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The charms of the Amazon directly from the “Tree of Life”: Buriti Oil

Home / The charms of the Amazon directly from the “Tree of Life”: Buriti Oil

The charms of the Amazon directly from the “Tree of Life”: Buriti Oil

Directly from the dense and humid forests of the North of Brazil, there is a tree, very popular among the local population, which can reach beautiful 25 meters high. From December to April it is possible to follow the time of the flowering, with flowers of yellowish coloration. In between the foliage, from December to June, stand out round fruits, covered with bright scales of reddish-brown color. In the Amazon region, these trees grow in wet or flooded areas and in the cerrado (another Brazilian biome, like a tropical savanna), in lowland and swamp lands.

The buritizeiro, known as the “Tree of Life”, belongs to the family of “palm trees” and the most common specie is Mauritia flexuosa. Its fruits have a yellow pulp, covering a seed with an edible almond. From this tree everything is taken advantage of: the leaves for handicrafts, the pulp, called “wine” form sweet juices, and is highly appreciated in the region. With the seed still is produced buttons, semi-jewels and even jewelry (with silver or gold).

Figure 1. The fruits and oil of buriti.

But one of the greatest riches produced by this fruit is buriti oil. Of reddish color, the properties of this oil have long been explored by the communities of the producing regions. An example is the action of this oil as a detoxifier, tested against snake bites and scorpion, as well as aid in wound healing, applied directly to the region to be treated.

It is estimated that about 500 people are directly and indirectly involved in the production of this oil, from the treatment of the raw material in the field, until the final extraction. In this way, the Citróleo Group, in support of the producing communities, studies and improves the knowledge generated in these decades of use of this oil, and potentiates its power of action. In addition to providing equipment, inputs and professionalization for these families, this exchange of information strengthens this crop, which is so important in generating income for these people.

Figure 2. Women working on the preparation of buriti oil.

In several studies, buriti oil has shown promise for different uses in cosmetics. It is rich in essential fatty acids for a balanced and effective cosmetic composition. In this oil are present the oleic, palmitic and linoleic acid, interesting for, among other applications, promotes beneficial effect in the healing process, plasticity and great penetration power in the skin. The synergy between all the components present in its natural composition still leads to the regeneration of the hydrolipidic and protective barrier of the skin.

Moreover, pure and crude natural oil, ie, which does not go through any stage of the refining process, has significant amounts of pro-vitamins A and E. In buriti oil the carotenoids can reach concentrations up to 20 times higher than the carrot, one of the best-known sources of these compounds. Besides that, together with vitamin E in the form of tocopherols, they help combat lipid peroxidation and form a protective shield in the epidermis.

In this way, buriti oil is one of the most potent allies in the treatment of premature aging and/or damage caused by all daily aggressions to the skin. In a completely natural way, this oil offers the tissue repair and the neutralization of free radicals, through the joint action of their natural antioxidants. To further strengthen its action spectrum, its lipid fraction stimulates cell proliferation.

Thus, the oil can help not only the intrinsic aging of the skin, that caused by natural causes, but also the aging caused by continuous exposure to solar radiation and pollution, for example. In the first case, the vegetable oil can help in the replacement of the hydrolipidic film on the epidermis, improving its texture and softening the signs of expression. With respect to the extrinsic aging, its natural antioxidant components protect the skin and prevent the loss of its elasticity.

An extension of this action potential can still be made for capillary applications. Due to the nutritional composition of non-refined buriti oil, this ingredient can provide the necessary treatment for hair exposed to the chemical action of dyes and straighteners and can return life to this hair by nourishing it naturally. In addition to carotenes and tocopherols, the presence of this vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus and iron has already been reported.

In this sense, buriti oil encompasses a market trend known as Skin Food, which are multifunctional products that, in addition to performance, provide nutrition for the skin keeping it moisturized and protected, in addition to promoting treatment and revitalization.

The buriti oil supplied by Citróleo is 100% natural, since it keeps all the components of interest naturally present in the fruits. It does not go through any type of process after its production, however, due to all the careful process of handling and treatment with the seeds and fruits in the fields, this oil is stable and has low levels of acidity and peroxide.

Figure 3. Technical training about buriti production with producer communities.

Citróleo is concerned not only with the regular supply of this raw material, but also with the high quality standards required to maintain all the inherent characteristics of the product. Thus, the natural maturation time is respected, conserving all the natural chemical and nutritional composition of the fruits. Therefore, the company supplies to the market buriti oil with a supply chain that is clean and traceable, in order to provide efficient solutions with social and environmental responsibility for the beauty market.

References

CYMERYS, M et al., Buriti in: Frutíferas e Plantas Úteis na Vida Amazônica. Disponível em: http://www.cifor.org/publications/pdf_files/Books/BShanley1001/187_194.pdf Acesso: Maio, 2019.

De ARAÚJO, V. F. et al., Plantas da Amazônia para Produção Cosmética, Universidade de Brasília ‐ UnB, 2007.

MORAIS, L. R. B.; GUTJAHR, E. Química de Oleaginosas Valorização da Biodiversidade Amazônica, Brasília, DF: GTZ, 2009. 83 p.