Edible Fat and Oil Processing
Industry: Food & Beverage, Pharmaceuticals
Products: Conductivity, pH, Gas Density Process Analyzers
There are several suppliers of oil and fat products used for edible purposes. These products include, but are not limited to olive oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, lard, shortening, butter, and margarine. The raw materials for these products include animal by-products, fleshy fruits (palm and olive), and oilseeds. The crude fats and oils from these sources are recovered using a number of methods such as rendering, pressing, and extracting with solvents. Some oils, such as virgin olive oil, are ready for consumption after this initial step (pressing), while others require additional processing. The extent of fat and oil processing depends on the source, quality, and nature of the end-use.
The growing demand, in the United States especially, for bland-tasting, stable oils, and shortenings for the end-user has driven the development of extensive processing techniques. The constituents of crude fats and oils that contribute to unwanted flavor and color are free fatty acids, waxes, color pigments, phospholipids (gums), oxidized products, metal ions,
and carotenoids. Many of these undesirables can be removed by Alkali refining.
Alkali refining is the removal of these unwanted items by a chemical reaction with an alkali (caustic soda). This process is completed by a four-step process: Conditioning, Neutralization, Washing, and Drying. The fats are heated between 40º and 85ºC and treated with an aqueous solution of sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate. Conditioning transforms non-hydrate phospholipids into their hydrate form by breaking down metal/phosphatide complexes with a strong acid. In neutralization the removal of free fatty acids and residual gums takes place. Washing is the removal of residual gums by hot water. And drying is the removal of moisture under a vacuum.
Inductive conductivity can be used to provide a continuous, on-line indication of the aqueous Alkali solution concentration. The aqueous emulsion formed by the impurities is drawn off the bottom of the tank (in batch refining) or centrifuged off (in continuous refining). After alkali refining, the oil is usually washed with water to remove any residual alkali or emulsion. Measuring the conductivity of this wash water can indicate its quality. Clean water with low dissolved solids will exhibit low conductivity.
Also known as degumming, water refining consists of treating the crude oil with a small amount of water. “Degumming” is where phosphotites in the oil are hydrated with water and then removed by separating in the centrifugal separators. Degummed oil is then subject to neutralization with caustic soda where the free fatty acids are converted into residual gums and are separated in hermetic separators. The neutralized oil is then washed and dried.
The “gummy” emulsion of phospholipids created by the treatment with water is then centrifuged off. In the case of corn and soybean oil, this emulsion can be dried to produce a substance known as lecithin, which is used as an emulsifier in many applications. Because of this, the water used in the degumming process needs to be of high quality. Any impurities in the water will end up in the product after the drying process. Once again, conductivity can provide a low maintenance indication of water quality.
Most fats, even after refining, have characteristic flavors and odors, and vegetable fats especially have a relatively strong taste that is foreign to that of butter and is considered undesirable. To produce a tasteless, butter-like fat, these oils may undergo deodorization. To do so steam is blown through the heated oil to distill the volatile components responsible for these flavors and odors. There will need to be water, clean water, to generate steam. pH and conductivity measurements of the feed water are mandatory in this process to ensure the protection of the process equipment from corrosion and scaling. Other than water, heat is needed to generate the steam. Proper control of excess oxygen in flue gas allows the boiler to be operated efficiently and safely.
For many purposes, the oil should be solid, or semi-solid (margarine and shortenings). The process that converts liquid oils to higher-melting solids is called hydrogenation. The process consists of dispersing hydrogen atoms to double bonds of a molecule through heated oil in the presence of a catalyst. Cylinders from a vendor may supply the hydrogen, but some plants produce it on-site. This usually involves the electrolysis2 of water to form oxygen and hydrogen. It is critical for the water used in the process to be pure. Contacting conductivity can be used to ensure the quality of the water to prevent damage to the expensive equipment used to generate the hydrogen. The purity of the hydrogen used in this process is critical, both for the product quality, and the process efficiency. Gas density can be used to measure the purity of the hydrogen gas leaving the generation system.
There are many points in the processing of edible fats and oils that benefit from the use of analytical measurements. Inductive conductivity, contacting conductivity, gas density, and pH can be utilized to increase the quality of the end product, as well as protecting expensive processes.
Conductivity Measurement System:
Process Liquid Analyzer:
2-wire FLXA202 Conductivity Analyzer
4-wire FLXA402 Conductivity Analyzer
pH Measurement Sensor Selection:
For pH measurements, the FU24 All-in-One pH/ORP sensor is the best solution. By incorporating the successful Yokogawa patented bellow system integrated into the FU24 electrode, the built-in bellows ensure immediate interior pressure equalization to the outside pressure, making the sensor virtually insensitive to external pressure variations and potential plugging.
Digital smart SENCOM sensor can be used.
Conductivity Measurement Sensor Selection:
For measurements of low conductivity, contacting sensors are recommended such as the Yokogawa SC4A and the SC42 series. For cleaning and rinse processes, inductive conductivity offers the best solutions with a minimum of maintenance.
Inductive/Concentration Measurement Sensor Selection:
With the inductive conductivity, ISC40 series, one sensor can measure the full range of conductivity from 0-2000 mS/Cm. Steam sterilization capability is possible since the measurements can be performed at process solution temperatures of -10 to 130°C and pressures no greater than 2 MPa (20 kgf/cm2).
All of Yokogawa sensors can be installed online, retractable, or flow-thru, depending on which installation the customer requirements. Material construction for Yokogawa sensors and holder may vary, but typically is 316 SST.
Food & Beverage
The food and beverage industry must produce safe, high-quality foods and beverages for consumers. In addition to quality control, the manufacturing processes include many challenges such as managing ingredients, improving efficiency and handling global environmental issues. Yokogawa leverages its decades of technological expertise to help customers build and operate the ideal factory.
Under continual pressure to increase profitability, maintain government compliance, and meet emerging market opportunities, the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry faces unique challenges that require unique solutions. As one of the world’s leading industrial automation suppliers, Yokogawa is poised and prepared to deliver those solutions, creating individualized lean manufacturing techniques that deliver consistent, measurable results.
Related Products & Solutions
All-in-One pH/ORP Sensor Series FU20 and FU24
The FU20 and FU24, all-in-one pH and ORP, sensors show how Yokogawa applies the motto "Simple is best" to sensor technology.
High Conductivity Sensors ISC40/SC42
- High Conductivity Sensors ISC40/SC42
- Measure aqueous solution conductivity to detect water impurities
- Precision sensors and instruments for extreme conditions
Percent Concentration Sensors ISC40
There are numerous industrial applications where measurements and/or control of a specific chemical strength of the process is critical for optimizing the production of the end product. These specific concentrations are obtained by mixing a full strength solution with water to achieve the desired percent concentration.
Pure Water (Low) Conductivity Sensors SC4A/SC42
Intended for the low conductivity applications found in the semi-conductor, power, water and pharmaceutical industries, these sensors are in a convenient compact style.
- Conductivity analyzers, meters, transmitters
- Continuous process measurement and monitoring
- Conductivity, resistivity, WIFI, demineralizer water, RO water, percent concentration, boiler blowdown, TDS
- Conductivity sensors and electrodes
- Process conductivity, resistivity, WIFI, demineralizer water, RO water, percent concentration, boiler blowdown, and TDS
- Retractable, flow thru, immersion, and direct insertion
Gas Density/Hydrogen Purity Analyzer
- Gas density analyzers/hydrogen gas analyzer
- Continuous measurement of gas density
- Other valuable parameters, including specific gravity, density of hydrogen gas, and percent concentration
pH and ORP Analyzers
pH and ORP meters, analyzers and transmitters are used for continuous process monitoring of pH and ORP to ensure water/product quality, monitor effluent discharge, batch neutralization, pulp stock, scrubbers, cooling towers, chemical, water/wastewater treatment and many other applications.
pH and ORP Sensors
- pH and ORP sensors
- Proper pH electrode/sensor selection critical for optimal measurement results
- Installation options include retractable, flow thru, immersion, and direct insertion
SENCOM™ SMART Digital Sensors
- SENCOM™ SMART Digital Sensors
- Maintain specific measurement/calibration data on integrated chip
- Data exchanged between sensor and process transmitter or PC using data management software like SPS24
Contact a Yokogawa Expert to learn how we can help you solve your challenges.