BRAZIL NUT OIL (Bertholletia excelsa)


Brazil nut oil (Bertholletia excelsa), is highly nutritious, composed of 75% unsaturated fatty acids consisting mainly of palmitic, oleic (omega 9) and linolenic acids (omega 6) in addition to phytosterols, sitosterol and fat-soluble vitamins A and E. It is possible to obtain an extra virgin oil from its first cold pressing which can replace olive oil in consumption due to its smooth and pleasant flavor. The recommended consumption is 1 to 2 tablespoons per day.

The oilseed also contains a considerable amount of proteins and two particularly important minerals: zinc, which keeps opportunistic infections at bay, in addition to acting on growth and healing, and selenium, which strengthens the immune system, balances the thyroid and prevents tumors. Not to mention vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant.

The proteins present in it are rich in sulphur amino acids such as cysteine (8%) and methionine (18%), and the presence of the latter increases the absorption of selenium and other minerals into the organism.

Brazil Nut Oil is great for treating dry and damaged hair. It also helps to strengthen fragile hair, in addition to ending hair loss and accelerating hair growth. Another highlight of this oil is that it helps to intensify the color of black hair, making it more beautiful and radiant. It also has cysteine, an amino acid that straightens the hair. That means that the use of Brazil Nut Oil can accelerate a natural hair straightening process.

Another benefit of the Brazil Nut Oil is its ability to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. Stretch marks can also be avoided with its frequent use. Stretch marks can also be avoided with its frequent use.

The oil is cold pressed from the traditional Brazilian nut, which allows its characteristic aroma and all its skin restoring nutrients to be preserved.

It is an exceptional emollient and can be applied to all areas of the body to effectively promote firmness and elasticity. Its absorption is fast, which makes it highly recommended for body massages and therapeutic oil baths, in addition to being used as a carrier for essential oils.

The presence of amino acids in its composition makes the Brazil nut oil one of the most recommended for the reconstruction of hair fibres. It can be applied pure or in mixtures with other oils for overnight hair treatments.


PRODUCT NAME: Brazil Nut Oil

INCI: Bertholletia excelsa oil

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Bertholletia excelsa


PRODUCT CODE: G011 – 5L / G012 – 10 L


CAS NUMBER: # 356065-50-4

EINCS NUMBER: 310-127-6

EINCS NUMBER: NCM 1515 90 40


SECONDARY PACKAGING: cardboard box with 2 x 5 L or 1 x 10 L

STORAGE: keep the container tightly closed, stored in a cool, ventilated place and protected from light.

EXPIRY DATE: under normal storage conditions, 24 months after manufacture.

Appearance (25 oC) liquid
Color red
Odor characteristic
Acid value mg NaOH/g 4,0 – 4,8
Peroxide value meq O2/kg < 10,0
Iodine value g I2/kg 50 – 75
Saponification value mgKOH/g 180 – 200
Unsaponifiable value % 3 – 4
Density 25 oC g/ml 0,9261
Refractive index (40 oC)   1,465
Melting temp. oC 25 – 28
Palmitic acid (C16:0) % weight 16 – 20
Palmitoleic acid (C16:1) % weight 0,5 – 1,2
Stearic acid (C18:0) % weight 9,0 – 13
Oleic acid (C18:1 – Omega-9) % weight 36 – 45
Linoleic acid (C18:2 – Omega-6) % weight 33 – 38
Others % weight 4,0 – 6,0
Saturated % 25
Unsaturated % 75


Bertholletia excelsa is a large tree, reaching up to 30 to 50 meters in height and 1 to 2 meters in trunk diameter; it is among the largest trees in the Amazon. There are records of specimens over 50 meters in height and with a diameter greater than 5 meters in Pará.[10] It can live more than 500 years, and, according to some authorities, it often lives up to 1,000 [11] or 1.600 years.[10]

The tree is deciduous; its leaves, which can grow to be 20 to 35 cm long and 10 to 15 cm wide, fall in the dry season.

Its flowers are small and of a whitish-green color. They grow in panicles of 5 to 10 cm in length; each flower has a deciduous chalice divided into two parts, with six unequal petals and several stamens gathered in a wide hooded mass.

It blooms during the transition period between dry and rainy seasons, which in the eastern Amazon Basin occurs from September to February, with a peak from October to December. Around the month of July its leaves fall, and some trees are left completely leafless during the dry season. The flowers bloom in large numbers, and last only one day. The fruits take 12 to 15 months to ripen and fall mainly in January and February. The seeds, when left untreated, take 12 to 18 months to germinate, due to their thick shell. [12][12]

Bertholletia excelsa The seeds, when left untreated, take 12 to 18 months to germinate, due to their thick shell. [12] Bertholletia excelsa has been harvested on plantations (in Malaysia and Ghana), but their production is low, and they are currently not economically viable. [13] [14] [15] [13][14]

The yellow flowers of Bertholletia excelsa can only be pollinated by an insect strong enough to lift the “hood” of the flower and one that has a tongue long enough to pass through the complex inner spiral of the flower, as is the case with bees of the genus Bombus, Centris, Epicharis, Eulaema and Xylocopa. Orchids produce an odor that attracts small orchid bees (of the euglossaspecies), with an exceptionally long tongue, since male bees of this species need this odor to attract females. The large female orchid bee pollinates Bertholletia excelsa. Without the orchid, the bees would not mate and a lack of bees would mean that the flower is not pollinated.

If both orchids and bees are present, the fruit takes 14 months to mature after the flowers are pollinated. The fruit itself is a large capsule of 10 to 15 centimetres in diameter that resembles the coconut endocarp in size and weighs up to two kilograms. It has a hard, wood-like shell that is 8 to 12 mm thick, and inside are 8 to 24 seeds about five centimetres long, arranged like the buds of an orange; it is not, therefore, a nut in the biological sense of the word.

The capsule contains a small hole at one end that allows large rodents such as agouti and, less often, squirrels, to gnaw until they open the capsule. They then eat some of the nuts they find inside and bury the others for later use; some of these buried nuts end up germinating and producing new Bertholletia excelsa.

Most seeds are “planted” by agoutis in dark places, and young trees end up waiting for years in hibernation until some tree falls and sunlight can reach them. Tamarins have been seen opening the fruits of Bertholletia excelsa using a stone like an anvil.

It lives preferably in upland forests and grows only in places where the dry season lasts from 3 to 5 months. The density of the species varies widely across the Amazon, ranging from 26 reproductive trees per hectare to just one specimen per 100 hectares. Some groups of trees are thought to owe their existence to pre-Columbian natives.



Ampe, C. et al. “A sequência de aminoácidos das proteínas 2S ricas em enxofre de sementes de castanha do Brasil (Bertholletia excelsa HBK).” EUR. J. Biochem, 159 (3): pp. 597-604, 15 de setembro de 1986.

Cavalcante, PB: Frutas Comestíveis da Amazônia, 6a Ed, Edições Cejup – Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Belém, 1996.

Chang, JC, et al. “Teor de selênio nas castanhas do Brasil de duas localizações geográficas no Brasil.” Chemosphere; 30 (4): pp. 801-2, Fevereiro de 1995.

Chunhieng, T. et al.: “Estudo Detalhado de Micro compostos de Óleo de Castanha do Brasil (Bertholletia excelsa): Fosfolipídios, Tocoferóis e Esteróis”; J. Braz. Chem. Soc. Vol. 19, nº 7, 1374-1380, 2008.

Chunhieng, T. et. al.: “Estudo da distribuição de selênio nas frações proteicas da castanha do Brasil, Bertholletia excels”; J Agric Food Chem. 52 (13): 4318-22, 2004.

Morais, LR: Banco de Dados Sobre Espécies Oleaginosas da Amazônia, não publicado.

Shanley, P. et. al.: Frutíferas e plantas úteis na vida amazônica, CIFOR, IMAZON, Editora Supercores, Belém, p. 300, 2005.

Jardim Botânico de Nova York: as páginas Lecythidaceae.

Lista Vermelha da IUCN: Bertholletia excelsa.

Silvertown, Jonathan. “Sustentabilidade em uma casca de noz (resumo)”, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, The Open University.

Taitson, Bruno. Colhendo nozes, melhorando vidas no Brasil, WWF, 18 de janeiro de 2007.

  1. Mori, Scott. A Indústria da Castanha do Pará: Passado, Presente e Futuro, The New York Botanical Garden.

Collinson, Chris. Viabilidade econômica do comércio de castanha do Brasil no Peru, Universidade de Greenwich.

Lorenzi, Harri e Matos, Francisco José de Abreu. Plantas medicinais no Brasil: nativas e exóticas cultivadas, Nova Odessa, SP: Insituto Plantarum, 2002. ISBN 85-86174-18-6.

Plantações de castanha do Brasil.