Tucum oil / butter


Astrocaryum vulgare Mar. = A. tucuma Wallace = A. awarra Vriese = A. guianense Splig. ex Mart., Arecaceae


INCI: Astrocaryum vulgare fruit oil
Purpose: sunscreen, sensitive skin prone to irritation, anti-age cosmetics

Price: medium expensive

The secret of healing: carotenoids, linoleic and oleic acid


INCI: Astrocaryum vulgare kernel oil

Purpose: lip balms, massage bars, hair care, emulsion systems, soap making

Price: medium expensive

The secret of healing: lauric and myristic acid

Tucum, you guessed it from the name, is another butter of South America. It is obtained from the fruit of the palm tree which is very aggressive and likes to grow in areas ravaged by fire as one of the first species to conquer the terrain. Tucum fruit is edible and contains, like avocado, a lot of lipids and carotenoids. It is an integral part of many desserts.

As if its exoticism is not enough, tucum gives not just one, but even two butters / oils:

  • butter from the seeds
  • oil from pulp

As there are no norms, we will make a comparison of these two products from [4].

Basic characteristics
Organoleptic characterosticsPale-orange to orange oil, sometimes pasty, with a characteristic odourWhite to slightly pink solid, with a characteristic coffee-like odour
Acid number mg KOH/g1.12±0.021.67±0.32
Refractive index of light at 40 °C1.4508±0.00041.4512±0.0010
Peroxide value mEq O2/Kg1.72±0.210.46±0.21
Iodine number82.0±1.5412.5±1.04
Saponification number110.5±3.6231.4±4.3
Melting point-about 31 °C
Fatty acid content
C8:0 caprylic acidtraces1.93±0.06
C10:0 capric acidtraces1.95±0.03
C12:0 lauric acidtraces50.16±0.51
C14:0 myristic acidtraces24.44±0.32
C16:0 palmitic acid13.86±0.126.21±0.14
C18:0 stearic acid9.80±0.032.34±0.01
C18:1 oleic acid46.81±0.178.36±0.05
C18:2 linoleic acid26.13±0.124.16±0.04
Seed oil

As can be seen from the table, the seed oil contains high levels of lauric and myristic acid, so it is another butter, along with babassu, coconut and murumuru, that contains them in that amount. Consequences? As always- fast-absorbing oils and butters for massage, hair treatments, production of nicely foaming soaps.

The content of sterols, among which β-sitosterol dominates, is 1.07-1.42g/kg. It contains only 10 -20mg/kg of tocopherol, among which the main proportion is α-tocopherol. There are less than 10mg/kg carotenoids, so this butter is usually very pale in colour.

Pulp oil

Pulp oil contains far more unsaturated fatty acids, mostly oleic and linoleic. It contains a lot more carotenoids, from 1.64-2.42g/kg which is a relatively high level and can be compared to buriti oil. In it, as in buriti, β-carotene predominates completely, and to a lesser extent α-carotene. It contains 40-150 mg of vitamin E (mainly α-tocopherol). Carotenoids are a well-known group of compounds that protect the skin from damage caused by a stressful environment, and are used in anti-age cosmetics, which has already been written about in the descriptions of rosehip seed oil, buriti oil and sea-buckthorn pulp oil. Due to carotenoids, it is also used to make sunscreens, as it prevents damage to the skin caused by UV rays.

Quality requirement

Not enough data.

Useful references


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