The increase demand of shea butter and its product globally has contributed immensely in its traditional household and small scale production in countries where it is present. This production method is laborious, time consuming and tedious. Also the shea butter obtained is of low grade and quality as result of contamination from either the type of equipment used or the processing method adopted. In other to address all these shortcomings a mechanised shea butter production plant was developed. The plant is made up of the following machines; sheller, crusher, steam roaster, miller and mixer. Fundamental design analysis and calculations were carried out in order to determine and select materials of appropriate strength and sizes for the machine component parts. Standard methods and procedures were used in the study and Response Surface Methodology was employed as the experimental tool. Five set of experiments were carried out to test the performance of the plant. The results of the experiment revealed that the shelling efficiency of the sheller increased with increase in both shelling speed and beaters. Crushing efficiency of the crusher increased with increase in both crushing speed and time. Yield of shea oil of the roaster decreased with increase in speed of stirring. Milling efficiency of the miller increased with increase in both speed and beaters. The oil extraction efficiency of the mixer decreased with increase in blades but increases with increase container diameter. The development of this plant have mechanized the major unit operations of shea butter production. It has make easier and faster processing of shea butter and thus, serves as a training center for local processors and a catalyst for the development of shea butter industry in Nigeria. It is capable of bringing improvement in the productivity of the shea butter to meet up with local and international demands. The developed plant produced 0.45 kg of shea butter from 1 kg of shea nut and processed 12.5 kg of shea paste in 10 min. It has input and throughput capacities of 600 kg of shea nut and 270 kg of shea butter respectively, in 8 hours operational time per day. The total cost of establishment of the plant is $2650.
Citation: Shehu AA, Gana IM, Balami AA. 2018. Development and Testing of Indigenous Shea Butter Processing Plant in Nigeria. J Food Chem Nanotechol 4(2): 38-50.