Bestfoods inventor Aurelia Maza proposes extrusion followed by extraction in her US patent 6201142 for 'Recovering Corn Oil from Corn Germ.'

This field was earlier dominated by CPC and currently by EPE Inc. The only other player now is Anderson International.

Abstract: An efficient process for recovering high quality corn oil from corn germ. The process involves pre-treating corn germ by Rehydration, conditioning and, optionally flaking. This is followed by extrusion, which is the core operation in the preparation of corn germ for corn oil recovery. Water is provided up front in the process, prior to extrusion. Providing water up front reduces generation of fines and improves friction within the extruder, thereby allowing the material to move along and improving overall efficiency and streamlining of the process. The oil released from corn germ by this process is of high quality and high yield.

First of 21 Claims: A process of recovering oil from wet mill process corn germ comprising extruding said corn germ as the principal means for oil release, followed by removing oil from said extruded corn germ by extraction.

By Navroz Havewala, correspondent