What is the most suitable processing cycle for crude palm oil to be processed into a fully edible oil for international exports?
Crude Palm Oil (CPO) in Malaysia is normally refined, bleached and deodorized by physical means to give Refined, Bleached Deodorized Palm Oil (RBD PO). A much smaller quantity is neutralized chemically (with sodium hydroxide solution) and then bleached and deodorized to give Neutralized Bleached, Deodorized Palm Oil (NBD PO), which some people prefer for certain specialized uses.
The physical process gives a by-product of high Free Fatty Acid (FFA) called Palm Fatty Acid Distillate (PFAD) and the chemical process gives the byproduct called palm acid oil (PAO) with a somewhat lower acidity than PFAD.
Palm Oil is a soft plastic fat of medium melting point (m.pt.) (33-39° C). In order to expand the range of its uses, very large quantities are fractionated by physical means to give a liquid or semi-liquid fraction (m.pt. 24° C max) called olein and a much harder fraction (m.pt.44° C min) called stearin.
Increasing quantities of standard olein are fractionated again to give double fractionated olein which remains liquid at lower temperatures (m.pt. 19° C max).This process also produces Palm Mid Fraction (PMF) which is used in all true Cocoa Butter Equivalents (CBEs) made in the West.
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