PROCESSING OF PALM OIL FROM THE SCRATCH.
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.
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.
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 – 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.
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.
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
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