Logo MN Noe


Home / Online resources / Ingredients bank /

Shea butter is extracted from the fruits of shea tree, which only grows wild, in the wooded savannahs of West Africa. It can be more than 12 meters high and its foot can reach a width of 2 meters. The fruit, fleshy, looks like a small avocado. Its sweet and edible pulp contains in its center a nut which, when pressed, gives shea butter. This butter has been widely used for its many virtues for centuries in some parts of Africa.


Ingredient Karite



Part of the plant harvested: Nut | Abstraction process: Mechanical pressure system
Family: Sapotaceae | Scientific name: Butyrospermum parkiiTrade name: Shea (nut or butter)
Quality: 100% pure and natural, cosmetics quality
Country of origin: Burkina Faso | Production area: Arli National Park et Nazinga Corridor
Production capacity: Contact us


Organoleptic characteristics

Feature: Solid butter of waxy appearance at room temperature. Oil over 34°C.
Colour: Light yellow to beige | Smell: Typical odour of seeds with almond notes


Physical and chemical characteristics

Density: 0.90 | Saponification Index: 160-200


Fatty acids composition

Poly-unsaturated essential fatty-acids (PUFAs or EFAs), also referred to as vitamin F: linoleic acid (omega-6) (around 6%)
Mono-unsaturated fatty-acids (MUFAs): oleic acid (around 45%)
Saturated fatty-acids (SFAs): around 40%, palmitic acid (around 4%)


Condition of preservation

Store in a dry place away from heat and light.


Properties and use

Shea butter is rich in active ingredients (terpene alcohols, phytosterols, latex, vitamins A and E), which give it anti-oxidant anti-inflammatory attributes. Besides, it has the particularity of protecting the skin from the harmful effects of the sun (protective attributes against UV). This butter deeply nourishes the skin, gives it elasticity, and regenerates it when it is attacked.


Ingredient Karite2


NGO working in the sector

Nature and Development (NatuDev) is an association under Burkinabe law, that aims at promoting integrative approaches, to combine nature conservation and the local populations development. Previously, another local association for the wildlife and development of Burkina Faso (‘AFAUDEB’ in French) was responsible for creating village hunting areas, also referred as “declared game areas” (‘ZOVIC’ in French). This official status allows local communities to preserve and manage forested areas on their territory by themselves. This association was founded and coordinated with great success by Alexis Kaboré. However, following the institutional difficulties encountered by the AFAUDEB, Alexis Kaboré decided to continue its dynamics through a new association: NatuDev.


Impact on biodiversity and local communities

Arli National Park

The National Park and the contiguous wildlife reserves (sports hunting areas) still house all animal species in the West African savannah, such as elephants, buffalos, large antelopes (bubal, damalistic, cobs), small antelopes (harnessed guibs, Grimm duikers, urebis), as well as carnivorous mammals (lions, caracals, etc.). The village territories surrounding these protected areas are subject to human pressure on their natural resources, caused by clearing operations for the expansion of agriculture, as well as by itinerant pastoralism, wood harvesting, bush fires and poaching. The improvement of the populations' incomes leads them to adopt a sustainable way of managing these areas. The NGO supports the development of economic activities of the communities living around the protected area, in in order to preserve biodiversity sustainably.

The Elephant Corridor

A forest corridor was traced between Nazinga and the “Pô Park” (Kaboré Tambi National Park) allowing exchanges for the great wildlife within the ‘Ponasi’ zone (Pô- Nazinga- Sissili) creating a large area of natural habitats. Nazinga Game Ranch is a protected area of 913 km², located near Pô, on the border with Ghana in southern Burkina Faso. In the Nazinga-Sissili-Kabore-Tambi corridor, live a population of more than 600 elephants. This is an exceptional density for West Africa, and elephants are the true stars of Nazinga. In addition, there is a high density of antelopes in Nazinga, with numerous sable antelopes (hippotragus), as well as kobs, waterbucks, hartebeests, etc. Finally, the three species of monkeys of the region (baboons, vervets and patas) can be found in the corridor, as well as buffaloes, numerous crocodiles, and an important avifauna.
Shea is a wild tree that grows in the natural habitat of elephants. If women get a fair price, they can afford to protect the elephants’ habitat. Maintaining this corridor is thus essential to preserve biodiversity, especially for the survival of African elephants.


Man and Nature cannot be hold responsible for any misuse of the information contained in these pages. These factsheets cannot be considered as a therapeutic or medical prescription and cannot in any way replace a consultation with a health professional.


News title

Spacement - Espacement


In 2019, 9 supported programmes in 7 different countries


Ingredients Bank

Noé supports the development of Green Value Chains


Web TV

Get an insight of our work!