Sterilization as the first step in palm fruit crushing is critical to the quality of the final product, palm oil. The main purposes of sterilization are as follows:
Passivate lipase activity and prevent the rise of free fatty acids
Makes the palm fruit easier to detach from the bunch
Softens the peel so oil can escape more easily
Nucleolus modulation to reduce nucleolus breakage in subsequent processes
The sterilization process uses a horizontal sterilizer, which injects about 3 bar of steam and cooks for 60 to 90 minutes. In recent years, with the development of technology, the sterilization process has gradually developed from an intermittent sterilization process (Figure 7) to a continuous sterilization process, improving operational efficiency and reducing labor and energy consumption.

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