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Using a Strong Anion-Exchange Resin to Deacidify Red Palm Oil

Cuevas, Maitê S., Deboni, Taiana M., Mielke Neto, Paulo, Damasceno, Fabiolla S., Mota, Rafael V., da Silva, Luiza H. M., Rodrigues, Christianne E. C., Meirelles, Antonio J. A.
The journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society 2013 v.90 no.10 pp. 1589-1597
acidity, acids, anion exchange, atmospheric pressure, carotenoids, distillation, free fatty acids, palm oils
This work aims to evaluate the use of an alternative process to deacidify palm oil using a strong anion-exchange resin (Amberlyst A26 OH). The effects of the feed flow rate and the free fatty acids content in the feed stream were investigated by measuring breakthrough curves for bleached palm oil dissolved in n-propanol. The resin had sufficient capacity and affinity to remove palmitic and oleic acids (98–99 %). The bed utilization efficiency can be optimized by choosing lower flow rates for oils with low levels of acidity, while higher flow rates can be used for oils with higher free fatty acids content. The ion-exchange process can be used to obtain deacidified red palm oil, while preserving carotenoid and tocopherol/tocotrienol content. This alternative process has the advantage of occurring under mild conditions (44.0 ± 0.8 °C and atmospheric pressure) when compared with the conditions used in molecular distillation (150.0–170.0 °C and 2.7–3.3 Pa).