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Shea Butter Grading ????


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I've been checking into shea butter properties and ran across this description of grading.

Understanding Grades of Shea Butter

Below, you will find information to help you better understand the various

grades of shea butter. The quality Grades are A, B, C, D and F. When chemical

and physical analysis is performed on your butter, the grade is determined by

the presence or absence of important nutrients. Grade A is the highest and

best grade for personal care uses. Grade A has the highest amount of

important nutrients and the lowest amount of undesirable ingredients. On the

other hand, Grade D has the lowest amount of the important nut rients and

contains high levels of undesirable nutrients. Grade B and Grade C is noted for

having little or no undesirable nutrients but lower levels of the important

nutrients. Grade B and Grade C are still very useful in the personal care

industry. Loss of important nutrients and collection of undesirable ingredients

may result from careless and improper extract ion techniques, and/ or improper

post extraction management of the butter.

Finally, Grade deterioration of shea but ter destined for the personal care

industry may occur during refining the ref ining process. During the refining

process, up to 75% or more of the important nutrients helpful in personal care

management can be lost , thereby reducing the quality of the but ter. Refined

and ultra refined shea butter is always Grades C, or D. Grade C and Grade

D are more suitable for chocolate industry. US chocolate industry, by law,

cannot use shea butter in the manufacture of chocolate. In the USA the law

demands that only cocoa butter is used in the manufacture of chocolate. No

cocoa butter substitutes are permitted.

So what i'm getting out of this is all refined Shea is either grade C or D. So we are using a product with less of the important nutrients and quality??? When we purchase in coops and such is the grade ever mentioned by the supplier? Is anyone on here more informed on Shea grading than I? Please chime in with your knowledge.

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I don't want you to feel ignored ;) I feel that way often myself.

I know absolutely nothing about shea grading. The only designation I see when I go to buy it is "refined" and "unrefined". Maybe we can email popular suppliers and see what they say about the product they are selling. I'd hate to be paying what I am and find out it is basically useless.

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I've never seen that system of grading, but I know of one supplier that has grades listed for their shea.

Oils By Nature has cosmetic grade, lotion grade, natural, virgin, and filtered shea butters.

Oh, and natural shea is better for your skin. It has a lot more nutrients than the refined stuff.

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We have contacted some suppliers today and pretty much been told the butter is not graded. One site said shea does not come in grades. Another said "Sorry but we don't use the grading system". Apparently there is no Official Grading System....which is why some some websites say that theirShea Butter differs in smell, textures, color, etc....it is not government regulated like other commodities. So Donna then most people use the unrefined? The site said the refined was better for use in high end items which I guess confused me since it is a cheaper product.

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then most people use the unrefined?

It depends on what your looking for. If you want the nutrients and can work with the smell, use unrefined.

Unrefined shea is much better for your skin, but it also has a distinct odor. You can't really cover up the smell, so you have to find scents that work "with" the smell.

The reason refined is used in high end products is probably because there is no smell. I think refined shea is mostly used for label value, since it's lost most of it's nutrients and goodies.

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I even have some that says it is ultra refined. But since it is time for me to order some again, I have noticed most people are saying unrefined is much better for you. I think a big thing is that the refining process may use chemicals.

When you talk about the odor of the unrefined what does it smell like? And what FOs are compatible with the smell?

Funny how the unrefined is more expensive too.

BTW the best price I have found for unrefined, in smaller quantities, is about $5 or $6 pp. Does anyone know of a supplier better than this?

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Watch for a coop for Agbanga Karite Shea Butter. The coop price is consistantly below $4 per pound is for the unrefined shea butter. I've never used the refined.

What I get out of the first post is just what I've always heard, refining removes the smell and the unwanted contaminants, but also much of the good stuff. It would just make sense that the less good stuff the butter has, the lower the grade.

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About which scents that work with unrefined shea:




Oils By Nature has natural shea for $5 a pound. I've found that's pretty much the standard "low" price. And it gets cheaper if you buy more.


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