Seed butters (especially Kokum) changing consistency after melting - ways to prevent?


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Well-Known Member
Aug 5, 2014
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I've noticed that seed butters have a pretty uniform consistency when I get them from the vendor. I think they are usually in their virgin state - straight from the pressing. When the seed is pressed, the oil is squeezed out (& probably heated slightly by pressure & friction in the process) then dripping into the collection container. This is what I call the "virgin" state (IDK if that is incorrect or not).

My Kokum butter is totally uniform in chunks and when I melt & allow to harden, it seems to not look the same and then forms crystals (like snow or fuzzy mold growing) on the surface.

I want to put some butters in small containers like chapstick containers or small jars and am wondering what is the best way to heat butters so as to keep them as close to their virgin state as possible.

I've tried double boiler and that seems the best but IDK if there is a better way or not. Does anyone have a different solution for this?


Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2013
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Birmingham, Alabama, USA
We usually refer to that as "crystallization" although that's probably not a very good term. I think what happens is that when the butter melts and then cools slowly, the stearic acid as able to separate out and form those little dots. Rub a bit between your fingers - it has a grainy texture. I guess that is because the stearic acid melts more slowly than the other components.

I found that these directions worked on my shea butter, but not quite as well on my cocoa butter. I have read on this forum that if you temper correctly that even if your lip balm melts and re-solidifies, it will not get grainy. Some folks here also use a product called Butter EZ in lip balms, lotion bars, etc.

You can also buy ultra-refined butters from your supplier that are supposed to not get grainy as well.