Know about the Castor Oil Extraction Process
Castor Oil is widely used across the world for a range of benefits it provides. Regular inclusion of pure castor oil in everyday life has shown tremendous results in improving skin health, enhancing quality of hair, aiding digestion and reducing inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Today, India is the largest producer of castor oil with castor oil manufacturers and castor oil derivatives manufacturers in India producing a variety of castor-based products such as cold pressed castor oil, deodorized castor oil, pharmaceutical grade castor oil and castor oil soap to name a few.
But have you ever wondered what goes behind making Castor Oil from Castor Seeds? Let’s find out!
The Complete Castor Oil Extraction process
Castor oil seed contains about 30%–50% oil (m/m) depending on its variety. Oil can be extracted from castor beans by mechanical pressing, solvent extraction, or a combination of pressing and extraction. The entire extraction process can be broadly divided into seven stages.
- Seed Collection
Stage 1: Seed Collection
Ripened castor plants are chosen for the seed collection process. The first step in this process involves placing the ripe castor plants outdoors on a hot day for drying. As the plants absorb heat, they split open on their own and the seeds are then gathered.
Stage 2: Dehulling
This is a simple but very critical step in the context of the complete extraction process. In this stage, the castor seed is dehulled after harvesting.This is done either manually or mechanically with the help of a castor bean dehuller. When economically feasible, the use of a machine to aid in the dehulling process is preferred over manual dehulling.
Stage 3: Cleaning
Once the dehulling process is complete and the hull is removed from the seed, the seeds are then subjected to a cleaning process to remove impurities such as sand, leaves, sticks, stems, or dirt. The equipment used for this process is called seed cleaner which is also equipped with revolving screens or reels.
Stage 4: Drying
This stage involves heating the cleaned seeds in a steam-jacketed vessel to remove the moisture content present in the seeds.This hardening of seeds also acts as a catalyst in the extraction process. Once the heating process ends, the seeds are then dried and readied for pressing.
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Stage 5: Pressing
In this stage, the seeds are crushed under high pressure using a screw press known as the oil mill or oil expeller. The extracted oil thus produced is then filtered and the filtered residual bulk is then mixed with the fresh lot of seeds for further pressing.
Once the optimum amount of oil is extracted from the seeds, the residual bulk is removed from the pressing equipment. The final residual bulk is called Castor Cake.
Stage 6: Filtration
The oil extracted after the pressing process still houses impurities of various kinds. Hence, the extracted oil is required to filter through a filtration system known as filter press to remove both small-size and large-size impurities. Any dissolved acids, gases or water is also taken out from the oil at this stage.
Stage 7: Refining
In this last stage of the extraction process, oxidation and colouration substances are removed from the oil through neutralization and bleaching process. Phospholipids are also taken out at this moment. Finally, the oil is deodorized to produce the oil which is free from strange odours.
Once the entire extraction cycle is completed, a clean, high-quality and pure castor oil is obtained, which can then be used or modified as per your own requirements.
Hope, through this blog we were able to help you understand the intricacies of what goes behind deriving castor oil from the castor plant. At Ambuja Solvex Pvt. Ltd., we make it a point to stay completely true to the extraction process by selecting the best castor seeds and housing top-class extraction equipment. If you are looking to buy 100% genuine castor oil, feel free to get in touch with us.