The Fats and Oils Program conducts contract and sponsored research at bench top and pilot plant scales. We offer a complete array of vegetable oil and fats processing service in our pilot plant at river side campus of Texas A&M University. Our laboratories are equipped with state of the art fats and oils analysis instruments. We provide complete range of analytical services based on AOCS and IUPAC methods for fats and oils analysis. The purpose of Fats and Oils Program is to provide testing , research and consulting to the all the industries and groups working directly or indirectly with fats and oils.
Pilot Scale Services
We conduct contract and sponsored research at bench top and pilot plant scales in the following areas:
Chemical and Dry/Adsorptive Refining
- Our staff is trained in both the chemical and physical refining process to ensure the complete removal of objectionable components with minimal loss
- Facilities consist of an array of batch refining equipment.
- We offer a flexible refining process to fit the specific research needs of our clients (acid or caustic refining parameters, pre-treatment chemical concentration, bleaching clay and level, and operating conditions like temperature controls, centrifugal speeds, and variable vacuum pressure).
Process of refining crude oil or fat:
- Crude oil or fat
- Heat to required temperature in steam jacketed kettle with agitation
- Add chemicals specific to type of degumming
- Centrifugal separation
- Refined oil
Conventional and Modified Bleaching
- We have research capabilities and equipment to suit your varying process requirements including temperature controls, type and amount of adsorbent, filtration, etc.
Process of bleaching crude oil or fat:
- Crude/refined oil
- Heat to required temperature in steam jacket kettle with agitation
- Add chemicals specific to type of bleaching
- Atmospheric/vacuum bleaching
- Filtration/removal of adsorbent
- Bleached oil
High Vacuum Deodorization
- We have the research capabilities and equipment needed to suit your varying process requirements including different batch/semi-continuous deodorizers, temperature controls, type and amount of adsorbent, stripping steam rates, filtration, etc.
Process of deodorizing refined or bleached oil/fat:
- Refined/bleached oil
- Heat exchanger
- Vacuum deodorization vessel and steam sparging
- Deodorized oil
- We possess batch hydrogenation capabilities offering various degrees of hydrogenation in oils.
- Provide research facility and manufacture hydrogenated oils according to our clients’ requirements.
- The operational variables such as temperature control, type and level of catalyst, hydrogen pressure can be varied to suit all process conditions.
Hydrogenation process for unsaturated oil:
- Unsaturated oil
- Converter/reaction vessel
- Temperature and hydrogen controls
- Addition of catalyst
- Filtration/removal of catalyst
- Hydrogenated oil
- We specialize in interesterification, using both chemical and enzymatic rearrangement methods for achieving the desired end product.
- Our capabilities include an in-depth research of separation parameters that govern the separation of saturated/unsaturated fractions and fatty acids from each other with a complex, but regulated/controlled crystallization process (as well as distillation)
- Capabilities for complete fractional distillation of oils/fats and their methyl esters
- Molecular Distillation – Deodorizing of heat labile products and the recovery and purification of nutraceuticals such as tocopherols and stanols.
Margarine and shortening manufacture
- Conventional stick and tub spreads. Manufacture of low fat, trans free and nutritional supplemented products.
Other unit operations
- Lecithin processing and applications
- Preparation of mono- and di-glycerides, rearranged and customized triglycerides.
- Soap stock, spent bleaching clay, hydrogenation catalyst, deodorizer distillate handling
We provide comprehensive analytical service to our clients in our laboratory equipped with all necessary instruments required in fats and oils research. Our services include (but are not limited to):
General AOCS Methods
- Metal content (P, Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, Ni), soaps, P-anisidine value, free fatty acids, color, peroxide value, acid value, cloud test, solid fat content by NMR, iodine value, TBA value, tocopherols content, AOM/OSI test, smoke point, flavor and odor.
Advanced Analyses capabilities
- Fatty acid profiles, Triglyceride profiles, Lecithin composition and profiles, tocopherol composition, plant sterol profiles, gossypol analysis, mono- and di-glyceride composition, fatty ester composition.
Other lab services
- Custom projects for analysis of changes in fats/oils specific physiochemical properties during unit operations like refining, bleaching and deodorization.
- Research related to effect of irradiation and physiochemical changes in fats and oils.