Common Solvents Used in Food Processing
The food processing industry is one of the largest and most complex industries, especially in the United States. This industry encompasses the production of dozens of food products, including but not limited to:
- Bakery goods
- Edible oils
- Fruits and vegetables
One of the most important factors in the production of food products is the use of specific solvents, food grade solvents, which are extremely important for effective and safe food processing.
What is a food grade solvent?
A food grade solvent is one that is used in the food processing industry and is either utilized in the production process or as an additive to prolong its shelf life or change its texture and flavor. Of course, these solvents are generally safe for consumption and are highly purified to ensure no contamination. Aside from food production, these solvents are also commonly utilized as additives in the cosmetics and skincare industries.
What are some examples of food grade solvents?
- Ethyl acetate
Though there are dozens of solvents approved for use in the food production industry, food grade ethanol is one of the most common solvents utilized, which can be attributed to its high purity and safety characteristics.
Ethanol is also effective in the chemical extraction processes, such as in the extraction of oil from plant materials like hemp, olives, and seeds. This process typically involves soaking the ground-up plant material in the solvent, which strips the desired components from the plant matter, followed by agitation and heating of the solvent to evaporate it from the container, leaving the desired oil or product behind. Ethanol specifically is a popular choice because of its versatility and ability to be used for the extraction of both water-soluble and oil-soluble fractions.
Interested in food processing solvents?
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