Source:Uganda, Congo, Sierra Leone
What is Allanblackia Butter?
The tallow tree (Allanblackia 564 Afr. J. Food Sci. floribunda) genus Allanblackia is a member of the flowering plant family Clusiaceae Lindley Species, belonging to the Garcinieae. It is an evergreen plant that thrives well in wet places, especially in the rain forest regions. All nine species of Allanblackia grow in tropical Africa, mostly in Sierra Leone to Cameroon and Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, and Uganda. In Ghana it is found growing in the Western, Central, Ashanti, and Eastern Regions in forest stands as well as on cocoa farms.
Allanblackia trees bear large fruits, up to 12 inches long, which may contain 40-50 seeds. The seed kernels amount to 60-80% of the whole seed weight. The hard white fat extracted from the kernels, known as Mkanyi fat and Kagne butter, among other local names, has gained considerable attention due to its unusual fat composition, rather than its commercial importance.
Seeds are extracted from the fruits by crushing them between the hands and rubbing them clean. The seeds are then dried, to avoid the development of mold, and transported to the buying centers, where they are graded and mechanically pressed for the extraction of the oil. In small centers, the seeds are dried and crushed; the resulting mass is mixed with water and boiled until the fat separates and floats to the surface. The fat is then scooped off the surface in much the same way Shea butter is made by small cooperatives.
With a high content of Stearic acid and a smaller amount of tocopherol, Allanblackia Butter has good storage stability. Positive chemical reactions also indicate the presence of minor amounts of alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, and tannins, notably on unrefined Allanblackia Oil, giving Alanblackia the potential to act as a pharmacological agent.
Traditional Medicinal Uses of Allanblackia
The traditional uses of the Allanblackia Seed Oil vary by region. Uses include cooking, preparing medicines, and making soap at a subsistence level.
During the Great War, Allanblackia Oil was used as a replacement for cocoa butter in chocolate manufacturing.
In west Africa, especially in parts of Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, seeds collected by local communities are used for the production of cooking oil and, more recently, to produce soap.
In western Africa, decoctions of the leaves and bark are used to treat toothaches, dysentery, and hypertension, and the crushed plant material or extract is applied topically as an analgesic.
In Tanzania, the leaves are chewed to treat coughs, a leaf tea is drunk to treat chest pain, and extracts of the roots, bark, and leaves are taken to treat impotence. The heated oil extracted from the seeds is used as a liniment that is rubbed into sore joints, used to treat rheumatism, or dabbed on wounds and rashes.
The Hehe people rub the oil into the soles of their feet to heal deep cracks.
In Cameroon, locals cook and then dry the almonds in the sun. The oil is eaten or used as a body cream.
Due to its high content of stearic acid, Allanblackia butter is a excellent ingredient to use in lotion and cream formulations as a thickener and emulsion stabilizer.
Allanblackia can replace either bees, carnauba, or candellila wax in order to prevent balms and lipsticks from melting easily in hot temperatures.
It is a perfect replacement for palm oil in soap manufacturing, as it improves texture and provides good cleansing properties.