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EKB 4343



Harvesting technique and handling
Early stage of fruit formation, the oil content is very low but
when the fruit approaches maturity the formation of oil
increases rapidly 50% of mesocarp weigh.
Fresh ripe fruit contains less FFA (<0.3%) and due to softness
of the fruit exocarp expose to lipolytic enzyme as the fruit
detach from the bunch. So this attack leads to higher FFA
through hydrolysis.
Harvesting involves cutting the bunch from the tree as each
bunch weigh about 25 kg.
During loading and unloading of bunches also can damage the
Bunch reception
Fresh fruit arrives from the field as bunches.
The fresh fruit will placed into boxes which the weight of the
bunches can be weigh or large weighing machine were placed
under a bridge to weigh materials in trucks.
The field factors that affect composition: genetic, age of tree,
agronomic, environmental, harvesting technique, handling
and transport.
Threshing (removal of fruit from
the bunches)
Rotary drum of fixed drum equipped with rotary beater bars
detach the fruit from the bunch leaving the spikelets on the
Sterilization of bunches
High temperature wet heat treatment (pressurized steam).

Destroy oil-splitting enzymes, prevent hydrolysis, auto
Weakens the fruit stem, easy to remove fruit from bunches by
shaking or tumbling in threshing machine.
Weakens the pulp structure, softening and easier to detach
fibrous material.
Partially disrupt the oil containing cells in mesocarp, and easy
to extract the oil.
Sterilization of bunches
To break down gums and resins. The gums and resin cause the
oil to foam during frying.
Some of the gum and resins are soluble in water, can be
removed during oil clarification.
Heat causes the moisture in the nut to expand, as the
pressure is reduced the contraction of the nut leads to the
detachment of the kernel from the shell.

During sterilization: ensure evacuation of air from the sterilizer

which can lead oil oxidation at high temperatures
Digestion of the fruit
Process of releasing the palm oil in the fruit through rupture
or breaking down the oil bearing cells.
Digester: steam-heated cylindrical vessel fitted with a central
rotating shaft contains number of beater (stirring) arms.
The fruit is pounded, destroy the fruits outer exocarp and
completes the disruption of the oil cells.
Contamination of iron is the greatest during digestion
compared other milling process. Iron contamination increases
the risk of oil oxidation.
The duration of digestion approximately 60 to 70 minutes, 26
rpm, close to 100oC, P=3 kg/cm2.
Two methods: mechanical press (dry method) or use hot
water to leach out the oil (wet method).
Dry method: to squeeze the oil out of a mixture of oil,
moisture, fibre and nuts by applying mechanical pressure
using a mesh.

Batch type hydraulic press

Digested fruit is pressed in a steel cage (P=70 kg/cm2).
The cage has a large number of hole drilled in it through
which the crude oil escapes.
In order press cake formed uniformly with having difficulties
to remove it, 5 to 7 circulate steel are positioned in the fruit
mass before pressing
6 to 7 complete pressing cycles be completed per hour and
the rate of the press is about 3 tons bunches per hour.

Duration Process
1.5 Loading
0.5 Prepressing
0.5 Reloading
4.07 Building up pressure and pressure
2.0 Discharging
Hydraulic press
Screw pressing

Advantages Disadvantages
Considerably higher throughput per press Higher maintenance cost
unit with consequent saving in factor
building costs
Lower capital cost for a given pressing More nut breakage if the fruit milled is
capacity not practically 100% tenera
Less labour required The production of a much more viscous
crude oi due to its higher solid content
Less power required The oil loss in waste water is greater thant
than obtained using hydraulic press
Nut/fibre separation easier as cake drier
and less oily
Basket centrifugals
Have a capacity 1.35 tons fruit/hour when operating 3 cycles
per hour each cycle being approximately as follows:
Duration (min) Process
1 Filling
3.5 Accelerating
9.5 Spinning at full speed
2 Braking
4 Emptying
Composition of crude oil at various extraction process

Extraction process % Oil % Water % NOS

Centrifugal 80 17 3
Hydraulic press 75 20 5
Screw press 66 24 10
Wet process 16 79 5
Clarification and drying of oil
To separate the oil from its entrained impurities.
The fluid from the pressing process: 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) thus hot water is added (3:1) to dilute the fluid.
It leads a separation between heavy solids (bottom), lighter oil
droplets flow through the water mixture to the top as heat is
applied to break emulsion (oil is 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 (1-2hr), and allowed to settle
by gravity in large tank so that palm oil will separate and rise
to the top.
The clear oil is decanted into a reception tank and the clarified
oil still contains traces of water and dirt.
In order to prevent FFA through hydrolysis, the moisture
content of the oil should be around (0.15-0.25%).
Oil storage
The purified oils is transferred to a tank for a storage.
Since the rate of oxidation of the oil increases with the
temperature, the storage of the oil is maintained around 50oC
(hot water or low-pressure steam heating coils) and also to
prevent solidification and fractionation.
Hydrolysis during storage
The rate of % FFA can be calculated by following equation:

dA A: % FFA
KA T: number of 10 day storage periods
dT K: factor depending on the temperature
Oil storage
Temperature (oC) Factor K
37 0.025
50 0.051
60 0.125
70 0.288
80 0.505
100 1.480

Consider oil of FFA 3% stored at 50oC for 10 days.

After 10 days, FFA% :

(0.051)(3)=0.153% = 3.15%

Consider oil of FFA 3% stored at 70oC for 20 days.

After 20 days, FFA% at 70oC

T1=10 days: (0.288)(3) = 0.864 = 3.864%
T2=20 days: (0.288)(3.864)= 1.113= 4.977%
Oil storage
Effect of moisture content on rate of hydrolysis
Moisture content (%) FFA rise in one month at 50oC
0.08 0.16
0.10 0.20
0.15 0.30
0.20 0.40
0.24 0.48

Consider oil of 3% FFA with 0.08% moisture content at 50oC, the solubility of
water at this temperature 0.24%, thus modified K :

0.051(0.08/0.24)=0.017 (new K)

At 10 days: 0.017 (3) = 0.051% = 3.051% FFA

Kernel recovery
Cake breaking conveyors
cake from the pressing process is very dense and need to be
broken up.
The cake will pass through matte breaker conveyor. This is
trough type conveyor with rotating shaft fitted with paddles.
For a conveyor of diameter 40 to 50 cm, at least 90 rpm where
else for 60 cm diameter at least 75 rpm.
The movements of the paddles opens up the fibre and
loosens it from the nuts.
A certain amount of moisture will be lost due to evaporation .
Kernel recovery
The essential preliminaries to effective nut fiber separation are:
Good sterilization, digestion and pressing to ensure the fruit
well cooked.
Adequate breaking up of the cake and loosening of the fibers
from the nuts by means of the cake breaker conveyor.
Separation of fiber from nuts : mechanical or air separation
Mechanical type nut/fiber separators: rotating knife type,
rotating screen type
Air separation: rotating drum type, vertical column type
Kernel recovery
Rotating knife type: fitted with four long knife blades rotates,
having a narrow slit through which the fibre can pass through
but not the nuts.

Rotating screen type: rotating screen of octagonal section

covered with a mesh of expanded metal. This help adhering fibre
from the nuts. The fibre passes through the holes of the
expanded metal.
Kernel recovery
Rotating drum: most common type use in large and medium size

The prepared cake from the cake breaker conveyor is fed in at

one end of the drum via a short length of conveyor which acts as
an air seal and gradually passes along the drum.

Lifting arms are fitted so the nuts and fiber are continually raised
up and the caused to shower down within the drum. Annular
baffle rings slow down the movement of the nuts.

Air passes through the drum in the direction of motion of the

nuts and fiber.
Kernel recovery
This is induced by a powerful fan which is mounted in the
ducting above the separator at the outlet end.
The air inlet temperature (135oC) and fan capacity 5900
The nut pass out of the rotating drum over a weir ring and
drop down a chute into smaller rotating drum polishing
The end of the drum is made of holes just enough to pass all
the nuts .
Kernel recovery
Vertical column type

The press fiber + nut is fed into a long vertical through which
an upward flow of air is passing at a velocity of 6 -16 m/s and
all the fiber will either move upwards or remain in
Unit operation Objectives
1 Fruit To loosen fruit base from spikelets
fermentation To allow ripening processes to abate
2 Bunch To facilitate manual removal of fruit
3 Fruit sorting To remove and sort fruit from spikelets
4 Fruit boiling To sterilize and stop enzymatic spoilage, coagulate protein and
expose microscopic oil cells
5 Fruit digestion To rupture oil-bearing cells to allow oil flow during extraction while
separating fibre from nuts
6 Mash pressing To release fluid plam oil using applied pressure on ruptured cellular
7 Oil purification To boil mixture of oil and water as to remove water-soluble gums
and resins in the oil, dry decanted oil by further heating
8 Fibre-nut To separate de-oiled fibre from palm nuts
9 Second To recover residual oil for use as soap stock
10 Nut drying To sun dry nuts for cracking
Palm oil has a balanced fatty acid composition
(saturated fatty acids=unsaturated fatty acids).
Palmitic acid (44-45%), oleic acid (39-40%) and
linoleic (10-11%).
Palm oil containing C16 and C18 acids, highly
stable in the form.
The oil can be easily separated into two
products (palm olein and palm stearin).
Table 1: Fatty acid composition of palm oil from E. Guineensis, E. Oleifera
and their hybrids (Rajanaidu et al. 1985).
Fatty acids (wt%) E.Guineensis (Eg) E.Oleifera (Eo) Eg x Eo
Mean Mean Range Mean Range

12:0 0.3 - - - -
14:0 1.2 0.2 0.1-0.3 0.5 0.1-0.5
16:0 44.3 18.7 14.4-23.0 32.2 22.4-44.7
16:1 - 1.6 NA 0.2 NA
18:0 4.3 0.9 0.6-1.8 3.2 1.6-4.9
18:1 39.3 56.1 55.8-64.0 51.8 36.9-60.1
18:2 10 21.1 16.2-22.5 10.8 8.8-16.8
Iodine value 55.0 85.0 NA 67.5 NA
Figure 1: Dry multiple fractionation of palm oil (Deffense,1995)
Palm oleins
Semi solid at ambient temperature (25-30oC) can be
fractionated into liquid fraction (olein) and solid fraction
The olein contains higher level oleic (39-45%) and linoleic
acids (10-13%) .
Palm olein remains clear at ambient temperature of 25oC.
Further fractionation producers more unsaturated fraction
(super olein: oleic 43-49%; linoleic acids 10-15%).
Fractions with iodine value above 70 described as top oleins.
Palm olein (IV<60); Super olein (IV>60); Top olein (IV 70-72)
Unsaturated acids in superolein (59%) compared to single
fractionated olein (53%).
Figure 2: Solid fat content of palm superolein in relation to iodine
Palm stearin
The fraction of palm oil, contains more saturated fatty acids
and TAGs.
Another stearin by second fractionation of the olein, palm mid
fraction (PMF).
Table 2: Fatty acid and triacylglycerol composition of palm
Stearin Soft stearin Palm mid fraction
Fatty acid
12:0 0.1-0.6 0.1 0-0.3
14:0 1.1-1.9 1.1 0.8-1.4
16:0 47.2-73.8 49.3 41.4-55.5
16:1 0.05-0.2 0.1 4.7-6.7
18:0 4.4-5.6 4.9 32.0-41.2
18:1 15.6-37.0 34.8 3.6-11.5
18:2 3.2-9.8 9.0 0-0.2
18:3 0.1-0.6 0.2 0-0.6
20:0 0.1-0.6 0.4 34.5-54.8

IV 21.6-49.4 46.7 34.5-54.8

Palm Oil
Palm oil is a semi-solid at room temperature (28oC), the
melting point range being from 32-40oC.
DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimetry) method: fat melts
completely at 39-40oC, oil cooled rapidly to -40oC at 5oC/min.
The melting and crystallization characteristics of the oil can be
followed using DSC technique.
DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimetry: thermoanalytical
technique in which the difference in the amount of heat
required to increase the temperature of a sample and
reference is measured as a function of temperature.
Figure 3: Thermogram
Figure 4: DSC melting and crystallization thermograms of palm oil. For melting
thermogram, sample was cooled to -30oC and held for 10 mins and heated to 80oC.
For cooling thermogram, sample was melted to 80oC and cooled to -30oC. Lm: low
melting fraction, Hm: high melting fraction
Dark red-orange colour of oil palm fruit due to high
concentration of caroteniods and anthocynanins.
Crude palm oil contains 400-1000 ppm and it varies on
process condition, species of oil palm and level of oxidation.
Major components of carotene are -carotene and -
Palm carotenoids provide a source of pro-vitamin A and its
orange-red colour and also considered to have anti-
carcinogenic properties.
Table 3: Composition of carotenoids in palm oil, given as % of total carotenoids

Type E.Guineesis (Eg) E.Oleifera (Eo) Eg x Eo (hybrid)

Phytoene 1.27 1.12 1.83
Cis -Carotene 0.68 0.48 0.38
Phytofluene 0.06 trace Trace
-Carotene 56.02 54.08 60.53
-Carotene 35.06 40.38 32.78
Cis--Carotene 2.49 2.30 1.37
-Carotene 0.33 0.08 0.23
-Carotene 0.83 0.09 0.24
-Carotene 0.69 0.36 1.13
Neurosporene 0.29 0.04 0.23
-Zeacarotene 0.74 0.57 1.03
-Zeacarotene 0.23 0.43 0.35
Lycopene 1.30 0.07 0.05

Total ppm 500-700 4300-4600 1250-1800

Table 4: Carotene content in palm oil fractions

Type of oil ppm

Crude palm oil 500-700
Crude palm olein 600-760
Crude palm stearin 380-540
Residual oil from fibre 4000-6000
Second-pressed oil 1800-2400
Tocopherols and tocotrienols
The source for Vitamin E
Crude palm oil contains 70% tocotrienols where else crude
palm olein also contains high on tocopherols and tocotrienols.
Refined oils retain 70% of the tocols, the amount varies due to
conditions of refining.
Most of the losses occurs at deodorisation, and PFAD (palm
fatty acid distillate) contains high source of vitamin E.
Tocotrienols: tend to protect heart related diseases and
certain cancers.
Sterols: unsaponifiable fraction of palm oil. In crude palm oil
contains 210-620 ppm.
Fractionation and refining can change the content and
composition of the sterols in the oil.
Table 5: Vitamin E (total tocopherols and tocotrienols) content in palm oil products.

Type of oil Total (ppm)

Crude palm oil 708-1141
Refined palm oil 378-890
Crude palm olein 880-1129
Refined palm olein 559-902
Crude palm stearin 426-552
Refined palm stearin 348-381
Palm oil fatty acid distillate 744-8192
Palm olein fatty acid distillate 1018-7172
Palm stearin fatty acid distillate 162-2408
1. State the unit operations involved in palm oil processing [10
2. State the aim of each unit operations involved [10 Marks]
3. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of screw pressing
[9 Marks]
4. Explain briefly cake breaking conveyors for kernel recovery
[5 Marks]
5. State the essential criteria for efficiencies of nut fibre
separation [5 Marks]
6. Discuss digestion process in palm oil mill [5 Marks]
7. Discuss clarification & dry process in crude palm oil [8
8. State the criteria for sterilizer design [5 Marks]
9. Briefly explain sterilizer design consideration [10 Marks]
10. Define palm oleins [4 Marks]
11. Discuss thermo analytical techniques in palm oil with aided
diagram [5 Marks]
12. Define Carotenes [4 Marks]
13. Sketch the dry multiple fractionation of palm oil [10 Marks]