Application of coconut fiber and shell in the bleaching of soybean oil
Keywords:Adsorbents, Agricultural waste, Bleaching, Coconut, Soybean oil
The bleaching process is an important stage in the edible oil refining operation, and is carried out by using acid-activated bleaching earths. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of coconut fiber ash, shell ash, acid-activated fiber ash and acid-activated shell ash as compared to the commercial bleaching earth in the bleaching of neutralized soybean oil. Bleaching materials were added to neutralized oil at the concentration of 1% (w/v) with agitation under vacuum at 110 °C for 30 minutes. The values for red and yellow colors, carotenoids, chlorophylls, peroxide value, p-anisidine value, free fatty acid contents, copper and iron levels of the bleached samples were determined. The results indicated that all coconut-based adsorbents have been significantly more effective than commercial bleaching earth in reducing color and the greatest reductions in carotenoid (84.25%) and chlorophyll (82.30%) contents were obtained by using acid-activated fiber ash. The peroxide value for all treatments decreased. The amounts of iron and copper as peroxide compounds decreased considerably (44.59% and 23.53%) by using acid-activated fiber ash and acid-activated shell ash, respectively. Therefore, coconut fiber and shell as agricultural wastes which have been ignored in the past might be employed as effective agents to bleach crude oils, particularly soybean oil, in refining operations.
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