Balanites

Contents - Previous - Next

I. GENERAL

COMMON NAME

Balanites

BOTANICAL NAME

Balanites aegyptiaca

Balanites maughamii

FAMILY

Zygophyllaceae

OTHER NAMES

Desert Date, Lolab Tree H Heglig, Loba, Shashoba, Tau, Saronga, Q-og-g-ogat (Sudan)

CULTIVATION CONDITIONS

Balanites is particularly suited to arid regions and is widespread in African savannah areas.

MAJOR PRODUCING COUNTRIES

SUDAN, It is also found growing in neighbouring parts of East and West Africa, particularly Nigeria, and also in Arabia.

YIELD AND DESCRIPTION

The deep rooted Balanites tree lives for more than 100 years, for 75 years annually producing crop of 125 kg of ripe fruit. The ripe fruit resemble a date in size and appearance. The brown outer skin consists of a sticky pulp within which lies the oil bearing seed or nut. Analysis has shown that the fruit typically consists of 21.8% outer skin, 30.7% pulp, 36.7% shell and 10.8% kernel on a dry basis. The fat content of the kernels is high, levels of 40-46% edible oil having been reported (Abdel-Rahim).

It is estimated that there are a million trees growing in the Blue Nile province which could produce up to 100 000 tonnes of whole fruit annually and that some 14000 tonnes of oil could be extracted from existing Balanites resources in the Sudan (Anon).

MAIN USES

The Balanites tree is used locally for many products: the wood is used for making tools and furniture, the fruit for sweets and alcoholic beverages, and the kernels for cooking oil and medicines. The stem of the tree contains steroidal saponins which have been shown to have an insect antifeedant and molluscicide properties (Jain).

 

II. PROCESSING

PRE-TREATMENT

Shelling has been noted as a problem, one solution that has been used to improve efficiency is to simply saw the nuts in half to release the kernel (Hardman).

Every ton of whole fruit processed yields half a ton of hard woody shell which is highly combustible and produces a high quality charcoal (Anon).

OIL EXTRACTION

Oil is obtained by simple expression methods.

The kernel yields a highly stable, golden yellow oil suitable for cooking.

MAJOR FATTY ACID COMPOSITION

Saturated acids 24.0%
Oleic acid 31.0%
Linoleic acid 43-45%

(Source: Ecky)

BY-PRODUCTS

The oil extraction process produces an oilcake suitable for animal feed. It has a high protein (36.8%) and low fibre content (5.9%) (El Khindar).

EQUIPMENT

Camel driven ghanis or simple presses are used for oil extraction.

There is no identifiable information for the following areas: AGRICULTURAL ASPECTS planting material, varieties, planting period, major pests and diseases, harvesting period and harvesting methods; POST HARVEST, pretreatment, preservation, storage and equipment; PROCESSING, processing methods, nomenclature of products and equipment.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ANON, "An All-Purpose Tree for Africa Offers Food and Income", UNIDO.

ABDEL-RAHIM, E.A. EL-SAADANY, S. S. WASIF, M.M. "Chemical and Physical Studies on Balanites aegyptiaca oil", Grasas y Aceites, 37, 2, pp.81-85, 1986.

BOLTON, E.R. JESSON, E.M. "Some Oleaginous Seeds and Fruits", The Analyst - The Journal of Public Analysts and Other Analytical Chemists, January 1915.

ECKY, E.W. "Geraniales", pp.547-548, "Vegetable Fats and Oils", Reinhold Publishing Corp, 1954.

EL KHINDAR, O.A. GUMAA, A.Y. FANGALI, O.A.I. BADIR, N.A. "The Use of Balanites Kernel Cake in a Diet for Fattening Sheep", Animal Feed Science and Technology, 9, 4, pp. 301-306, 1983.

HARDMAN, R. SOFOWORA, E.A. "A Reinvestigation of Balanites aegyptiaca as a Source of Steroidal Sapogens", Economic Botany, 26, 2, pp. 169-173, 1972.

JAIN, D. C. "Antifeedant Active Saponin from Balanites Roxburghii Stem Bark", Phytochemistry, 26, 8, pp. 2223-2225, 1987.

RADUNZ,A. ; GROSSE, W.; MEVI-SCHUTZ, J. "Seeds of the East African Savannah Bush Balanites Orbicularis as a possible New Source of Lipids for Commercial Use". Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society 1985. 62 (8): 1251-1252

VAUGHAN, J.G. "The Structure and Utilisation of Oil Seeds", Chapman and Hall, 1976.

Borneo tallow nut

I. GENERAL

COMMON NAME

Borneo Tallow Nut

BOTANICAL NAME

Shorea spp.

FAMILY

Dipterocarpaceae

OTHER NAMES

Tenka wang nut (Borneo), Enkabang illipe (Sarawak), Borneo Illipe

CULTIVATION CONDITIONS

The crop grows wild in the tropical rainforests of South East Asia, Indonesia and Borneo. A variety, Shorea robusta, occurs in North and Central India but is not generally regarded as source of Borneo Tallow. The Borneo Tallow tree grows in fresh water swamps, along river banks in alluvial soils and shallow peat (Godwin) .

MAJOR PRODUCING COUNTRIES

SARAWAK, Borneo, Java, Malaya, Philippines.

In peak years 41 000 tonnes may be exported, mainly from Indonesia (Godwin).

YIELD AND DESCRIPTION

The Borneo Tallow tree produces a egg-shaped winged fruit. The fruits vary in size between species but are typically about 4 cm long with a woody shell and brown or black in colour. The fruit contains the oil bearing kernel which has a typical fat content of 45-70%. Yields of 1,138 kg/ha of dried kernel have been reported.

The tree does not start to bear fruit until it is 18-25 years old.

MAIN USES

The tree provides a high quality timber. The fruit is processed to produce oil which is subsequently used as a substitute for cocoa butter, as well as in soap, candles, medicines and cosmetics.

 

II. AGRICULTURAL ASPECTS

CULTIVATION

The tree usually grows in the wild. The seed either falls and germinates under neath the mother plant or is carried away by flood streams to germinate in similar conditions elsewhere (Godwin).

Insect pests such as Lepidoptera and Coleoptera species may feed on the fruit during storage and spoil the quality of the oil by causing an increase in the free fatty acid content. Other species reported to be pest" include: Poecilips gedeanus (Beaver), and Tirathaba spp. (Brady).

HARVESTING METHODS

Fruits are gathered when they fall from the tree, often helped by wind (Brady). In river areas bamboo fences and booms are constructed to trap the fruits flowing down stream" (Godwin).

An early monsoon can strip the tree of blossom and give rise to an immature fruit crop, the fruit are subsequently poor quality and not collected.

A good crop appears approximately once in every five years.

 

III. POST-HARVEST TREATMENT. PRESERVATION AND STORAGE

PRE-TREATMENT

The fruits are dried to a moisture content of 7% for protection against pests during storage. Fruits also deteriorate quickly due to their ability to germinate rapidly (Brady).

 

IV. PROCESSING

Shelling: a number of different methods are used including:

Initiating germination, the nuts are packed into cases and submerged in streams for 2-4 weeks, until the seed begins to germinate. At which point the shell starts to crack and the seed can then be removed by hand.

A related method involves burying the nut in shallow pits. The fruits are first dewinged by beating them with sticks and the nuts are then buried in shallow pits which initiates germination and splits the shell.

Manual shelling: this involves breaking the shells directly with a sharp instrument or by heating the fruit in kilns at 55C to loosen the shell (Godwin) .

Drying: once the shells are split they can be removed by hand. The kernels are sun dried for a period of 5-7 days. If kiln shelling has been used sun drying is not necessary as the kiln also dries the kernels.

OIL EXTRACTION

In rural areas the oil is extracted using simple methods. The nuts are heated in a pan and then put into a rattan bag, which is placed between two hardwood boards and pressed by driving in wedges. (Anon).

At a commercial level the oil is removed by expelling and solvent extraction using hexane, followed by refining and bleaching.

An oil cake is produced which contains tannic acid and can be used ,at low levels, in animal feeds.

MAJOR FATTY ACIDS OF OIL

Palmitic acid 18.0%
Stearic acid 43.3%
Arachidic acid 1.1%
Oleic acid 37.4%
Linoleic acid 0.2%

EQUIPMENT

For pre-processing crates made of bamboo to hold nuts submerged in water, sharp spikes to split nuts and kilns. Simple plank presses. Oil expellers and solvent extraction plants.

There is a lack of identifiable information for the following areas: AGRICULTURAL ASPECTS, varieties, planting period, major diseases and harvesting period; POST HARVEST, pretreatment, storage and equipment; PROCESSING, nomenclature of products and by products.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ANON, Small article from The British North Borneo Herald, April 16th, 1909, p.83.

ANON, "Illipe Nuts and the Borneo Tallow", Chemist and Druggist, September 10th, 1927, p.340.

BEAVER, R.A. "Leaftalks as a Habitat for Bark Beetles (Col Scolytidae)" , Zeitechrift fur Angewandte Entomologie, 88, 3, pp. 296-306, 1979.

BRADY, E.U. BROWER, J.H. HUNTER, P.E. JAY, E.G. LUM, P.T.M. LUND, H.O. MULLEN, M.A. DAVIS, R. "Proceedings of the First International Working Conference on StoredProduct Entomology, Savannah, Georgia, USA, October 7-11, 1974".

GODWIN, N.J. SPENSLEY, P.C. "Oils and Oilseeds", pp.4-7, Crop and Product Digests No. 1, Tropical Products Institute, 1971.

VAUGHAN, J.G. "The Structure and Utilisation of Oil seeds", Chapman and Hall, 1976.

Brazil nut

I. GENERAL

COMMON NAME

Brazil Nut

BOTANICAL NAME

Bertholletia excelsa

FAMILY

Lecythidaceae

OTHER NAMES

Butter nut, Para nut (English), Nuez de pare, Nuez de Brazil, Castana. (Spanish) Noix de Brasil, Amande d'Amerique, (French) Castanha-do-Para, (Portuguese)

CULTIVATION CONDITIONS

The tree is found mainly in the Amazon basin of South America where it grows in deep, well drained alluvial soils on high ground. It cannot tolerate flooding.

MAJOR PRODUCING COUNTRIES

BRAZIL, Venezuela, Guyana, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru.

YIELD AND DESCRIPTION

It is estimated that nuts are harvested from 250,000-400,000 trees annually. Many trees, however, are inaccessible as they are situated in dense rainforests (Brucher).

In Brazil 40,000-60,000 tons of inshell nuts are produced each year for internal use and export. It is reported that exports have declined since 1975 due to the migration of nomadic Indian collectors, low pay, post harvest losses and the overall destruction of virgin forest (Moritz). Brazil nut oil is a secondary product and extracted from low grade and broken material. It is reported that the State of Para, Brazil produces between 100 and 250 tonnes of oil per annum.

The Brazil nut tree is one of the largest of the Amazon forests standing up to 150 ft tall. The nuts are contained in large pods or fruits weighing 3 to 4 lbs and containing between 12-20 kernels. The whole nut consists of 51-57% shell and 43-49% kernel-. Most tree. produce 100300 fruits per year. However, a high yield in one year generally leads to a poor yield the next. Trees start producing nuts from 12-15 years old. The fruit containing the angular kernels takes one year to ripen. The ripe kernels contain 65% oil (Williams).

MAIN USES

Brazil nuts are mainly collected for export as a high value edible nut used in the confectionery and baking trades. Only surplus or damaged nuts are used for processing into Brazil nut oil. The pods are often utilised as a fuel source or are used to make cups and other household utensils. The residue, or cake, after oil extraction can be used for animal feed.

 

II. AGRICULTURAL ASPECTS

CULTIVATION

Brazil nut trees essentially grow wild although they are cultivated from seed. Seeds are usually planted in a seed bed or special planting container and takes about 14 months to germinate. Plant ations are rare as it takes 12-15 years for a tree to reach maturity and bear fruit, and at least 30 years to become profitable (Williams).

A jungle rodent, similar to a squirrel, carries nuts away for food during the harvest period (Woodroof). Nuts lying on the forest floor are also subject to infestation caused by Carpophilus pilosellus and C. dimidiatus (Squire).

Leaf blight caused by Phytophthora heveae has been noted on newly grafted plants. It is characterised by spots and blight on young stems (Albeaquerque).

HARVESTING PERIOD

In Brazil mature nuts fall between November and early June.

HARVESTING METHODS

Harvesting is highly dependent upon casual labour. Mature pods fall to the ground and are collected in baskets or are thrown under trees for later collection. Harvesting also depends on the weather as pods will only be gathered if there is little or no wind, to minimise the danger of being hit by falling pods (Woodroof).

 

III. POST HARVEST TREATMENT: PRESERVAT1ON, STORAGE

PRE-TREATMENT

The nuts are washed and sometimes dried before storage or before being taken to trading posts or local processing.

Drying is usually carried out in a primitive shelter although this is often difficult as nuts are collected in the rainy season.

Nuts are often simply stored piled in heaps. However, due to high heat and humidity they tend to sweat and losses can occur if they are not turned regularly.

 

IV. PROCESSING

PROCESSING METHODS

The pods are cut open with a "tercado", a long sharp knife similar to a machete (Woodroof). Where large scale collection occurs the whole pods are dried in large, forced air driers that in some cases are fitted with automatic discharge.

Shelling is achieved by: soaking the nuts for 24 hours, boiling them for 5 minutes and then cracking them by hand.

Once shelled the nuts should be kept in cool, dark, unexposed conditions, which reduces the chances of the nuts becoming rancid (Williams).

Prior to export the nuts are graded according to size and may be artificially dried to an agreed moisture content.

OIL EXTRACTION

Brazil nut oil is extracted in hand presses or by expelling.

MAJOR FATTY ACID COMPOSITION OF OIL

Myristic acid 0.6%
Palmitic acid 15.4%
Stearic acid 6.2%
Oleic acid 48.0%
Linoleic acid 29.8%

(Source: Ecky)

EQUIPMENT

Pots/pans for boiling, sharp knives for cracking, hand decorticating machines, mechanical driers. oil presses, expellers.

There is a lack of identifiable information for the following areas: AGRICULTURAL ASPECTS, varieties; POST HARVEST, pretreatment and equipment; PROCESSING, nomenclature of products.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ALBEAQUERQUE, F.E de. DUARTE, M de L.R. MANCO G.R. MARTINS e SIVA, H. "Leaf Blight of Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) Caused by Phtophora heveae", Poaguisa Agropecuaria Brasileira, Agronomia, 9, 10, pp. 101-105, 1974.

BRUCHER, H. "Useful Plants of Neotropical Origin and Their Wild Relatives", SpringerVerlag, 1989.

ECKY, E.W. "Orders From Opuntiales to Ebenales", pp.703-704, "Vegetable Fats and Oils", Reinhold Publishing Corp, 1954.

MARTIN, F.W. "Handbook of Tropical Food Crops", pp.249-250, CPR Press Florida, 1984.

MORITZ, A; LUDDERS, P. " Present Situation and Possibilities for the Development of Para Nuts in Brazil ". Erwerbsobstbau, 1985. 27(12) : 296-299.

ROSENGARTEN, F. "The Book of Edible Nuts", Walker and Co New York, 1984.

SQUIRE, F.A. "Insect Pests of the Crops", From Entomological Problems in Bolivia, pp. 256259, PANS, 1972.

VAUGHAN, J.G. "The Structure and Utilisation of Oil Seeds", Chapman and Hall, 1976.

WILLIAMS, C.N. CHEW, W.Y. RAJARATRAM, J.H. "Trees and Field Crops of the Wetter Regions of the Tropics", Intermediate Agricultural Series, Longman, 1979.

WOODROOF, J.G. "Tree Nuts, Production, Processing, Products", Vol I, AVI Publications Co, 1967.

Caryocar spp

I. GENERAL

COMMON NAME

Caryocar spp

BOTANICAL NAME

Caryocar brasiliense

Caryocar villosum

FAMILY

Caryocaraceae

OTHER NAMES

Pequi, Piqui, Piqui-a (Brazil), Suari.

CULTIVATION CONDITIONS

The tree requires a tropical climate and is found growing in the Amazon basin of central Brazil and adjoining areas. There are 15 species, some of minor economic value.

MAJOR PRODUCING COUNTRIES

BRAZIL, Guyana.

YIELD AND DESCRIPTION

The fruit of the Caryocar tree is about the size of an orange and is surrounded by a fibrous husk or mesocarp. The fruit, which weigh up to 400 g have an outer shell and bear inside 1-4 kidney shaped brown kernels, similar to Brazil nuts, coated with a pale yellow fat that provides oil. The kernels have a thick shell that is very difficult to crack and also yield an oil that is highly prized by the local population.

MAIN USES

The pale yellow mesocarp oil is extracted and used for cooking. The kernels are eaten or used by the indigenous population to extract a highly prized oil. The shell can be used directly as fuel or processed into charcoal The timber from some species is extremely durable and is used for boat building. C. amygdaliferum, C. nuciferum and C. tomentosum produce an edible fat known locally as "suari and "butternuts" that are exported. The fruit is made into a liquor by the local populations of Brazil.

 

II. POST HARVEST TREATMENT, PRESERVATION, STORAGE

PRE-TREATMENT

The fruit should be processed quickly after harvesting to prevent the activation of enzymes which cause oil rancidity to develop during storage.

 

III. PROCESSING

PROCESSING METHODS

The outer husk is easily removed but the shell of the kernel is, however, extremely difficult to crack.

 

IV. MAJOR FATTY ACIDS OF OIL

Both kernel and mesocarp oils contain glyceride esters of palmitic and oleic acids.

  Mesocarp oil Kernel oil
Myristic acid 1.5% 1.4%
Palmitic acid 41.2% 48.4%
Stearic acid 0.8% 0.9%
Oleic acid 53.9% 46.0%
Linolenic acid 2.6% 3.3%

Source (Economic Botany).

EQUIPMENT

Knives for cracking, decorticators.

There is no identifiable information for the following areas: GENERAL, production and yield; AGRICULTURAL ASPECTS, planting material, varieties, planting period, major pests and diseases, harvesting period and harvesting methods; PROCESSING, nomenclature of products; OIL EXTRACTION, processing methods, nomenclature of products, by products and equipment.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ANON, "Under Exploited Tropical Plants with Promising Economic Value", pp.100-102, National Academy of Sciences, 3rd Print, 1977.

Economic Botany. 1957, 11,(3), 187-207

Go To Next Page


Contents - Previous - Next