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In the main producing countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Africa or the Southern American states in particular, palm oil is in demand not only as a raw material in the production of foods, cosmetics or cleaning agents, but also as an edible oil. In order to render the palm oil obtained edible, it has to be refined to remove by-products. Pre-treating the crude oil with acid and hot water saves bleaching earth in the subsequent physical deacidification process and thus reduces overall costs.
Simple acid degumming adds a little phosphoric or citric acid and hot water to the palm oil. This degumming process produces a heavy phase consisting of phosphatides, proteins, pigments and other unwanted substances which can then be separated by a separator. Once pre-treated in this way, the palm oil is first vacuumdried and bleached.
To remove the free fatty acids it still contains, the palm oil is then physically deacidified in the deodorization process. In this process, the free fatty acids are separated by distillation, finally producing a refined palm oil in perfect eating quality.
In addition to its degumming action, pre-treatment by simple acid degumming using separators from GEA Westfalia Separator Group has the economic advantage that less bleaching earth is required in the subsequent bleaching step.