The plant processes mostly sunflower oilseeds. The main end-products are: raw oil, bulk refined oil, bottled oil. The by-products are: grist, fat acids and pellets. The capacity for sunflower seeds processing is 500 tons/day.
Only seeds which do not exceed 8% humidity and 1.5% impurities are processed. After the post-cleaning, the seeds are introduced into the oil press. By pressing, crude oil, broken husks and press cakes (which still contain 18-22% oil) are obtained.
The crude oil undergoes a process of purification whereby the seed debris is eliminated by decanting and filtering; thereafter, the oil is dried and cooled down to 40-50°C and transferred to external crude oil tanks.
The broken husks, which still contain 18-22% oil, undergo a process of extraction which consists in diluting the oil of the husks with n-hexane. The process of extraction results in miscella (a mixture of n-hexane and oil) and grist containing 25-50% n-hexane. Miscella obtained by the process of extraction is distilled in order to separate the oil from the solvent (n-hexane).
The debenzylation process consists of the elimination of the solvent (n-hexane) and of the humidity from the grist by heating. Thus, the grist which is obtained contains 1% oil, 9% humidity and maximum 0.1% n-hexane.
The crude vegetable oil obtained by pressing or by extraction is refined so as to improve certain characteristics, such as: color, free acidity, taste and smell, transparency, preservability, etc. In this way, the oil becomes fit for culinary uses or for other technical purposes, as it already has the organoleptic features required by the consumers. The stability of oil over longer periods of storage is also increased.
The stages in the operation of the 1l and 2l PET bottling lines are: PET bottle blowing, transporting the bottles to the filling unit with the pneumatic transporter, bottle filling, bottle capping, bottle labeling and date marking. Next, the bottles are taken over by the packing line which consists of a 6 bottle sleeve sealing shrinking packing machine, a pallet packaging machine and a stretch film machine for loaded pallets.
THE PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL ANALYSIS LABORATORY
Physical and chemical tests are carried out in the laboratory in order to check the quality of the raw material, of the end-products and by-products during the process of production. The aim of the analysis is to check the compliance of the products with the requirements imposed by product quality standards or with the demands of the clients. The raw material and the products are checked according to the Quality Checks Procedure.