Global Technical Support Desmet Ballestra, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The crude oil from the solvent extraction process contains water soluble components, primarily comprised of phospholipids, which need to be removed from the oil to enable minimum precipitation and settling during oil transport and long-term storage. The water degumming process involves adding water to the crude oil, hydrating the water-soluble components, and then removing the majority of the water-soluble components via centrifugal separation. The light phase after centrifugal separation is the crude degummed oil, and the heavy phase after centrifugal separation is a combination of water, water-soluble components and entrained oil, collectively referred to as “wet gums”. The composition of the wet gums produced by the water degumming process is approximately 50% moisture, 35% water soluble content, 15% entrained oil and trace meal fines. There is an oil loss of 0.5-1.0% of the crude soybean oil during the centrifugal separation due to some entrained oil passing with the wet gums. Enzymatic Gums Deoiling is a patented solution that can reclaim a portion of the entrained oil from the wet gums and simultaneously convert some of the phospholipids into diglycerides and fatty acids, also recoverable with the oil.