Proven Sunflower Oil Refining Process to Better Refined Results

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Sunflower oil refining process is a mature technology, for sunflower oil refinery plant, want to stand out in the competitive market environment, innovation sunflower oil refining process becomes more and more important.

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This article focuses on the proven sunflower oil refinery process, providing relatively accurate process parameters, effectively improving the efficiency of sunflower oil refining, reducing oil refining losses and lowering production costs.

Whether you are an entrepreneur or an investor, in-depth knowledge of sunflower oil refining process and related sunflower oil refining machinery will help you achieve a profitable sunflower oil processing business.

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Essential Steps in the Sunflower Oil Refining Process

Crude sunflower oil contains more wax (0.06-0.2%), and the refining process generally requires dewaxing.
Secondly, refined sunflower oil is easy to oxidize, and antioxidants such as TBHQ (dosage 0.01%-0.02%) are usually needed for storage.

The sunflower oil refining process consists of 5 essential steps: degumming, deacidification, decolorization, deodorization and dewaxing process, each with a specific purpose and parameters.

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Sunflower Oil Refining Plant Process Flow Diagram for Reference

  • Ⅰ Hydration degumming process: Removing phospholipids to ensure the stability and transparency of sunflower oil.

The edible oil refinery process is mostly done by hydration degumming. A certain amount of hot water or other electrolyte solution is added to the hot crude sunflower oil with stirring, so that the colloidal impurities absorb water and coagulate and precipitate, thus separating from the oil. 

Understanding the following parameters is essential for optimum process effects in degumming of crude sunflower oil.

Sunflower oil hydration degumming process parameters:
► Hydration temperature 50~80℃, hydration time 15~30min.
► When adding phosphoric acid (concentration 85%), the dosage should be 0.05%~0.2% of the weight of sunflower oil. Adjust the dosage according to the actual phosphorus content of your sunflower oil.

  • Ⅱ Deacidification by alkaline refining process: Removes free fatty acids (FFAs), which cause the oil to develop an unpleasant odor and shorten its shelf life.

Sunflower oil is mainly deacidified by alkali refining process, while other methods include distillation deacidification (physical refining method). The main alkali used for the reaction is sodium hydroxide.

A certain amount of alkali and a certain temperature of crude sunflower oil for neutralization reaction, the resulting fatty acid sodium salt precipitation and oil separation. In addition, fatty acid sodium salt can also adsorb other impurities, so alkali refining process has a comprehensive role of degumming, solid impurities, decoloring and so on. 

The effect of the deacidification process is closely related to the amount of alkali.

Sunflower oil alkali refining deacidification process conditions are: 
► Lye concentration of 6% ~ 12%, the theoretical amount of alkali according to the calculation of the acid price of crude oil to determine; 
► Excess alkali 0%~0.2%, specifically according to the quality of the crude sunflower oil, refined sunflower oil quality, refining process and loss of a comprehensive balance. 
► Alkali refining neutralization temperature 50~90℃; neutralization time 10~30min.

  • Ⅲ Adsorption decolorization process: Removal of pigments and other impurities from crude sunflower oil

Certain substances with strong adsorption capacity (adsorbents) are added to sunflower oil, and the color pigments and other impurities in the oil are removed by adsorption under heating. 

In the selection of sunflower oil decolorization process conditions, the decolorization effect, the retention of nutrients and the loss of oil refining process should be considered.

Selection and dosage of decolorizing agent for sunflower oil: Auvergne clay or activated white clay; the color of sunflower oil is lighter, the addition ratio of decoloring agent can be appropriately reduced.
► Decoloring temperature: 90℃; decolouring time: about 20min.

  • Ⅳ Deodorization process: Remove the odor substances in sunflower oil, improve the smoke point and flavor.

At present, the most widely used and most effective is vacuum steam deodorization method. In the deodorization pot, with superheated steam (under vacuum conditions) in contact with the heated crude sunflower oil, the water vapor is saturated by the odor components volatilized, and removed according to the ratio of its partial pressure to escape.

► The general control temperature is 230~270℃.
► The operating pressure is generally controlled at 0.27-0.40kPa.
► Usually intermittent deodorization takes 3~8h, continuous deodorization is 15~120min.

  • Ⅴ Dewaxing process: Winterization and crystallization can remove wax in crude sunflower oil and prevent turbidity of refined sunflower oil.

Dewaxing is the key technology of sunflower oil refining. According to the difference of melting point between wax and oil and the nature that the solubility of wax in oil becomes smaller with the decrease of temperature, crystal wax is precipitated by cooling and separated by filtration or centrifugation.

► Crystallization temperature: 20-30°C for more than 8h.
► Crystallization temperature: 6-10℃ for more than 10h.
► Stirring speed: 10-13r/min.

The sunflower oil refining process introduced in this article has been verified by sunflower oil refinery plant, which is mature and reliable, with reasonable equipment structure and low operation and maintenance cost. The limited space of the article only briefly described some of the main points of the process. In fact, sunflower oil refining process is a complex process.

You are welcome to contact us for more information on process details and refining equipment. We are looking forward to communicating with you in depth and providing you with professional technical support and high quality sunflower oil refinery machine solutions.

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Precision Sunflower Oil Refining Machine Solutions

On the basis of having a reliable sunflower seed refinery process, the choice of edible oil refining line is crucial because it directly affects the quality of final sunflower seed oil.

The following table shows the equipment used in sunflower oil refining process, including small batch sunflower oil refining machines and continuous refining equipment.

Sunflower Oil Refining Equipment List
Sunflower oil hydration and degumming equipment 1. Hydration tank (intermittent, same as alkali refining pot)
2. Vacuum dryer
3. Desolventizer (dedicated to remove residual solvents from leaching branched hairy sunflower oil)
Sunflower alkaline refining and deacidification machines 1. Alkali refining pot
2. Water washing pot
3. Butterfly blade centrifuge
Sunflower oil decolorization equipment
Vacuum decolorization tank/Decolorization tower
Sunflower oil deodorization equipment Deodorization Pot/Deodorization Tower
Deodorization Pot/Deodorization Tower
1. Crystallization tank
2. Plate heat exchanger
3. Plate and frame filter

The equipment listed above is for reference only, contact us for customized sunflower oil extraction and refining machine solutions!

Advanced Sunflower Oil Refinery Plant Machines Manufacturer - ABC Machinery

We specialize in the research, development and production of efficient and environmentally friendly edible oil sunflower oil refining equipment, aiming to provide customers with the best quality refining solutions. Our equipment adopts advanced degumming, deacidification and deodorization processes, featuring high efficiency, intelligence and energy saving.

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Mini 1TPD Sunflower Oil Refinery Plant at Factory Price

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30TPD Large Continuous Sunflower Oil Refinery Plant Project

  • Equipped with advanced PLC and SCADA system, ABC's cooking oil refinery equipment realizes full automatic control, which can realize full monitoring and control from raw material input to finished product output.
  • ABC's vegetable oil refinery plant also adopts the design concept of energy saving and environmental protection, through the new type of heat exchanger and high-efficiency condenser, maximize the recycling of energy and reduce energy consumption.

References and Further Reading

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