Çarşamba, Temmuz 6, 2022

Can African Plants be Alternative to Some Chemicals?

Due to the climate and location of the African Continent, as well as being an area that allows many different plant derivatives live, it has always been interesting for us.

The availability of plants and seeds growing this region for usage of many known and unknown industries is a good research topic. Although there are well known seeds of African origin, there are still unknown present. Some of the knowns are as follows:

• Bixa Orellana
• Shea Butter
• Griffonia Simplicifolia

Bixa Orellana

The first African seeds botanical Name is Bixa Orellana (Achiote)&Beetroot&Annatto seed. The color is red and when it is proceed for industrial use it is packed in to transparent small packages and it can be stored for 1 year in places where there is no direct light.

Application Area:

It is used as a natural alternative to synthetic dyes. It is used as raw material of food coloring with E-160 b code. Used in the pharmaceutical industry and cosmetics industry.

Bixa orellena seeds contain bixin ve norbixin pigments. Bixin dissolves in oil, on the other hand norbixin dissolves in water. When the norbixin amount increased the green color increases. When the bixin amount increased orange and red color increases at environment.

This alternative is healtier than the current synthetic ones. As a disadvantage, it is not resistant to high temperatures, over 100°C and decays in very light conditions.

•Fruits are collected from the trees and the seeds are removed.
•In order to get the bixin in seeds, bixin is dissolving in herbal oils, norbixin is dissolving in alkaline solution.
•For the extraction ethanol is used at 60-80ºC, for 18 hours.
•Filtering is performed to eliminate impurities.
•Further distillation is performed in order to get more pure product.
•As a result of the proces, a red colored extract is obtained.

Shea Butter

The botanical name of the second African seed is butyrospermum parkii it is obtained from Shea tree and the color of the seed is light yellow.

The package type after processing this seed is 10 or 25 kg paper box, 900 kg IBC, flexitanks. It should be stored in places that do not light and not exceed 35 degrees. Fruit can be stored for a maximum of five years in suitable environments.

Application Area: It is used as a moisturizer in the treatment of skin diseases.

Difference from Other Oils:

•Moisturizing is very intense.
•Although for other oils healing fraction substance content is around %1, Shea Butter’s is %17. This also makes it effective in treating skin diseases such as blemishes, wrinkles, eczema, sunburn.
•It can be used as CBE in chocolate formulas.


• Walnuts are collected from the tree and the outer shells are peeled off by hand.
• The part separated from the shell is boiled and softened with water. The crusts are broken and the remaining part is kept in the sun.
• Then the inner part is crushed and pulverized. The powdered part is roasted without water in the heat and kneaded with water and left to cool.

Some products containing shea butter in the market are as follows;

• Hand creams.
• Soap.
• Shampoo.
• Hair conditioner.

Griffonia Simplicifolia

The origin of the seed is Middle and West Africa, when it is proceed it becomes white powder. The other names are; Oxitriptan, 5HTP, propionic acid. Also the harvest season is between December and February.

The shelf life is 2 years generally. The appropriate storage is cold and dry environment away from the sun and the appropriate package is 25 kg cardboard barrels or aluminum bags.

Application Area:

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is the biggest source of metabolitinin. It allows the secretion of serotonin and melatonin.
• Depression.
• Bipolar disorder (Manic depressive disorder).
• Fibromyalgia.
• Headache.
• Sleep disorders.

Food supplements and some drugs contains this powder.

Bilge Çalışkan Kaya
Product & Service
Development Manager
Aleph Trade