Edible Fats and Oils Processing: Basic Principles and Modern Practices

Short course held in conjunction with the 2023 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo

Attendee Information

On-demand access includes recordings, slides, and course materials for 30 days.

Course Description

Course Chairs: Alan Paine, ARP Lipids Consulting, UK and Roberto Berbesi, Technical/Sales Manager LATAM and Asia, Oil-Dri Corporation of America, USA

This program offers a high-level look at core aspects of processing edible fats and oils. It is suitable for non-chemists and people who are new to the industry as well as those with more experience who would like to refresh and update their knowledge. This course is available on demand to fit your busy schedule.

Course Outline

Day 1

Welcome - What Is Vegetable Oil and Where Does It Come From?

Instructor: Alan Paine, ARP Lipids Consulting, United Kingdom

The vegetable oil industry is dominated by four crops: oil palm, soybean, sunflower and canola (also known as rapeseed), which provide about 85% of the world’s supply. Others sources of oil including olive, cottonseed, peanut, coconut and corn all play a relatively minor role. We will look at where these crops are grown and how they fit into the overall picture of world agriculture.

All oils consist mainly of triacylglycerols also called triglycerides. Variations in the fatty acids that make up these triglycerides affect the melting point of the oil, which is an important property that processors sometimes try to modify. Oils also contain a wide range of minor components including free fatty acids, phospholipids, sterols, and tocopherols - some of which have to be removed from the oil and others which are desirable to retain.

The talk will briefly explore the factors that affect the ways in which oils are separated from seeds or fruits and why oil from different plants is treated in different ways according to its origin and composition.

The Fundamentals of Mechanical Extraction

Instructor: David Miles, Engineering Manager, Desmet RoseDowns Ltd., United Kingdom

Screw press operation is a critical step in edible oil processing, and a thorough understanding of its principles and best practices is essential for achieving high-quality oil extraction. This lecture will look at the applications of Screw Presses and why they are still relevant today. It will also provide a foundational understanding of how the design of a Screw Press provides a basis for optimizing oil extraction. The causes and effects of wear and the implications that has for Screw Press operation will also be considered.

Solvent Extraction

Instructor: Tim Kemper, President, Desmet|Rosedowns|Stolz, Belgium

This talk will provide an overview of the solvent extraction process including: the key factors in seed preparation to enable effective solvent extraction of oil from oilseeds, understanding the solvent extractor unit operation, understanding the meal desolventizer-toaster-dryer-cooler unit operations, understanding the miscella distillation unit operations, understanding the solvent recovery unit operations, and understanding the mineral oil system unit operations.

Soybean Protein Concentrate (SPC)

Instructor: Anibal Demarco, Global Technical Support, Desmet, Argentina

Let's talk about how to achieve optimum carbohydrate extraction and protein yields with a special extractor that assures quality while providing easy operation and maintenance. The defatted flakes, having been properly screened and swelled with ethanol/water solvent, are separated into soluble carbohydrates (molasses) and a concentrated protein meal fraction (SPC) by solvent extraction. The extractor utilizes a counter current, multi-stage washing water/ethanol solvent to enable a reasonable quantity of ethanol/water solvent to extract a maximum quantity of carbohydrates, while minimizing protein extraction. After washing, the solvent-laden SPC drains by gravity and then discharges to desolventising. After washing, the solvent laden molasses, discharges to evaporation/concentration.

Degumming with an Overview on Fats and Oils Refining

Instructor: William (Bill) Younggreen, Manager, USA and Canada, Fats & Oils Systems, Alfa Laval, USA

The presentation will give a high-level overview of the refining of fats and oils with a more in-depth look at the degumming processes commonly used in industrial practice. The various degumming processes will be discussed, including when they are used, what results are achievable, process conditions and main equipment.

Chemical Refining

Instructor: Darren J. Litle, Director of Tech Sales & Business Development, Oils & Fats, Arisdyne Systems Inc., USA

You will learn the details of the modern neutralization process, the major and minor components of vegetable oils, the two main impurities to be removed from vegetable oils and why they must be removed, the difference between chemical and physical refining, where neutralization fits into the overall process of refining, the typical process flow for neutralization and the general process conditions of caustic refining, the use of cavitation technology to lower costs and improve processing efficiencies, as well as other important variables at each step of the process.

Optimization of the Bleaching Process

Instructor: Roberto Berbesi, Sales Manager Latin America and Global Technical Lead, Fluids Purification Division, Oil-Dri Corporation of America, USA

Review how the temperature, moisture, vacuum, contact time and type of clay impact the quality of the oils during the bleaching process to help optimize your bleaching process.

Filtration Technologies for Edible Oil and Fats

Instructor: Cheral Theussing, Process Technologist Filtration, Filtration Group, Netherlands

Presenting the insights of the edible oil filtration process and what is required to achieve a high-end quality product. The focus will be on each process step required to efficiently filter edible oil, exploring effective filtration solutions and prevention initiatives to ensure a continuous operation, specifically looking at pressure leaf filter systems, the cricketfilter®, bag filter housings and cartridge filter housings.

The Deodorization of Vegetable Oil

Instructor: Alan Paine, ARP Lipids Consulting, United Kingdom

Vegetable oil contains small amounts of volatile components that impart a bad flavor or smell to the oil. The vapor pressure of many of these components is very high but because they are dissolved in the oil in small concentrations their effective vapor pressures are extremely low and below the pressure that it is practical to maintain in a deodorizer. It is therefore necessary to use a stripping medium, usually steam, that is injected into the oil and carries away the volatile material.

For practical and economic reasons it is normal to operate deodorizers with the oil at between 220 and 260°C and at a pressure of between 2 to 4 mbar. A popular misconception is that a lower pressure leads to better deodorization. In fact, it is the volume of steam that is the main driver for stripping odor and other substances from the oil. Injecting 10 kg of steam per ton of oil at 2 mbar has the same stripping effect as 20 kg per ton at 4 mbar because the same volume of steam is being used. Lowering the pressure reduces the mass of steam required for deodorization but raises the energy, per kg of steam, required to create the vacuum. There is a balance between these two effects that leads to the optimum operating pressure.

The talk will look at different deodorizer configurations, including heat recovery, for either processing a rapid succession of different oil types or a single oil continuously.

Wet Dewaxing Process Comparison Using Centrifugal Separators

Instructor: Patrick Schürmann, Product Manager Sales, GEA Westfalia Separator Group, Germany

This presentation gives an overview of the different types of processes in the area of dewaxing vegetable oils. As there is always the need for having the right process according the available feedstocks there will be a comparison of the different available processes regarding yield and utility consumption in relation to the process performance – mainly cold stability. It will be shown that there are different possibilities to combine the dewaxing process either with a degumming or a neutralization process.

Nickel Catalysts for Fats and Oils Hydrogenation

Instructor: Tjalling Rekker, Staff Chemist, Process Catalysis Research, BASF/IQatalyst, Netherlands

The hydrogenation of fats and oils is generally done with supported nickel catalysts.Depending on the application, e.g. selective hydrogenation of edible oils or fatty acid hydrogenation, specific catalyst characteristics will be required in order to achieve optimum performance in the hydrogenation process. In this presentation we will look at the relation between catalyst properties and performance in the hydrogenation of fats and oils and how this can be tuned by selecting the right catalyst preparation parameters.

Principles of Chemical and Enzymatic Interesterification

Instructor: Orayne Kondor, Desmet, USA

Most oils have limited applications in their native form, which is why modification technologies are applied to allow use in food formulation. In this presentation, you will learn how to modify the position of the acyl groups on the glycerol backbone using Chemical or Enzymatic Interesterification and also a comparison between the two processes. With this information the participants can choose the process that will work best for them.

Enzyme Assisted Degumming and Neutralization of Vegetable Oils

Instructor: Joanna Wawrzynczyk, Manager, Oils & Fats AR, Novozymes, Denmark

This presentation will cover the theory and practice of phospholipases application in water degumming, alkaline neutralization, and physical refining for improved oil yield and oil quality. Participants will gain an understanding of enzymatic reactions, conditions required, benefits, and challenges related to the application of enzymes in the refining of vegetable oils, thus giving guidance for alternative refining processes.

Day 2

State of the Art in Fat Fractionation

Instructor: Véronique J. Gibon, Science Manager, Desmet, Belgium

Fractionation consists of separating higher-melting (stearin) and lower-melting fractions (olein) from a crystallized slurry obtained after controlled cooling of the melted fat. This presentation offers an overview of this process, an update on current technology, and an overview of considerations for sustainability.

Finished Product Storage and Loadout

Instructor: Mike Berkshire, PE, CPM, Senior Process Engineer and Best Practice Lead, The Plus Group, A Salas O'Brien Company, USA

This session will cover best practices, potential pitfalls, and practical applications for product storage, movement, and discharge from production facilities with a focus on initial design and development.

Spectroscopy as an Approach for Continuous Monitoring for Quality and Process Control

Instructor: Jonathon Speed, Director of Product and Applications, Keit Industrial Analytics, UK

This talk will explain the difference between off-line laboratory chemical assays, off-line spectroscopy and on-line spectroscopy. It will highlight the different spectroscopic techniques available, their strengths and weaknesses, and give an example of spectroscopic measurements in use in the field.

Measuring Quality and Efficiency in Refining

Instructor: Birger Horns, Deputy Head - Business Line Renewables, GEA Westfalia Separator Group, Germany

Finding a good balance between quality and efficiency is important in vegetable oil refining and this balance is strongly influenced by the separation steps in the refining process. This presentation will give a brief overview of the main driving factors like machine features, process designs and monitoring options with a focus on separation technology.

Crushing Plant Safety

Instructor: Anibal Demarco, Global Technical Support, Desmet, Argentina

The oilseed industry has special safety needs, especially due to the potential hazards resulting from the hexane solvent used in the extraction process. This talk will provide recommendations for plant safety, including precautions around the continued use of hexane.

Mitigation of 3-MCPDE and GE During Edible Oil Processing

Instructor: Wim De Greyt, Sr. R&D Manager, Desmet, Belgium

This session wlil feature a summary of the oil quality parameters and process conditions that affect the formation of 3-MCPDE & GE during the oil refining and modification process, and an overview of mitigation strategies/processes that are industrially applied to get very low 3-MCPDE/GE in fully refined oils.

Mineral Oil Contamination MOSH/MOAH

Instructor: Ernesto Hernandez, Principal Consultant, Advanced Lipid Consultants, USA

This presentation will provide an overview of the background of MOSH and MOAH sources, chemistry, processing challenges, and technological innovations in the removal of these mineral oil contaminants. Learning objectives inlcude: 1) Understanding MOSH and MOAH sources and chemistry, 2) Explaining current processing methods and challenges for MOSH and MOAH, and 3)Introducing innovations to removing MOSH and MOAH via new technologies.

Food Safety for the Edible Fats & Oils Industry

Instructor: Matthew Williamson, ADF Engineering, USA

Requirements and industry best practices for handling, storing and transporting fats and oils.

Effluent and Emissions Control - Hexane Loss in Crushing Plants

Instructor: Anibal Demarco, Global Technical Support, Desmet, Argentina

The primary objectives of plants are to optimize operations to effectively manage costs, ensure safety, produce the best quality products, and preserve the environment.

Within this context, the decrease in the consumption of Hexane is important to maximize safety, ensure product quality, reduce costs, preserve employee health, reduce environmental impacts, and meet all government standards. This presentation will explore these important considerations and discuss potential solutions.

Comparison Between Conventional and Newly Developed HVO Pretreatment Process

Instructor: Julian Poll, Product Manager Sales, GEA Westfalia Separator Group GmbH, Germany

This presentation will be about the pretreatment of raw materials and comparing the conventional three-stage pretreatment process with a process that requires only two stages.

Environmental Management and Sustainability in Agribusiness Processing

Instructor: Michael J. Boyer, PE, AWT Management Services, Inc., USA

This two-part session will address 1) The basics of environmental management primarily at the production plant level, in fats and oils and oilseed processing, as well as renewable diesel production, and 2) A broader view of sustainability concepts, including upcoming challenges in this area.

The first segment will focus on plant level issues for water, wastewater and stormwater management, solid waste management and byproducts challenges and niches. The importance of source control and process innovation as a primary control feature of environmental management will be emphasized. This will include basic concepts of systems and equipment that have found to be successful in plant environments.

The second segment will take these issues and examine them in the broader context of sustainability needs and programs. Definition and system boundaries for the sustainability concept will be addressed, along with where environmental management is headed.

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   Karen Kesler
   Phone: +1 217-693-4813
   Email: karen.kesler@aocs.org

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   Kasey Angeloni
   Email: kasey.angeloni@aocs.org