The cooking and the drying of the Pentadesma butyracea kernels are the main steps in the traditional method of extracting P. butyracea butter. In this work, the Response Surface Method with Central composite design was used to optimize the cooking and drying of Pentadesma kernels during P. butyracea butter production. The cooking and drying times, as well as the drying temperature of Pentadesma kernels are considered as independent factors. The moisture content of the Pentadesma kernels, the quantity, the acidity and the peroxyde values of extracted butter were the responses to be expected. The responses have been described using a second degree polynomial models which have been first tested and then used to explain 97.5, 80.7, 96.1 and 97%, of the variation of moisture content, quantity of butter, and acid and peroxide values, respectively. Increasing cooking time and drying temperature greatly reduced the free fatty acid values of the butter (<1%) and peroxide value (<1 meq/kg). The optimum cooking time (110 min), drying temperature (55°C) and drying time (72 h) could be used to get 52.92% of Pentadesma butter equivalent to the category 1 (with 0.62 meq/kg of peroxide and 0.28% of FFA content). Cooking and drying of Pendadesma kernels are important stages in the butter production. This work determined the optimum conditions of cooking and drying processes. These results could be used by P. butyracea butter processors to get good quality of Pentadesma butter and to improve extraction yield.
Key words: Forest galeries, Pentadesma butyraceae, cosmetic industry, temperature, shea butter, Pentadesma butter, Benin.
FFA, Free fatty acid; RSM, response surface methodology; CCD, central composite design.
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