Most of the products we use in our everyday life have processed oil in them as a vital ingredient. Different products need different types of oil for production purposes. This oil is processed in oil processing plants. They go through a lot of processing to get to the raw state that the manufacturers of other products need. Modern technology has given many innovative methods and machines that enable the oil processing plants to provide refined oils of high quality to the manufacturers. The first step of the oil refining process starts with oil extraction from seeds. Oil processing plants use different methods of oil extraction depending on the type of oil seed.
There are two basic methods of extracting oil from seeds. One of them is doing it manually with involvements of human labor. This is actually used in plants where the scale of oil processing is very small. Local people earn their livelihood by working in these plants. The other one is mechanically that involves a tested sequence of processing in extracting machines. Most of the oil processing plants use this method as it enables them to process oil on a large scale. For some type of oil seeds, the extraction method is quite simple. While processing virgin olive oil, the oil is directly extracted from the fruit. The process starts with filling the fruits in a pressure tank. Then mechanical pressure is applied on them to release the oil. The process is known as cold pressure. The oil can be used without further processing when this method is used for oil extraction. Modern oil processing plant uses a different method for extracting oil. Their method involves extracting oil by pressing, cooking and solvent extraction. In this process, the seed or beans are cleaned and dried to get rid of the extra materials that can harm the machine while processing. Oil processing plants used to have mill stones to crush the seed for oil extraction. Modern plants have exchanged them with steel rollers. Screw oil press is used for the seeds that have high amount oil content in them. This method involves using mechanical oil expression to extract the oil. In this process, the seeds are passed through the press. There are shears inside the press along with high temperature. This causes the oil seeds to break and release oil. Screw press is widely used in developed countries of the world for oil extraction. This process is free of any type of pollution and hazardous substances. But this process doesn’t enable the oil plants to extract full oil contents from the seeds. It extracts around 70-80% of the oil content from the seeds. There is another method that involves solvent extraction. In this process, the pre-processed seeds are further processed with solvents until the remaining oil content is reduced to the lowest level. Then the mixture of solvent and oil is distilled to separate solvent and then the solvent is recycled to the extraction point. Oil processing companies use the most cost effective and convenient method among these for oil extraction.