Edible oil refining

We offer a selection of minerals to improve dewaxing, filtration and removal of soaps and trace metal contaminants in edible oil refining to improve productivity and reduce spent filter cake and oil loss.
Oils in glass bottles

Dewaxing of edible oils

Celite® and Harborlite®/Europerl® diatomite and perlite filter aids for removal of waxes

Some edible oils, such as sunflower oil, have a high concentration of dissolved waxes, which, if not removed during the refining process can end up in the final packaged oil, which can then form an unwanted deposit in the bottle and make the oil cloudy. 

Refiners remove these waxes during the refining process by a controlled chilling process which precipitates these waxes so they can then be removed by a filtration step. Inclusion of Celite or Harborlite/Europerl filter aids can speed up the rate at which these waxes are precipitated and also ensure that they can be removed during the filtration stage efficiently and effectively. 

Our Celite 545 Vegetable Oil (VO) range is a high-permeability diatomite grade specifically designed for use in the edible oil industry. Filter plates in this application quickly become blocked and so have to be manually removed and power-cleaned. By careful selection of particle size distribution, C545 VO allows users to reduce the number of times they need to carry out such a manual cleaning of the filter plates, thus reducing manual handling and plant downtime.

Optimisation of color removal in edible oils

Other edible oils which have lower wax levels and so do not need a dewaxing process, for example soya, still undergo a bleaching (color-removal) step to produce an oil more acceptable to the market. This is achieved by inclusion of a mineral bleaching clay, which then has to be removed by subsequent filtration steps. While effective at removing color, these bleaching clays have poor filtration characteristics, giving short filtration cycle lengths. Again, inclusion of a Celite or Harborlite/Europerl filter aid at these stages can improve the performance of this filtration step, thus extending the filtration cycle/batch length.

Replace silica gel and magnesium silicate in edible oil refining

CynerSorb® two-in-one filter aids

Depending on the method of refining, edible oils might contain traces of soaps, phosphorus and other trace metals which need to be removed before packaging. This is often achieved using a silica gel or magnesium silicate mineral adsorbent - which also have to then be removed via filtration. Like the bleaching clay described above, these also have poor filtration characteristics. 

Rather than add another mineral filter aid to improve the filtration process, We have developed a surface-engineered diatomite to replace these silica gels and magnesium silicates, thus providing an adsorbent and filtration capability in a single mineral. This simplifies the process, extending filter cycle length and reducing spent filter cake and oil loss.

Our CynerSorb product line was developed to be a two-in-one solution to replace silica gels and magnesium silicates in edible oil refining.  

The CynerSorb range uses a diatomite filter aid base – meaning it has all the filtration characteristics of a diatomite. Our engineers have successfully surface-engineered the individual diatomite particles to provide necessary adsorption functionality. As a result, the CynerSorb range can be used as a two-in-one solution fulfilling both the absorption and filtration functions. 

Our CynerSorb range can be used to eliminate bleaching earth where no color removal is required, or to significantly reduce dosing rates where some bleaching is necessary.

Application specific benefits

  • Excellent filtration characteristics: allows for the reduction or removal of current filter aid and increases production capacity 
  • More effective than current solutions at removing soaps, phospholipids, trace metals and polar contaminants  
  • Works synergistically with bleaching earth: allows significant reduction of bleaching earth addition 
  • Reduces oil loss
  • Has been shown to reduce chill haze formation in high value oils

All our filtration products are FCC approved, and Imerys meets all regulatory requirements. For further information please contact our team.