Malaysian firm Carotina SDN. BHD has been awarded US patent 6177114 for a process for refining edible oils, especially palmolein, so as to retain maximum carotene and vitamin E, while eliminating free fatty acids. This is an improvement over the group’s 1999 US patent 5932261.
Others active in this field are: SKW Trostberg AG, Praxair Technology Inc., General Mills Inc., Procter & Gamble, Palm Oil Research & Development Board.
A process for the production of a natural carotene rich refined and deodorized oil by subjecting the oil to a pressure of less than 0.060 mbar and to a temperature of less than 200° C., wherein the process includes distilling the oil in a short-path distiller at a temperature range between about 160° C. to about 290° C. and at pressures of 0.003 mbar to 0.08 mbar and removing free fatty acids (FFA) in the oil by condensation within the distiller. The FFA is removed by subjecting the mixture of the oil and the FFA to an internal condenser system operating at a temperature greater than the melting point of FFA in the oil. The process yields in refined, deodorized oil, in particular palm oil where the carotene and Vitamin E contained the feed oil is substantially retained in the processed oil.
First of 22 Claims:
A process for the production of a natural carotene rich, refined and deodorized oil, said process comprising:
a) subjecting crude oil to a pressure of less than 0.060 mbar and a temperature of less than 200° C.;
b) distilling said crude oil at a commercial scale rate in a short-path distiller at a temperature range between about 160° C. to about 200° C. and at pressures between about 0.003 mbar to about 0.08 mbar to produce a distilled oil and free fatty acid (FFA) mixture; and
c) removing FFA in the oil by condensation within the distiller to produce a natural carotene rich refined and deodorized oil containing a minimum of 90% of the carotene and vitamin E present in the crude oil and containing less than 0.1% of FFA.
By Navroz Havewala, just-food.com correspondent