Processing of palm oil from the scratch

palm fruit on oil palm tree

  • Processing of palm oil from the scratch – Cutting Of The Bunch From The Tree

When it comes to Processing of palm oil from the scratch, Pruning of the palm

fronds is the first thing to do in order to expose the bunch, In Nigeria, most bunch

are conveyed to the processing site in baskets or in a big round plastic bowl or

bucket which are mostly carried on the head. The bunches are gathered in one

place for threshing.


fruits collection

Bunches of oil palm fruit

Removal Of Fruit From The Bunches

why do they need to thresh the bunch? The fresh fruit bunch consists of fruit

embedded in spikelets growing on a main stem.

Manual threshing is also achieved by cutting the fruit-laden spike-lets from the

bunch stem with an axe or machete and then separating the fruit from the spike-

lets by hand.

Most of this work are done by people and it serves as a source of income for

them, although some farmers have a reasonably large family in size and most of

this work are also done by them.

Another way to remove the fruits from the bunch is sterilization by using

pressurized steam or cooking with hot water.

These ensured the removal of fruit with high temperature wet treatment.


RELATED : Do You Know Oil Palm Tree Is The Most Valuable Plant.


Processing of palm oil from the scratch

Heating of oil palm fruit locally

  Addition of Heat Results In the following:

  • hydrolysis and autoxidation are seized as a results of oil splitting by heat treatments
  • Fruit are much easy to remove from the bunches on shaking or turning in the threshing machine because the wet heat weakens the fruit stem.
  • The proteins in the oil bearing cells comes together and can be easily coagulated, that is, heat really helps in the protein solidification, which allows it to flow easily when pressure is applied.
  • Heat is the major elements that is used in releasing the oil from the cells in the mesocarp, it weakens the pulp structure, the fibrous material easily detach.
  • The moisture introduced with the aid of the steam acts chemically to interrupt the gums and resins. The gums and resins results in the foam of the oil at some stage in frying.
  • When excessive-strain steam is used for sterilization, the warmth causes the moisture within the nuts to increase. When the strain is decreased the contraction of the nut ends in the detachment of the kernel from the shell wall, thus loosening the kernels inside their shells. The detachment of the kernel from the shell wall significantly allows later nut cracking operations. From the foregoing, it is apparent that sterilization (cooking) is one of the maximum essential operations in oil processing, ensuring the fulfillment of several other levels.


Processing of palm oil from the scratch

Collection of oil palm fruit after beating the bunch

  • Processing of palm oil from the scratch – Releasing The Palm Oil In The Fruit.

This done by cooking the fruit in the furnace or drum in order to soften the skin

cell that held the oil together (mesocarp) on the kernel. The fruits is boil with high

intense to softening the fruit

and make available for pressing.


mechanical processing of oil

Grinding of heated oil palm fruit

Batch Pressing By Mechanical Process.

There is a machine used pressing the boiled fruit to suppress the mesocarp to

release the palm oil. The oil is then place on fire again for the last time by boiling

it with water to ensure the oil is separated from the impurities.

The densities of water to oil is relatively different and this results in making it easy

to separate the oil from water because vegetable oil is less dense and it floats on

top of water.

The main point of clarification is to separate the oil from its entrained impurities.

The fluid coming out of the press is a mixture of palm oil, water, cell debris,

fibrous material and ‘non-oily solids’. Because of the non-oily solids the mixture is

very thick (viscous).

Hot water is therefore added to the press output mixture to thin it. The dilution

(addition of water) provides a barrier causing the heavy solids to fall to the

bottom of the container while the lighter oil droplets flow through the watery

mixture to the top when heat is applied to break the emulsion (oil suspended in

water with the aid of gums and resins)

The diluted mixture is passed through a screen to remove coarse fibre. The

screened mixture is boiled from one or two hours and then allowed to settle by

gravity in the large tank so that the palm oil, being lighter than water, will

separate and rise to the top. The clear oil is decanted into a reception tank. This

clarified oil still contains traces of water and dirt.

To prevent increasing FFA through auto catalytic hydrolysis of the oil, the moisture

content of the oil must be reduced to 0.15 to 0.25 percent.

Re-heating the decanted oil in a cooking pot and carefully skimming off the dried oil from any en-grained dirt removes any residual moisture.

Continuous clarifying consist of three compartments to treat the crude mixture, dry decanted oil and hold finished oil in an outer shell as a heat exchanger.

palm oil extraction

Oil Extracted from oil palm fruit


The oil palm is then transferred to oil storage and readily available for

consumption. Also visit FAO to read more about processing of oil from the scratch

If you have more information or you want us to make correction, you can kindly

contact us by clicking on MORE or leave your comment below.

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