Palm, soybean, rapeseed, and sunflower oils comprise 70% of the world’s edible vegetable oil supply. The palm kernel fractions, which have different compositions and properties, can be used either on their own or in combination with other vegetable oils for the production of varied edible products. Like palm oil, palm kernel oil can undergo fractionation to yield palm kernel stearin, which is a valuable component in the production of sharp-melting lauric-based cocoa butter substitutes. Minor components such as tocopherols, tocotrienols, carotenoids, phosphatides, sterols, triterpenic and aliphatic alcohols comprise <1% of an oil’s constituents. Palm olein is the main source of oil used in Malaysian households and catering establishments, whereas in temperate European countries, sunflower, peanut, or winterized cottonseed oils are highly regarded. Palm oil and its fractions have proved to be very versatile oils, finding applications in almost all areas in which fat is used in edible foods.
Palm oil fractionation process mainly include crystallization and fliter.Palm oil fractionation plant goes through the control of palm oil cooling and crystallization to make separation of palm oil into low melting point liquid (soft fat) and high melting solid (sterin).
The crystallization process follows in the palm oil fractionation process. This process involves the removal of high-melting glycerides that would cause the liquid oils to become viscous and cloudy at room temperatures.
There are three most important factors in palm oil fractionation process : time, agitation and temperature. Low temperatures will cause the components to separate due to supersaturation while formation of smaller crystals will be facilitated by agitation. With gradual decreases in temperatures, longer crystals will be formed with time.
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