Mafura (Natal Mahogany) is an evergreen tree growing mainly in Zimbabwe and Mozamqiue, where it’s fruits are used to process mafura oil and mafura butter. Mafura butter is an excellent ingredient for body lotions, lip balms, face moisturisers as well as hair conditioners and it serves as a basis for soaps.
Mafura contains a high amount of essential unsaturated fatty acids. The composition of fatty acids makes it moisturizing and its lipid regulating properties can soften rough and dry skin. Mafura has the potential to serve as a replacement for palm-oil, thus providing an alternative to the more commonly used palm oil and the monocultural farming that comes along with it.
There are already a couple of cosmetic products on the European market that contain mafura. Further, companies such as PhytoTrade Africa are working on the development and enhancement of mafura production capacities and supply chains especially in Malawi and Mozambique, thus creating a sustainable source of income for producers in that region.