New enzyme to squeeze more oil out of soy, rapeseed gums

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Oil Biodiesel

Danisco is introducing a new enzyme for vegetable oil refiners which is claimed to increase yield during refining and enable more sustainable use of water and energy.

Vegetable oils commonly used in foods, such as soy and oilseed rape, tend to be subject to fluctuations in supply and price on the commodity market. This means that users on the manufacturing side are eager to glean maximum use from their oil.

For refiners, however, the challenge is obtaining the maximum amount of oil during the refining process. The Danish firm is presenting a new tool that it says improves the release of vegetable oil from the gum, the viscous mass that is obtained when the crude oil is treated with hot water.

Called LysoMax, the enzyme solution is added to the water during the first stage of refining the crudely pressed oil.

Aart Mareboer, business unit director of food and beverage enzymes at Danisco, told that the enzyme differs from previous and other enzymatic methods as these are applied to partly refined oil, one stage along in the process from when Danisco’s is used.

It is suitable for soy and rape refining, as these sources have high gum contents. Around 60m tonnes of these are produced each year. Other food oils with lower gum contents are palm oil, maize and sunflower, of which annual production is around 100m tonnes.

As well as increasing the yield, the enzyme is said to reduce water use by 50 per cent; and to allows temperatures to be lowered from 65-75 degrees centigrade to 55 degrees, thereby reducing energy use.

Mateboer said the water and energy use angle “is of key importance to our customers in a market producing around 60 million tonnes a year and with fluctuating oil prices.”

Moreover, the company says the enzyme has no impact on the quality of the oil, and does not require the refiner to invest in any special equipment.

LysoMax represents the first time Danisco has developed a product aimed at increasing yield in vegetable oil refining. From a genetically-refined source, the enzyme was in development for more than three years.

The company is marketing the enzyme to major oil refiners around the world, and especially in areas where soy and rape seed crushing are major industries, such as Argentina.

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