PROCESSING OF PALM OIL FROM THE SCRATCH.
Cutting Of The Bunch From The Tree
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 spikelets from the bunch stem with an axe or machete and then separating the fruit from the spikelets 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.
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.
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 oil palm is then transferred to oil storage and readily available for consumption.
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