Simulation of thin-film deodorizers in palm oil refining

Roberta Ceriani, Antonio J.A. Meirelles, Rafiqul Gani

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


As the need for healthier fats and oils (natural vitamin and trans fat contents) and interest in biofuels are growing, many changes in the world's vegetable oil market are driving the oil industry to developing new technologies and recycling traditional ones. Computational simulation is widely used in the chemical and petrochemical industries as a tool for optimization and design of (new) processes, but that is not the case for the edible oil industry. Thin-film deodorizers are novel equipment developed for steam deacidification of vegetable oils, and no work on the simulation of this type of equipment could be found in the open literature. This paper tries to fill this gap by presenting results from the study of the effect of processing variables, such as temperature, pressure and percentage of stripping steam, in the final quality of product (deacidified palm oil) in terms of final oil acidity, the tocopherol content and neutral oil loss. The simulation results have been evaluated by using the response surface methodology. The model generated by the statistical analysis for tocopherol retention has been validated by matching its results with industrial data published in the open literature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Food Process Engineering
Issue numbersuppl. 1
Pages (from-to)208-225
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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