Illipe is a nut that comes from a tree found in South Asia and Borneo called Madhuca longifilia. It is in bloom from January to October, but its fruit is harvested between June and July. Dried in the sun, the seeds are then separated from their shells for different uses. This is where illipe butter or oil comes from, which is 100% vegetable oil. The indigenous population of Borneo was the first to use it for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes.
Illipe’s Main Uses
Because of it’s high vitamin E content, illipe has nourishing and protective properties and is therefore often used in cosmetics. Almost all cosmetics producers use it. And, whether in Garnier or Dessange products, illipe butter is at the forefront. In addition, given its composition [triglycerides], it is also used to produce of soap, lipstick, foundation, and many other products. Moreover, it is accepted that using this product prevents skin from drying and wrinkles from forming. It also reduces the skin’s degeneration to restore its flexibility and elasticity. But, in recent years, cosmetics have stopped being the exclusive users of this product, because, since its chemical composition is close to that of cocoa butter, it is now used in cooking, especially in the manufacturing of some chocolates.
Illipe and Chocolate
In August 2003, the European directive authorized the addition of 5% vegetable fats into chocolate’s composition. Among them is illipe, which can’t make up more than 5% of the volume of a chocolate’s content. But, illipe butter can also be considered the equivalent of cocoa butter, taking its composition into account. Therefore, it can be used in the manufacturing of chocolate without needing to change its properties. It should be noted that chocolate is obtained through the transformation of cocoa sap, Theobroma cacao, with the addition of cocoa and sugar.
Illipe butter is a natural vegetable oil that was at first used as an ingredient in cosmetics. But, since 2003, it has become on of chocolate’s components. Its physical properties and similar chemical composition to cocoa butter favored this decision.