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Why does sunflower oil need to be deacidified in the refining process? How to deacidify?

September 23, 2021

Unrefined sunflower oil contains some free fatty acids (hereinafter referred to as FFA). These FFAs will cause sunflower oil to produce a pungent odor, thereby affecting the flavor of sunflower oil. More importantly, FFA will promote the oxidative rancidity of sunflower oil. It is also a catalyst for the hydrolysis of oils, which will weaken the stability of sunflower oil, which is not conducive to the consumption and storage of the oil. Therefore, in the sunflower oil refining process, deacidification is required to remove the FFA in the sunflower oil.

 sunflower oil

There are two ways to deacidify sunflower oil: chemical deacidification and physical deacidification. Their operation methods are different, and the by-products produced are also different.

1. Chemical deacidification

The process of removing FFA from sunflower oil using the principle of acid-base neutralization is called chemical deacidification. Before deacidification, heat the sunflower oil to the specified temperature, and then add lye to neutralize the FFA. After a period of reaction, sedimentation and separation are carried out to remove the soapstock produced from the oil, and the deacidification section of sunflower oil is completed.

Soap stock is a by-product of chemical deacidification, and it is also a raw material for soap manufacturing.

 Sunflower seed oil deacidification process

2. Physical deacidification

Physical deacidification is a process of removing FFA using high temperature steam under vacuum conditions. Physical deacidification is carried out in the deodorization tower. The deodorizing tower is divided into two parts, the upper part is used to remove FFA, and the lower part is used to remove the odor in sunflower oil. After sunflower oil enters the deodorization tower, water vapor is introduced. FFA is removed according to the boiling point of fat and FFA.

Fatty acids can be obtained after physical deacidification. The market value of fatty acids is relatively high, and more profits can be obtained.

When choosing the deacidification method of sunflower oil, you need to consider factors such as the acid value of unrefined sunflower oil, the required by-products, and the investment cost. Only by taking into account the factors involved can you choose a deacidification method that suits you. As a edible oil production equipment manufacturer with more than ten years of experience, we can choose the deacidification method of sunflower oil for you according to your needs and investment costs. It should be noted that the sunflower oil refining equipment is a unified whole, and the equipment for a certain section cannot be selected. Only a certain section of the refining process is processed, and sunflower oil that meets the national standards cannot be obtained. If you need sunflower oil refining equipment, you can contact us, our staff will contact you within 24 hours after receiving the message.