What Is Vegetable Oil Extraction?
Vegetable oil extraction is the process in which oil is isolated from the nuts or seeds of a plant. There are several methods that can be used to extract these oils, including expeller pressing, cold pressing, CO2 extraction, and solvent extraction. Solvent extraction is a popular method due to its cost-effectiveness and relative simplicity. This blog post will go over the basic steps of vegetable oil solvent extraction.
The Vegetable Oil Extraction Process
The first step in any vegetable oil extraction is cleaning. The nuts or seeds are passed over magnets to discharge trace metals. Then, they are cleaned to remove dirt and grime and hulled or shelled to eliminate all unneeded plant material.
- Crushing and Heating
Next, the nuts or seeds are crushed into a meal to maximize their surface area, which ultimately maximizes their oil yield. They are also heated to expedite the vegetable oil extraction procedure.
- Pressing and Extracting
The nut or seed meal is run through a press that slowly increases its pressure to squeeze out the oil, which is then collected through the slots of a slotted barrel. Generally, solvent extraction is also performed to increase the output of vegetable oil extraction. After being run through the press, the nut or seed meal is now an “oil cake”. This product is mixed with a solvent and heated, which isolates the remaining oil.
- Refining and Packaging
The final steps in the vegetable oil extraction process are refining and packaging the oil. To refine the oil, it is first heated and mixed with an alkaline solution like sodium hydroxide to extract unwanted fatty acids. Next, it is degummed, bleached if it will be used as cooking oil, winterized if it will be refrigerated, and deodorized to remove unwanted odor and flavor components. Smaller-scale producers sometimes want their oils to possess rich flavors and odors, and thus may opt-out of the deodorizing procedure. Finally, the oil is packaged, usually in glass or plastic bottles.
Where to Find Solvents for Extraction?
Are you interested in performing extractions to produce your own vegetable oils? If you are looking for solvents to assist in this process, you’ve come to the right place! Here at Extraction Grade Solvents, we offer several industrial-grade solvents that can be utilized for a variety of extraction processes, including vegetable oil extraction. In addition, our team of chemists can create custom solvents for those who need them. To learn more, please contact us today!