Food and Bioprocess Engineering

ACQUISITION OF AN ARMFIELD FT66-D TO COMPLETE A REFINERY FOR CRUDE VEGETABLE OILS/ NOVEL SPECIALTY OIL VARIETIES- There is increased interest in developing new oilseed varieties of food grade vegetable oils due to the impact of existing oils on nutrition and health, and also to develop renewable products. North Dakota leads in production of many oilseeds; however, there is no pilot scale (25-L capacity) vegetable oil refinery in the Midwest to enhance research and extension activities beyond lab scale. Refined oil from many of these varieties are not commercially available. Acquiring the proposed equipment will strengthen research activities such as: 1) optimizing process conditions to improve cost, shelf life, and quality of vegetable oils and 2) testing new or emerging vegetables oils not yet available at industrial scale for food and bioproduct applications. Previously, we developed a 2-L batch degumming, washing, and bleaching protocol for soybean and hempseed oils which takes 100 h to refine 25 L of crude oil. The proposed equipment will significantly reduce the processing time to 8 h (92% reduction); hence, improve oil quality, oil recovery, and worker's safety. In addition to research goals, the equipment will be used to 1) train students who will likely work in oil processing companies through lab activities in the PI's classes, 2) develop a short course at Northern Crops Institute, and 3) support industrial partners. The research and training goals of the proposed equipment will satisfy USDA strategic goals 2 and 4 which are "Ensure America's Agricultural System is equitable, Resilient, and Prosperous" and "Provide all Americans Safe, Nutritious Food." and Research, Education, and Economic theme 4.

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