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Effect of Processing Methods and Storage Time on Physical Characteristics of Palm Oil

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Abstract: The effect of processing methods and the storage time on the physical characteristics of palm oil was determined. Samples of palm oil were produced using four processing methods (Hot Extraction; Cold Extraction; Hot Extraction with Red Sand and Mechanized Extraction), packaged in plastic containers and stored at ambient temperature for 0 to 3 month(s). There was significant increase in the following physical characteristics of the palm oil samples due to the storage time: cloud point (21.13 to 24.13oC), melting point (39.54 to 41.88oC) and moisture content (0.068 to 0.390 ). However, significant decrease occurred in the following characteristics: smoke point (195.30 to 186.3oC), flash point (252.37 to 244.62oC), fire point (314.87 to 306.37oC) and refractive index (1.45 to 1.37). The effects of the four processing methods on the physical characteristics of palm oil were determined. Processing methods had no significant variations in specific gravity (0.902 to 0.905) and fire point (309.62 to 313.25oC) while significant variations occurred in cloud point (22.38 to 23.56oC), smoke point (188.38 to 195.50oC), melting point (40.16 to 41.63oC), flash point (240.75 to 268.50oC), moisture content (0.08 to 0.37 ) and refractive index (1.39 to 1.44). Mechanized extraction method of palm oil was observed as the best method because its palm oil had the least specific gravity (0.902±0.006), least cloud point (22.38 ±1.75oC), highest smoke point (195.50±1.41oC), least melting point (40.16±1.03oC), highest flash point (218.50±3.67oC), highest fire point (313.25±2.96oC), least moisture content (0.08±0.02 ) and highest refractive index (1.44±0.01). Similar study on the effect of processing methods and storage time on chemical properties of palm oil is recommendable.

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