Palm Kernel is the bye-product of Palm Oil Processing. The Oil Palm fruit when processed yields Palm oil,Fiber and Palm nuts. When you crack the nut , you will have Palm kernel and Shell. Palm Kernels are referred to as the edible part of a Palm nut that has been cracked and removed from inside the cell.
The importance of Palm kernel is derived from the economic importance of the bye-products which are Palm kernel Oil (P.K.O) and Palm Kernel Cake (P.K.C)
Two types of Palm Kernel Oil:
- The White Kernel Oil: This type of Palm kernel oil is extracted from cracked nuts which is later crushed and pressed to obtain a jelly. This is used at homes and industries for making soap, body cream and lubricants .
- The Black Palm Kernel Oil: Is extracted by burning Palm Kernel at high temperature , a jelly is obtained used in making body lotions.
Benefits and Uses of Palm Kernel Oil.
Palm kernel Oil has both edible and non -edible applications or uses. Palm kernel oil is highly saturated and can be hydrogenated to produce other products for the food industries.
Palm Kernel Oil has multiple uses. They include-
- Food and Bakery Industries.Palm Kernel oil is used in making margarine, chocolate and other food related products.It is used as vegetable oil for cooking , frying different kinds of food such plantain chips, fish,stew etc.
- Fuel and Bio diesel: It can be used as an alternative fuel in lighting lamps. Also, it can be combined with petrol diesel used in powering diesel engines.
- Cosmetics: Palm Kernel Oil is used as a raw material in the industry to produce candles , glue,printing inks. The oil is used as lubricants and emulsifiers ingredients , ingredients in making paints.
- Soap and Detergent Industry: Palm oil is used by soap industry in making soaps and detergent. The sludge is small bye-product used in making black soap and other kinds of soap.
- Cosmetics: Palm kernel oil is used in large quantity in the production of body creams and all kinds of creams.
- Residue cakes from Palm oil extraction are used in Livestock feed formulation
Palm Kernel Oil Extraction.
Palm Kernel Oil Extraction requires operations that are specialized and handled by different processors. The process involves introducing Palm Kernel nuts, crushing the nuts and heating the seeds to release oil.
Palm Kernel is an important byproduct from Oil Palm mill. Palm Kernels are the edible part of a Palm nut that has been cracked and removed from inside the shell. Palm kernel oil contain about 47% -50% by weight of oil that has a different properties from Palm oil. Its extraction can be done on a small scale or a large scale depending on the machines being used. It is capital intensive and the demand for the oil is very high. Palm Kernel oil extraction is a goldmine agribusiness that can bring in huge turn over.
Palm Kernel Oil Extraction are grouped into 3 methods , namely:
- The traditional Methods
- Mechanical method
- Chemical or Solvent method
- The Traditional Method: This procedure is labour intensive and involves a lot of strategies or procedures . Basically it involves three procedures which include:
- Roasting Method: This method involves heating the palm kernel until it ruptures .
- Put the Palm Kernel into a clay pot .
- Place them on a fire .
- Allow THEM to heat up, when the temperature gets high , The Palm kernel will begin to produce oil
- Then collect the oil Extracted.
- Traditional Pressure Method: this implies applying pressure manually by pressing out the oil from the Palm Kernel . It requires a lot of exertion. They include-
a) Hand Pressing: The Palm Kernels are crushed , wrapped using clean clothes and hand pressed to squeeze out the oil from the Palm Kernel.
b)Stone and Lever Pressing: The Palm Kernel are crushed and wrapped in a clean material and pressed using stones and levers.
d) Traditional Aqueous Methods: The Palm Kernel is first crushed. The Crushed palm kernel are boiled in water to liberate oil which floats on the surface of the water. The oil floating on the surface is scooped with a cup into another pot. The recovered oil is heated to remove the water.
2) Chemical or Solvent Extraction Method:
Chemical or Solvent Extraction Process is divided into 3 main unit procedure which are:
- Palm Kernel Pre-treatment
- Oil Extraction
- Solvent Recovery from the oil
Crushed or ground kernels are treated with solvent which washes the oil out of the crushed or ground kernel.The pure oil is obtained by evaporating of the solvent.
Mechanical Extraction implores 3 process-
- Kernel Pre-treatment
- Screw pressing
- Oil Clarification
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