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From the brunch to crude palm oil

Palm regime or the fruit of palm oil is the raw material that PALMAFRIQUE use to produce the crude palm oil in its factories. The palm regimes or fruit regimes in the agricultural vocabulary is a rachis carrying some spikes. These are filled with fruits whose number can reach 1500 per bunch. The palm fruit is an ovoid drupe (fleshy fruit with core), sessile and long from 3 to 5 centimeters, depending on the species. The palm fruit is the richest oil of all oilseeds.

The longitudinal cutting of the fruit shows the different part of the fruit. From the outside inward, we can distinguish these following parts:

  1.  The epicarp: outer part surrounding all the fruit;
  2. The mesocarp commonly called “flesh” is a yellow-orange pulp containing 50% lipid;
  3. The dark gray colored endocarp that contains the kernel, a lipid-rich core that provides kernel oil. These last two components of the fruit constitute the nut.

According to the last statistics, in Côte d’Ivoire, per year, 1.8 million tons of bunches are sent to the factories. PALMAFRIQUE turns a little more than 140,000 tons/year. In the production process of the oil palm, the two first products we get are: the crude palm oil and palm kernels.

The crude palm oil

The crude palm oil (CPO) manufactured by PALMAFRIQUE in its factories is the result of a complex but well-established process. After being harvested, the regimes are sent to the factories. The first step in the production process is the sterilization. It is a steam cooking of the regimes in tubs (sterilizers). Fruits are then separated from the cob through a stemmer.

This step is called picking off. After the first two steps, the fruit goes in the mixers, for half an hour to be reduced in a fibrous pulp (mixing). A homogeneous mixture of fibers, pulp and nut is obtained. The extraction of oil from the fruit so prepared is ensured through screw continuous presses. The juice we obtained is called raw juice. This juice will go through a process of heating and successive purges. This last step called clarification provides the finished crude palm oil suited to commercial standards.

The oil is stored in tanks with a total capacity of 755 tons per mill. PALMAFRIQUE produces about 30,000 tons of crude palm oil per year. Since 2011, PALMAFRIQUE has presses for roundups to recover oil on the stems. This increases performance in the mills from 86 to 92%.

The extraction rate in its mills is 23%. With this manufacturing process well controlled by its teams, PALMAFRIQUE received the Quality Award in 2010.