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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Extraction of Oil from Meadowfoam Flakes

Authors
item Carlson, Kenneth - RETIRED ARS
item Phillips, Bliss
item ISBELL, TERRY
item Nelsen, Terry

Submitted to: Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 3, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Meadowfoam (MF), known technically as Limnanthes alba, is a plant native to the Pacific Northwest where it grows in moist meadow soils. Cooperative and independent research by Oregon State University and USDA's New Crops Research unit has encouraged the Oregon Meadowfoam Grower's Association and Fanning Corporation to develop seed production, processing technology and commercial markets for MF oil. One processing step that has been less efficient than desired is recovery of oil from MF seed. We have shown that proper flaking of MF seed (crushing seed between steel rolls) is crucial to efficient oil recovery. Our study showed that maximum oil is recovered from the thinnest MF flakes. Our discovery that seed temperature and moisture at flaking also affect oil recovery, though in less pronounced ways, is important also, since both are important in the seed cooking stage that precedes the flaking step. Cooking destroys enzymes in the seeds that adversely affect oil quality. Our results will positively impact future commercial seed processing and oil production runs and will significantly improve the overall economics of seed oil production and marketing.

Technical Abstract: We examined seed moisture, seed temperature and flaking roll opening for their influence on oil extraction efficiency in meadowfoam flakes. Flakes were prepared using a Wolf Mill set to give flake thicknesses of 0.13, 0.21 and 0.031 in. Seed moistures of 9, 12 and 15%, and seed temperatures of 65, 190 and 210F were chosen for flaking to simulate ranges known to be significant in enzyme destruction during crucial seed cooking stages prior to flaking. Roll opening was the dominant variable determining flake thickness, which was the primary parameter affecting oil extraction efficiency. The thinnest flakes at 0.013 in. were slightly less extractable (29.8%) than finely ground flakes. Intermediate (0.21 in.) and thick (0.031 in.) flakes were significantly less extractable (28.0% and 26.0%). There was a trend (P<0.01) to thicker flakes with increasing seed moisture (15%>12%>9%) during flaking. A similar trend to thicker flakes with increasing temperature was significant (P<0.01) only for the thickest flakes. Lower seed moisture and higher seed temperature significantly impacted extractable oil of the thickest flakes, but negligibly affected extractability of the thinnest flakes.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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