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  • J4 November 2009
Questions on Shea Butter pasteurization and bulk storage
  • rookrook
    Posts: 1,837
    Several members addressed the food safety of unrefined Shea Butter in the second page of:

    This discussion re-kindled a lurking concern that arose when I made the move to Shea Butter several months ago. I decided to research a Pasteurization procedure.

    Assuming that Peanut Butter is a reasonable analogue, I found this page:

    Not an easy, sure-kill at 90deg. C. Perhaps extended ( ?? hours) closer to 100deg. C using rumel's double boiler processing might yield an adequate kill.

    The final paragraph indicated that my practice of storing of unrefined Shea Butter in a beverage refrigerator maintained near 42 deg.F, might not be a good idea and room temperature might be better.

    IIRC Love_is or perhaps J4 had posted some info on temperatures in Shea Butter processing but I couldn't find them.

    Thoughts? Best practices? Ideas? Sure kill temp. ? Any data at how long at 100deg. ??
  • J4J4
    Posts: 124
    Understanding that almost all the lube we use carries some risk, here is my opinion.

    I use Alaffia or AAA. The AAA website claims the following:

    “The difference between 100% Certified unrefined Grade A Shea Butter and 100% unrefined Shea Butter is, 100% Certified unrefined Grade A Shea Butter has been laboratory tested by The American Shea Butter Institute. The American Shea Butter Institute tests for lead, copper, mercury, mold, yeast and bacteria content in addition to other important proprietary tests. ….”

    Now, I know some of you guys are cost conscious so you go out buy these 5 pound blocks of Shea Butter. Since 4 oz. ($10 on Amazon) lasts me about 3 months at 3 to 4 sessions a week, I have no problem buying the good stuff that has been tested.

    I read the thread that forum contributor ltprvtim posted. I agree with and investigated many of his concerns. That’s why I pay a premium for already tested, filtered and pasteurized product.

    If you have food allergies, like I do, take some product and rub it on your gums or taste it and spit it out or actually eat it. It did not make my gums swollen and itchy. And the stuff is the best lube I’ve tried!

    Rook, you obviously put a lot of thought and research into your decisions, so unfortunately, my advice is that if you bought a huge wedge of raw shea butter wholesale then you are going to have to consider ditching the portion that you cannot use in a year. I have automated flash pasteurization processes in the past. I’ll PM you any details I can recall.

    I always enjoy discussing how we can make our journey safer and more enjoyable.