Although its name is not as widespread as other species of the Brazilian biodiversity, the pracaxi (or “pracachy”) – Pentaclethara macroloba (Wild) – is a very well known tree in the Amazon region.
Its antibacterial and anti-hemorrhagic properties have made the plant traditional among local populations in the treatment of snake bites, healing of ulcers and surgical sanitation. The oil extracted from pracaxi seeds has several applications in the cosmetic industry. As a powerful dermatological moisturiser, it helps cell renewal and treats stretch marks, skin discoloration, and depigmentation. When applied to hair care products, it provides an excellent conditioning effect, eases combing, and enhances hair smoothness and shine. Through investments in research and innovation, Beraca has developed BBA (BioBehenic Active System), a pracaxi based hair conditioning ingredient with ECOCERT and USDA Organic certification. Due to its high concentration of behenic acid (C22), the system is a natural alternative to surfactants and cationic agents in conditioners. Free of quaternary groups and noncomedogenic, it provides viscosity and helps in stabilising emulsions. The BBA also creates a hydrophobic layer around hair fibre, which shields it from humidity and controls the volume. The use of pracaxi by Beraca is based on sustainability principals that comprise every stage of the production channel. Being a Brazilian company, Beraca is able to work in partnership with 500 members of Amazonian communities involved with the Biodiversity Enhancement Program. Besides making profit from the trade of seeds, local communities are also benefited by investments in infrastructure, training, handling, and certification.