Utilization of shea fruit to enhance food security and reduce poverty in Ghana

DOI: 10.1080/20421338.2017.1358915
Author(s): Esther Gyedu-AkotoNew Product Development Unit, Ghana, Frederick Amon-ArmahSocial Science and Statistics Unit, Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, Ghana, Daniel YabaniNew Product Development Unit, Ghana


The shea tree grows extensively in the northern part of Ghana, which is known to be one of the poorest areas in the country. To help reduce poverty and enhance food security in this area, attempts were made to add value to shea fruit pulp and shea butter. Jam and wine were developed and produced from shea fruit pulp and these were analyzed for their physico-chemical constituents. Shea butter-based body lotion, pomade and soaps were developed and assessed for their quality and stability. Three of the products were produced on a pilot-scale to test the demand on the local market and analyze their economic viability. Fresh shea fruit pulp contained 226.25 ± 1.56 mg/100 g, 0.96 ± 0.06%, 1.09 ± 0.01% and 74.60 ± 4.22 mg/g phenols, fat, protein and sugar respectively. Jam and wine produced from the pulp, also found to contain appreciable amounts of protein, were also rich in minerals. Body lotion, pomade and soaps developed from shea butter were found to be stable and their qualities conformed to specifications of cosmetics in Ghana. Pilot-scale production of shea butter-based pomade, soft and liquid soaps showed that the quality of the products was accepted by consumers and they had the potential for commercial production.

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