Atacora produces Baobab Oil the traditional way, and it truly is a fascinating series of events. Making Baobab oil is a long and laborious process. It is not an easy task to get the small kernal out of the hulls, but the women in our co-op have perfected the process.
THE PROCESS BEGINS
ONE by ONE, the women remove the hulls from the kernels by hand. The whole seeds are much smaller than a dime. Women with very adept fingers gather together to remove the hulls, all the while chatting about their lives and families. With great skill, they carefully break open the hull so as to not damage the small, macaroni-shaped kernel inside, as it is the oil within the kernel that we are after. The small kernel is then removed, and thoroughly rinsed and sun dried. Once thoroughly dried, the seeds are run through an expeller press without heating, where about 20% oil content is yielded.
The oil sits in decanting barrels for two weeks to settle out fine particulates, then is filtered down to 1 micron to yield a brilliant, clear, golden oil.
The result of this meticulous process is Atacora Baobab Body Oil, a light, non-greasy body oil that is:
- Rich in antioxidant vitamins A & E, and omegas 3, 6 & 9 essential fatty acids
- fast absorbing
- unscented and non-clogging – ideal for massage.
- Great for all skin and hair types
HOW DO WE GET BAOBAB SEEDS?
This is often a tricky process. The Otammari people of the Atacora region where we operate are very proud, private and often reticent to try new things. Tree growers are not always willing to sell us baobab because they feel they need to observe us before trusting us. We have to earn their trust by being ubiquitously present in their villages and engaging them in interactive meetings and trainings to bring them around to see the benefit of working with Atacora.
Every time I am in Africa, Jacob and I make a huge effort to bolster our personal relationships with producers and their villages. Throughout the year we have numerous relay agents that continually go out to these small isolated villages and sign up more tree growers to the Atacora Collective. Currently, our agents are busy doing just that every single day.