Vegetable lecithins are by-products of the production of soybean, sunflower and rapeseed oil. As natural emulsifying agents with first-class technological and nutritional-physiological properties, these lecithins are highly valued in the food industry in particular.
Alternative pretreatment for higher added value in the crushing plant
Today, already more than 800 million people consume products daily which contain lecithin. More and more synthetic emulsifying agents and stabilisers are being replaced by lecithin. GEA process know-how ensures high lecithin quality and offers alternative pre-treatment for higher added value in the crushing plant. This is also highlighted by GEA at this year’s oils + fats exhibition, 11 – 15 September in Munich at hall C1, booth 102.
Separation technology from GEA for high-quality lecithin
High-quality lecithins are characterized by a clear, bright color. This quality feature is requested especially in the production of foodstuffs, but also in many other applications. That means that solids content is decisive for the quality of your lecithin. But it is not simply getting the solids out of the process that makes for premium lecithin, it is the stage in which you remove them. The earlier you get them out of your process, the better the quality. For this reason, the ideal solution is to integrate miscella clarification already into your extraction stage. Only this early separation of solids from the miscella reduces the effects of thermal strain. The more solids you process through the second and third distillation stages the darker the color of your lecithin.
GEA clarifiers convince economically and safety-related
Miscella clarification with GEA clarifiers does not only produce brighter lecithin. Moreover, it is distinctly more efficient than crude oil clarification. On account of the integration in the extraction stage, there are no oil losses and no waste water is produced. Another advantage is that filter aids are not required. It also keeps the distillation equipment clean. Usually, neither a cleaning during the year nor an increase of steam pressure to compensate fouling is necessary. GEA clarifiers for miscella clarification have a gas-tight design with nitrogen blanketing for reliable explosion protection. People and production are protected safely. The integration of the clarifier takes up only little space and additional operating staff is not required. These advantages also make miscella clarification extremely economical. If integration of miscella clarification is not possible, crude oil clarification is the next best choice. The clarification of the crude oil takes place after distillation. The advantage of this process setup is that the centrifuge is installed outside the explosion protected zone. Thus, you can use a standard centrifuge without any additional explosion protection design features and nitrogen blanketing.
New generation of GEA RSC clarifier
GEA centrifuges have been at home in the edible oil industry for decades. The new generation of GEA RSC clarifier series is ideally suited for lecithin processes. Robust, long-lasting and with special features for optimal process control and product quality. To mention two features, for example the hydrohermetic feed protects the product from exposure to high shearing forces through gentle product feed and the hydrohermetic vapour seal prevents vapours in the inlet space from causing turbidity in the oil.
GEA PerformancePlus – Predicitve maintenance for 24/7 production
This service model has been developed especially for industrial sectors which depend on trouble-free production round the clock. Plants in the edible oil industry operate 24/7 throughout the entire year. Unintentional machine breakdowns have to be ruled out as far as possible. GEA PerformancePlus ensures availability with an intelligent and economic approach. A constant access to historical and up-to-date measured data give full control over the entire process cycle and the historical condition of the plant.