The function of bleaching earths in the processing of palm, palm kernel and coconut oils
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The results presented in the literature, which attempt to elucidate the mechanisms by which triglyceride oils are bleached by earths, are reviewed. The impact of this work and how the mechanistic proposals affect changes in oil properties are considered, with particular emphasis on the needs of the palm oil processor. Important properties include color, metals and phosphorus content and oxidative stability of the oil.
Investigations made in our own laboratories have been aimed at elucidating the effect of varying physical and chemical properties of the bleaching earth on the quality of bleached and deodorized oils. Techniques used in this work are pore-size distribution, surface area, scanning and transmission electron microscopy and a variety of chemical and X-ray analysis methods.
The ability to vary such parameters in montmorillonite clays by alteration of process conditions to give materials with specific performance characteristics is demonstrated.
Comparisons are made between acid-activated montmorillonites and other clay types.
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