Chemical analysis and base-promoted hydrolysis of locally extracted shea nut fat
The study was on the chemical analysis and base- promoted hydrolysis of extracted shea nut fat. The local method of extraction of the shea nut oil was employed in comparison with literature report. A simple cold-process alkali hydrolysis of the shea nut oil was used in producing the soap. The chemical analysis of the oil revealed that it had saponification, iodine and acid values of 136.32 ±1.943 mgKOH/g, 50.50 ± 8.023g I2/100g and 14.77 ± 0.065 mgKOH/g respectively. The analytical values obtained were significantly in favour of the utilization of the indigenous shea nut fat for soap production on commercial scale. The pH of the soap was 10.33, which is in agreement with the pH range of 9-11 set by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control(NAFDAC), due to incomplete alkali hydrolysis resulting from the saponification process. The foam height of the soap was 4.2cm lower than that of Jatropha, sesame and cotton seed soaps analyzed higher than that of Neem, castor and castor superfatted with glycerine soaps. The soap was white and slightly soluble in distilled water.
Key words: Shea nut fat, chemical analysis, Saponification, Foam ability and Solubility.