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Refining plant for vegetable oil and animal fats
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Key processes of oil extraction and application of edible oil extraction machines
Some edible oils, such as olive and sunflower oils, go through an extraction process called cold-pressing, where they obtain oils naturally by crushing oilseeds at room temperature. Other oil sources, however, undergo a step-by-step extraction process to produce clear and smooth oil.
First, mill the seeds. Next, heat the meals to facilitate the extraction process. The heated meal is then fed through a screw press. Pressure increases up to approximately 20,685 kilopascals to squeeze out the oils on the slots of the press, where you collect the oils. To extract additional oils on byproducts, apply solvents such as hexane.
Bleaching and oil quality
As a part of the refining process, you typically use bleaching to remove any minor constituents to improve the appearance of edible oils. If you follow this, though, you also end up removing some desirable constituents.
Bleaching removes components of manufactured oil that accelerate the rate of oxidation. This is evident in high temperatures, where the oil may develop off-flavors and a quick color change when you don’t remove these oil components. As a part of the oil enrichment process, you can add back desired components such as antioxidants such as tocopherols.
Health impacts of edible oil processing
While edible oils are still prevalent in most supermarkets, they also have health risks. For instance, edible oils that contain hexane (like sunflower and corn oils) can deplete some desired components such as fatty acids and antioxidants, it is also capable of creating trans fats. Due to this, there are healthy oil alternatives, such as cold-pressed plant oils.
These are manually pressed or extracted from the plant. Most importantly, it does not undergo any chemical processes and does not need any harmful additives to be created. Examples of cold-pressed oils are coconut oil, soybean oil, rapeseed oil, to name a few.
Unrefined oils hold a higher concentration of natural compounds
Unrefined oils do not undergo rigid processing; instead, they only need a few vegetable oil making equipment to be made. They also have a more pronounced flavor and a low smoke point. Therefore, consumers are leaning more to unrefined oils because they retain most of the natural components compared to processed oils.
The key difference, though, is that refined oils are processed to last longer than unrefined oils.