There are several methods for extracting Shea butter from the nuts of the Shea tree. These include:
Cold pressing: This method involves crushing the Shea nuts and then pressing them to extract the butter. It is a traditional method that preserves the natural nutrients and vitamins in Shea butter.
Solvent extraction: This method involves using a solvent, such as hexane, to extract the Shea butter from the nuts. It is a faster and more efficient method, but the resulting Shea butter is often refined and needs some of the natural nutrients and vitamins found in cold-pressed Shea butter.
Roasting: The nuts are roasted before being crushed and pressed to extract the butter. This method gives Shea butter a more intense, nutty flavor.
Traditional method: This method involves using hand-crushing and grinding techniques to extract Shea butter. It's still a standard method used in many rural areas, where resources to use the other methods are limited.
Combination of methods: Some companies use various methods to extract Shea butter, depending on the desired properties and quality of the final product.