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Sunflower Oil Refining Process

Sunflower oil is very important edible oil these days. Sunflower seeds are produced in many countries including Ukraine, Russia, China, Bulgaria, Romania, United republic of Tanzania, Turkey, Hungry, France, and Argentina etc.

Goyum is a leading turnkey project manufacturer, supplier and exporter of Sunflower oil refining plant from India.

sunflower oil refining plant
Sunflower Oil Refining Plant
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Sunflower oil is widely used as cooking oil which is extracted by solvent extraction method or screw oil press method from sunflower seed.

Generally, Crude Sunflower oil have some undesirable oil-soluble & oil-insoluble impurities. These impurities are harmful for health & consumption and requires to remove. Sunflower Crude oil mainly contains hydratable & non-hydratable gums, free fatty acids, coloring pigments like Carotenoids, moisture, oxidative component like aldehyde & ketone, metallic element, waxes and other impurities.

Sunflower oil contains high amount of waxes comparatively to other soft oils so dewaxing is required in order to minimize the wax content.

Sunflower oil refining consists of the following sections

  1. Degumming
  2. Neutralisation
  3. Bleaching
  4. Dewaxing
  5. Deodorisation / De-acidification

Generally, refining of crude vegetable oil defined by two methods: Physical refining and chemical refining. However, it doesn’t matter what kind of refining method to be used, they all are done with the help of various equipments & machinery inside the refinery and all the oils extracted from oil seeds like Sunflower, Cottonseed, Peanuts, Sesame, Soybean etc. Follows these methods of refining.

Sunflower Oil Refining Process Flow Diagram
Sunflower Oil Refining Process Flow Diagram
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Degumming / Neutralization Section of Sunflower Oil Refining Process

The first step in refining involves the degumming of the Crude Sunflower Oil. Degumming is done for the treatment of the Phosphatides & other impurities. Technically, Degumming is the purification of the seed oil which normally contains impurities in colloidal state& dissolve in them.

While doing degumming of crude sunflower oil process, we remove hydratable and non hydratable gums by using Salt water, dilute acid such as phosphoric acid / Citric acid / oxalic acid / tartaric acid.

The hydratable gums are insoluble in oil and can remove using water by centrifugation method. The non hydratable gums are soluble in oil and can remove using acid by making them hydratable or insoluble in oil.

Non – Hydratable gums are Phosphatidylethanolamine and magnesium & calcium salt of Phosphatidic acid.

Goyum follows different type of degumming processes like Water Degumming/Acid Degumming/ Enzymatic Degumming. These processes are being selected based on methods of processing, chemicals used and the content of phosphatides in the crude vegetable oil.

Neutralization of degummed oil involves the reaction between free fatty acid and alkali solution such as sodium hydroxide /Potassium hydroxide. The result is formation of Sodium soap takes place and settled in the neutralizer machine and removed as a soap stock.

Chemical reaction involves in Neutralization process is mentioned below

chemical reaction

Bleaching Section of Sunflower Oil Refining Process

The bleaching of Sunflower oil is an essential part of the refining process of crude oils and fats after degumming / Neutralization. Originally the bleaching was only used to remove the color. Now a days bleaching process are used to remove coloring pigments as well as some undesirable impurities which are harmful to human consumption.

The Bleaching step is normally carried out after alkaline refining / Neutralization or Degumming. In this process we mainly remove the coloring pigments like carotenoids & chlorophyll, some oxidative products, soap traces, metals and residual phosphatides. All these compounds have adverse effect on quality and shelf life of oil, and therefore be needed to remove to make the product commercially attractive and long shelf life.

Goyum’s unique design of the bleacher keeps bleaching earth in full suspension due to which there is no dead areas inside the bleacher which in turn gives lower utility consumption. Since the bleaching process is carried out under controlled parameters, the good quality oil is guaranteed in Goyum Bleacher.

Dewaxing Section of Sunflower Oil Refining Process

Dewaxing of the Sunflower is required in order to reduce the cloud point of the refined sunflower oil. The small quantities of solids from oil are removed that would normally cause cloudiness of the oil. These substances can be saturated glycerides or waxes. Waxes are esters for fatty alcohol and fatty acid, which have a very low solubility in oil. There quantity is different in different oils.

Generally, varies in between 48-2000 ppm.

In order to obtain oil with good cold stability, the wax content needs to minimize with respect to the atmospheric temperature. In this process cooling rate & agitation are carefully controlled to promote the formation of nuclei that will serve as the sites for crystal growth.

In Winter season when the temperature is low, waxes appears in the oil causes haziness.

Winterization or dewaxing of Sunflower is necessary to produce salad oil.

Dewaxing of Bleached oil become essential, when we are going to use it as a Salad Oil. The oil normally becomes cloudy in 5-6 hour at room temperature because of presence of waxes but the salad oil remains clear after storage of 24 hrs. at 0°C if we do proper dewaxing.

Deodorization Section of Sunflower Oil Refining Process

The Deodorization or deacidification is actually stripping process in which a little amount of low pressure steam passes through hot oil. In Sunflower Oil Deodorization process various types of volatile molecule and odoriferous compound removed. This process carried out at very high temperature more than 200 degrees Celsius.

In Deodorisation process we also do thermal destruction of flavor and heat sensitive coloring pigments. A little amount of Coloring pigments is removed. Time play important role in this process, deodorization is the high temperature and high vacuum steam distillation process. It is used to remove high volatile and odoriferous material present in bleached oil.

If the Deodorization time is too short than some odoriferous compounds will remain in deodorized oil and resulting is the development of flavor again during storage of oil. if the Deodorization time is too long than oil can be polymerized due to high temperature and high vacuum.


Goyum is a well-known manufacturer of full-line sunflower oil processing plant, sunflower oil refining plant & oil mill machines. If you are interested in setting up an vegetable oil processing plant, refining plant, please let us know and we shall be pleased to send you the list of most suitable equipments with quotations once receive your inquiries. Just feel free to contact us!