• continuous packed-bed reactor;
  • dry fractionation;
  • enzymatic interesterification;
  • palm olein;
  • Thermomyces Lanuginosa

ABSTRACT:  The lipase-catalyzed interesterification of refined, bleached, deodorized palm olein with iodine value (IV) of 62 was studied in a pilot continuous packed-bed reactor operating at 65 °C. Sn-1,3 specific immobilized enzyme; Lipozyme® TL IM (Thermomyces Lanuginosa) from Novozyme A/S was used in this study. The interesterification reaction produced fully solidified fats at ambient temperature due to the production of trisaturated triacylglycerols (TAG) (PPP and PPS, where P = palmitic acid, S = stearic acid). The reaction also increased the percentage of triunsaturated TAG (OLL, OLO, and OOO, where O = oleic acid, L = linoleic acid). The interesterified product was then dry fractionated at temperatures of 9, 12, 15, 18, and 21 °C to separate the saturated fats from the unsaturated. The results show that IV of olein increased when the fractionation temperature (TFN) decreased. The highest IV of olein was 72, obtained from TFN at 9 °C. After interesterification and laboratory-scale fractionation, the olein fractions contained higher unsaturation content ranging from 64.7% to 67.7% compared to the starting material (58.3%), while the saturation content was reduced from 41.7% to the range of 32.3% to 35.3%. The yields of these oleins were low with the range of 24.8% to 51.8% due to the limitation of the vacuum filtration. Ten kilograms of pilot-scale fractionation with membrane press filter was used to determine the exact olein yield. At TFN of 12 °C, 67.1% of olein with saturation content of 33.9% was obtained.