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19 Mar, 2024 &bull



Chidinma Ochulor

Content Writer



Groundnut, also known as peanut, is a legume valued for its edible seeds and oil content, which ranges between 40–56%.

Groundnut oil, obtained during groundnut processing, is cherished by consumers for its unique flavor and abundance of the powerful antioxidant tocopherol (vitamin E). 
Groundnut oil has a high smoke point of 229 °C, making it ideal for frying purposes. The oxidative stability of groundnut oil depends on the ratio of oleic acid to linoleic acid; this ratio increases as the seeds mature, and oil stability increases similarly. 

Groundnut oil production involves these 6 unit operations: 
1. Cleaning: This is done to remove sand, stones, and other impurities since groundnuts are harvested from the soil. 
2. Shelling: This is done to remove the groundnut shell and expose the seeds. It can be done mechanically or by hand. Thereafter, the groundnut seeds are washed. 
3. Flaking: This is done to reduce the groundnut seeds to flakes, thereby increasing the surface area and facilitating subsequent oil extraction. 
4. Conditioning: This is done to prepare the seeds for pressing by adjusting the moisture content to 7–9% and the temperature of the seeds to 80–100 °C using hot water or by cooking. Conditioning improves oil extraction, quality, and yield. 
5. Pressing: This is done using a screw oil press, which applies force on the flaked seeds, releasing crude groundnut oil and leaving the cake behind. The
cake can be further extracted for oil using a solvent or used as animal feed. 
6. Filtering: This is done to remove impurities and obtain pure groundnut oil. 

Pure groundnut oil can be refined to enhance its taste, smell, color, andoxidative stability by degumming, neutralization, bleaching, and deodorization.

Written by:

Chidinma Ochulor



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