Mango butter


Mangifera indica L., Anacardiaceae

INCI: Mangifera indica seed butter

Purpose: soaps, dry skin, hair treatments, lip and body balms, protective emulsion systems, butters/massage bars

Price: relatively cheap oil

The secret of healing: phytosterols, fatty acids

My remark: neutral white to pale yellow butter suitable for a lot of preparations, mostly for balms and massage butters.

Oral use: rarely, although it is sometimes used.

Mango is one of the most common tropical fruits. It is widely present in juices. The pragmatism of the industry, which we have already encountered with cotton and some fruits, has proved quite productive here as well. The pits that would otherwise be a waste are used to produce butter. Honestly, of all the butters, this one reminds me the most of neutral lard- white to quite pale yellow, odourless. Um, don’t be disappointed if you expect a lavish exotic mango scent from mango butter. But this neutrality has its advantages because it does not disturb the scent or colour you want to achieve in the final product. If you want to achieve a replica of mango with its butter, you will have to be creative- use a natural mango extract for the scent, and achieve the colour with the help of sea-buckthorn pulp oil or buriti oil.

I have praised shea butter a lot, but one of the complaints in the products is the formation of lumps which for the average person- the consumer is not very convenient. Mango butter never forms lumps. Compared to shea butter, it has a similar fatty acid profile, but on average has a 5-10°C higher melting point. Therefore, it forms far firmer butters and balms than shea butter, and it is then necessary to put less waxes in the recipes.

An additional protective role is given by sterols that dominate in the unsaponifiable fraction. Most are β-sitosterol (58%), ∆7-avenasterol (19%), stigmasterol (11%) and ∆5-avenasterol (7%). The content of tocopherols is relatively low, but their profile is excellent: 140mg/kg of α-tocopherol, and about 60mg/kg of γ- and δ-tocopherol.

Mango is not only a “competition” to shea butter, but it was primarily chosen as a lighter substitute for the otherwise heavy and highly occlusive cocoa butter. Therefore, in recipes that contain cocoa butter, if you are not happy with the texture, replace cocoa butter with mango butter.

Mango butter contains approximately equal amounts of oleic and stearic acid. It is well absorbed into the skin and, like most butter, protects well from drying out. It is known as a hair care butter, although I honestly prefer other butters like coconut for that. Rich texture and easy lubricity make it a desirable addition in butters/massage bars. The nice ratio of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids also makes it a good raw material for the production of soap rich in foam and a gentle effect on the skin, similar to palm oil.

Quality requirement*
Basic characteristics 
Organoleptic characteristicsWhite to very pale yellow hard fatty mass with a very neutral odor without the smell of rancid oil.
Gardner colour indexmaximum 4.0
Refractive light index at 20 °C1.456 – 1.470
Free fatty acids (%)maximum 0.25
Acid number mg KOH/gmaximum 0.5
Peroxide value mEq O2/Kgmaximum 10.0
Iodine number40 - 55
Saponification number180 - 195
Content of unsaponifiable matter (%)minimum 5.0
Melting point45-55 °C
Fatty acid content (%)
C12:0 lauric acidmaximum 1.5
C14:0 myristic acidmaximum 1.5
C16:0 palmitic acid11.0 – 17.0
C16:1 palmitoleic acidmaximum 1.0
C17:0 margaric acidmaximum 0.5
C17:1 heptadecenic acidmaximum 0.3
C18:0 stearic acid30.0 – 45.0
C18:1 oleic acid38.0 – 50.0
C18:2 linoleic acid3.0 – 7.0
C18:3 α-linolenic acidmaximum 0.8
C20:0 arachidic acidmaximum 2.0
C20:1 eicosenic acidmaximum 1.0
C22:0 behenic acidmaximum1.0
C22:1 erucic acidtraces

*in accordance with references and manufacturers. Minor deviations are possible. The content of unsaponifiable substance may vary depending on the place of cultivation and the cultivar.

Useful references
  • Mango seed uses: thermal behaviour of mango seed almond fat and its mixtures with cocoa butter. Solís-Fuentes JA, Durán-de-Bazúa MC. Bioresour Technol. 2004 Mar;92(1):71-8.
  • Formulation and evaluation of exotic fat based cosmeceuticals for skin repair. Mandawgade SD, Patravale VB. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2008 Jul-Aug;70(4):539-42
  • Analysis of sterol and other components present in unsaponifiable matters of mahua, sal andmango kernel oil. Dhara R, Bhattacharyya DK, Ghosh M. J Oleo Sci. 2010;59(4):169-76.
  • Hard cocoa butter replacers from mango seed fat and palm stearin. Jahurul MH, Zaidul IS, Nik Norulaini NA, Sahena F, Abedin MZ, Mohamed A, Mohd Omar AK. Food Chem. 2014 Jul 1;154:323-9.
  • Studies of Fatty Acid composition, physicochemical and thermal properties, and crystallization behavior of mango kernel fats from various thai varieties. Sonwai S, Ponprachanuvut P. J Oleo Sci. 2014 Jun 27;63(7):661-9
  • Utilization of Mango seed. Kittiphoom, S. International Food Research Journal 2012 19(4): 1325-1335.
  • Studies on Mango ( Mangifera indica, L.) Kernel Fat of Some Kenyan Varieties in Meru Daniel, Muchiri; Symon, Mahungu; Simon, Gituanja Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society , Volume 89 (9) – Sep 1, 2012
  • Unsaponifiable Matter in Plant Seed Oils. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013 Edible Oil Processing, 2nd Edition Wolf Hamm (Editor), Richard J. Hamilton (Editor), Gijs Calliauw (Editor) July 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
  • Vegetable Oils in Food Technology: Composition, Properties and Uses, Second Edition Frank D. Gunstone Blackwell Publishing 2011
  • Bailey’s Industrial Oil and Fat Products (6 Volume Set) By Fereidoon Shahidi: Wiley-Interscience; 6 edition 2005


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