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sunflower oil processing

Sunlower Seed Processing Into Oil

Sunlower oil manufacture involves cleaning the seeds, grinding them, pressing and extracting the crude oil from them, and further reining. In extracting the oil, a volatile hydrocarbon  such as hexane is used as a solvent to extract the oil. (Related Project: Fully Automatic Sunflower Oil Factory in Kazakhstan)

Sunlower Oil Processing

sunflower seed oil making process
Sunflower Oil Processing Plant

  Cleaning and Grinding:  Incoming oil seeds are passed over magnets to remove any trace of metal before being de-hulled (sunflower seeds dehulling machine). The de-hulled seeds are then ground into coarse meal to provide more surface area to be pressed. Mechanized grooved rollers or hammer mills crush the material to the proper consistency. The meal is then heated to facilitate the extraction of the oil. While this procedure allows more oil to be pressed out, more impurities are also released with the oil, and these must be removed before the oil can be deemed edible.

  Pressing:  The heated mealis then fedcontinuously into a screw press,which increases the pressure progressively as the meal passes through a slotted barrel. Pressure generally increases from 68,950 to 206,850 kilopascals as the oil is squeezed out through the slots in the barrel, and is recovered.

  Extracting Additional Oil with Solvents:  After the oil has been recovered from the screw press, the oil cake remaining in the press is processed by solvent extraction to attain the maximum yield. A volatile hydrocarbon (most commonly hexane) dissolves the oil out of the oil cake, is then distilled out of the oil and passes through the matter, to be collected at the bottom.

  Removing Solvent Traces:  Ninety percent of the hydrocarbon remaining in the extracted oil simply evaporates,  and,  as  it  does,  it  is  collected  for  reuse.  The  remaining hydrocarbon is retrieved with the use of a stripping column. The oil is boiled by steam, and the lighter hexane loats upward. As it condenses, it too is collected.

  Reining the Oil: The oil is next reined to remove colour, odour, and bitterness. Reining consists of heating the oil to between 40 and 85 °C and mixing an alkaline substance such as sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate with it. Oils are also degummed at this time by treating them with water heated to between 85 and 95 °C steam, or water with acid. The gums, most of which are phosphatides, precipitate out, and the dregs are removed bycentrifuge. (Related Equipment: Small Edible Oil Refinery Plant for Sale)

Oil that will be heated (for use in cooking) is then bleached by iltering it through fuller’s earth, activated carbon, or activated clays that absorb certain pigmented material from the oil. By contrast, oil that will undergo refrigeration (because it is intended for salad dressing, for example) is winterized – rapidly chilled and iltered to remove waxes. This procedure ensures that the oil will not partially solidify in the refrigerator.

Finally, the oil is deodorized. In this process, steam is passed over hot oil in a vacuum at between 225 and 250 °C, thus allowing the volatile taste and odour components to distil from the oil. Typically, citric acid at 1% is also added to oil after deodorization to inactivate trace metals that might promote oxidation within the oil and hence shorten its shelf-life.

   By-products/Waste: The most obvious by-product of the oil-making process is oil seed cake. Most kinds of seed cake are used to make animal feed and low-grade fertilizer; others are simply disposed of.

★  Quality Control: The seeds used to make oil are inspected and graded after harvest, and the fat content of the incoming seeds is measured. For the best oil, the seeds should not be stored at all, or for only a very short time, since storage increases the chance of deterioration due to mould, loss of nutrients and rancidity. Quality of seeds very much depends on infrastructure (silos) available for the proper storage conditions. The seeds should be stored in well-ventilated warehouses with a constantly maintained low temperature and humidity. Pests should be eradicated, and mould growth should be kept to a minimum. Seeds to be stored must have a low moisture content (around 10%), or they should be dried until they reach this level (dryer seeds are less likely to encourage the growth of mould).

In oil mill plant, processed oil should be consistent in all aspects such as colour, taste and viscosity. In addition, the oil should be free of impurities and meet the demands placed upon it for use in cooking. Before being illed, the bottles that hold the oil are cleaned and electronically inspected for foreign material. To prevent oxidation of the oil (and therefore its tendency to go rancid), the inert (non-reactive) gas nitrogen is used to ill up the space remaining at the top of the bottle.