard black mass is formed (Tettey).

EQUIPMENT

Pans for boiling water, drying mats, hammers, pestles, winnowing baskets, clay pots.

 

V. SECONDARY PROCESSING

OIL CONPOSITION

Palmitic acid 5.0- 9.0%
Stearic acid 30.0- 41.0%
Oleic acid 49.0-50.0%
Linoleic acid 4.0-5.0%

(Source: Godwin)

Shea butter is soft and solid at tropical ambient temperatures. It is yellowish white in colour and has a strong smell (Tettey).

PROCESSING METHODS

There are two methods for oil extraction, a traditional village process and a mechanical procedure.

In Mali, the traditional process involves many time consuming stages. After drying, the kernels are crushed by three women using simultaneous strokes, in a mortar. The paste that is gradually formed needs to be kept at a temperature of about 40 deg C. Shea butter tends to solidify between 34- 38 deg C. Once the paste becomes a fluid, it is strained and heated in a pan. A kneading process using a polished stone takes place to break up oil cells and ease oil extraction. The paste is then mixed with water to separate the remaining oil.

Afterwards it is rapidly mixed by hand until it starts to cover itself with a white emulsion of fat. Once this is achieved, the paste is left to rest. The oil that floats to the surface is scooped off, and poured into a container filled with luke warm water for decantation.

During decantation, a white film forms over the top of the surface, this is shea butter. It is separated and heated in a cauldron to evaporate remaining water and allow heavy impurities to settle at the bottom. The butter is left overnight to rest. Traditionally it is then divided and wrapped in leaves for selling or for storage. The butter will last for many years if kept away from light and heat as it is resilient to oxidative rancidity (Fleury).

A less time consuming method of preparing shea butter has been developed by The Royal Tropical Institute in the Netherlands. This process has only four stages. The kernels are pounded to a fine powder which is then heated to a temperature of 100 deg C. It is kept hot in a hot air oven for one hour before being pressed in a hydraulic hand press. The fat which is obtained is cleared of all other residues by boiling with okra, lemon juice and water (UNIFEM).

It should be noted that using a shea nut press, not only alleviates a time consuming process but also improves the fat output. For example, using a shea press fat output will be between 40-45% whereas fat output using the traditional method will be about 25% (Niess).

EQUIPMENT

Traditional method - Mortar and pestle, pots and pans, ladles, strainers, polished stone (one hand wide by 3-4 ft long) cauldron. Mechanical method - Hydraulic press (as shown below), hot air oven, grinding mill.

BY-PRODUCTS

The remainder of the pressed material can be used as fuel (GTZ).

Further information is required for the following areas: AGRICULTURAL ASPECTS, varieties; POST HARVEST, preservation; PRIMARY PROCESSING, main uses; SECONDARY PROCESSING, nomenclature of products.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ANON, "Shea Butter Extraction in Mali", Appropriate Technology Bulletin No. 6, Appropriate Technology International, November 1985.

FLEURY, J. M. "The Butter Tree", pp.7-9, IDRC Reports, Vol. 10, No. 2, IDRC Publications, Ottawa.

GODWIN, V. J. SPENSLEY, P. C. "Oils and Oilseeds", pp.138-142, Crop and Product Digests No. 1, Tropical Products Institute, 1971.

GTZ, "New Shea Butter Technology: The Hydraulic Shea Butter Press", pp.2-4, Deutshe Gesellschaft fr Technische Zusammenarbeiet (GTZ), 1986.

NIESS, T. "New Shea Butter Technology for West African Women", GATE Magazine, Gtz Publications, 1983.

TETTEY, E. "Food Technology Booklets - African Edition", ITDG Publications, to be published in 1992.

UNIFEM, "Oil Extraction", Food Cycle Source Book 1, UNIFEM and ITDG Publications, 1987.

Teased

I. GENERAL

COMMON NAME

Teaseed

BOTANICAL NAME

Camellia sasanqua

FAMILY

Theaceae

OTHER NAMES

Chah (Hindi), (Japan), Tsubaki (Japan)

CULTIVATION CONDITIONS

The crop grows in the tropical rainforest and humid subtropical areas of China, Assam, and North Vietnam (Ecky).

MAJOR PRODUCING COUNTRIES

CHINA, North Vietnam, Assam, Hong Kong

Annual production of teaseed oil in China has been recorded as between 25 000 and 28 000 metric tons.

DESCRIPTION AND YIELD

The pruning applied to normal tea plants discourages the formation of seed. Certain varieties, however, are allowed to produce seed for the extraction of an oil which is so similar to Olive oil that it has been used as an adulterant. Teaseeds are contained in capsules. Each capsule usually contains one seed. Inside the shiny dark brown seed coat lies the kernel. The kernel makes up some 70% of the seed weight.

MAIN USES

The oil from the seed can be refined for edible purposes. The oilcake produced as a by-product of oil extraction is unsuitable as animal feed due to its saponin content. It is used as an insecticide in China.

 

II. AGRICULTURAL ASPECTS

CULTIVATION

The crop is grown from seed and is planted at a depth of 4-8 cm.

HARVESTING PERIOD

Harvesting occurs between October and December.

HARVESTING METHODS

When the fruits are mature they fall to the ground and are gathered.

 

III. POST HARVEST TREATMENT: PRESERVATION, STORAGE

PRE-TREATMENT

The seeds are spread in the sun to dry prior to storage.

 

IV. PROCESSING

The outer husks are removed by hand. They are then ground to produce a fine meal.

OIL EXTRACTION

Two methods can be used to extract the oil: pressing and solvent extraction.

The meal is steamed prior to pressing, or, if it is to be solvent extracted using petroleum ether, dried in an oven at 50 deg. C. The crude oil obtained by traditional methods is unsuitable for edible purposes and requires refining by vacuum deodorisation and bleaching.

FATTY ACID COMPOSITION OF OIL

Saturated acids 6-12%
Oleic acid 72-78%
Linoleic acid 2-15%

(Source: Ecky)

The oil is similar chemically and physically to Olive oil.

EQUIPMENT

Oil presses, driers, vacuum and deodorising equipment, solvent extraction plants.

There is a lack of identifiable information for the following areas: GENERAL, production and yield; AGRICULTURAL ASPECTS, varieties, planting period, major pests and diseases; POST HARVEST, pretreatment, storage and equipment; PROCESSING METHODS, nomenclature and by products.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

BERNICARDINI, E. "Oilseeds Oils and Fats - Volume II, Oil and Fat Processing", 2nd Edition, Interstampa, 1985.

ECKY, E. W. "Vegetable Fats and Oils", pp.685-686, Reinhold Publishing Corp, 1954.

GODIN, N. J. "Oils and Oilseeds", pp.158-160, Crop and Product Digests, No.1 Tropical Products Institute, 1971.

VAUGHAN, J. G. "The Structure and Utilisation of Oilseeds", Chapman and Hall 1976.


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