Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Introduction to palm oil processing


The palm fruits is a popular source of vegetable fat as the high production of palm oil in Southeast Asian countries, even palm oil became the main agricultural commodities and seeded in Indonesia, next to coconut oil. This is caused by several factors, among others: 1) a source of income for millions of family farmers, 2) the State foreign exchange resources, 3) starting from the plantation, processing industry, through marketing its products to be excellent providers of employment, 4) and industrial estates palm oil processing is stimulated the growth of new economic centers, 5) driving the growth and development of downstream processing industries based on processing of CPO in Indonesia, for example: butter, cake / biscuit, glycerin, soaps, and detergents.

Palm Fruit
Palm trees (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) are much cultivated in plantations, among which is the type of Dura, Pisifera, and Tenera. Tenera is the result of crosses of this type of Dura and Pisifera, has a high oil content (22-23%) and its tree is not very high but is more earlier to bear fruit.
Palm fruit consists of exocarp (outermost skin), mesocarp (fibers, similar to coconut fibers), endocarp (shell), and the kernel (palm kernel). The processing of palm fiber (endocarp) by extraction produce crude palm oil, while the processing part of the kernel (core) produce palm kernel oil. CPO with advanced processing technology of fractionation can separate into at least two major fractions namely stearin (solid form at room temperature) and olein (liquid form at room temperature). Stearin further processing by downstream processing industries will produce many kinds of product such as margarine, soap, candles, cocoa butter substitution (a kind of substitute for cocoa butter), vegetables ghee (vanaspati), shortening, etc.., while the olein processing generally produces raw materials for the purposes cooking oil, although there are also other products such as margarine, shortening, vegetables ghee (vanaspati), fatty acids and glycerol (glycerin). Other products from palm oil processing is red palm oil, where the content of carotenoids in red palm oil to remain high during the processing. Carotene is known as functional compounds, which are as natural antioxidants as well as pro-vitamin A. Further refining process such as degumming, refining, bleaching, and deodorization, reduce the content of tocopherol. Saturated fatty acid content of palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil in a row 50, 86, and 92%.
Palm Fruit crops
Fruit development period starts from the growth, accumulation of triglycerides, maturity, period cooking, and the decomposition of palm oil. Bunches of oil palm when already mature, will be marked with orange yellow of palm fruit pericarp and partially separated from the stem.
Palm oil plantations at the age of 4 years has begun to bear fruit, and at age 25 is not economical anymore. Young plants produce bunches weighing 2-3 kg / bunch, while the old plants: 80-10 kg / bunch.
Immature palm fruit should not be much harvested, while ripe palm fruit must be harvested. Palm oil processing from immature fruit yields only a very low oil. The crops (palm bunches and fruit) are collected in the shade and easily transported. In transport, palm bunches or palm fruits should be maintained so do not be injured or bruised, because on the fruit wounds or bruises, development of free fatty acids tended to rapidly increase during oil processing. The crops should be immediately brought to the factory to be weighing & sorting bunches, as a preliminary stage prior to the processing of palm oil. Sorting aims to determine the quality of crops (raw material). Weighing aims to calculate the yield, determine the efficiency of extraction of oil processing, as well as determining wage of picker. After the sorting, spraying water is done on the palm bunches to clean soil or other dirt on the bunches.

Related archieves:
Corn oil
Sunflower oil
Sesame oil processing
Virgin coconut oil: processing, quality and benefits

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