oilseed processing for palm kernel seed

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 IN 2,500 SQUARE FEET, a family of four can grow enough sunflowers, palm kernel seeds in every year to produce three gallons of homemade vegetable oil which is suitable for salads or cooking and 20 pounds of nutritious & dehulled seeds -- with enough broken seeds left  to feed a winter's worth of birds.

The problem, however  was the difficulties of dehulling the sunflower seeds, palm kernel seeds at home and the lack of a device for expressing oil from the seeds. About six months ago, we decided to change all that. The job was to find out who has already made a sunflower seeds dehuller or just decided to devise one, if none was manufactured. No matter to locate a home-scale oilseed press or to devise a such kind of machine, a challengeable project it is.

Our researches took us from North Dakota -- hub of commercial sunflower activity in the nation -- to a search of the files in the U.S. Patent Office, with stops in between. We turned up a lot of big machineries, and find out that how difficult to buy really pure & unrefined vegetable oil it is, also has been pointed out that no small-scale equipments to dehull sunflowers or press their oil out there is.

It took us such a long time on the desk just in order to find out the key to success. In spring 1977, August Kormier had submitted a free-lance article describing how he used a Corona grain mill to dehull his sunflower seeds, and his vacuum cleaner exhaust hose to blow the hulls off the kernels. A second separation floated off the remaining hulls, leaving products clean. We'd tried it, but because of some kernels were cracked and the process involved drying, we were not satisfied. Now we believed that the best approach was to begin again with what we have learned from Mr. Kormier and refining it.

Staff Editor Diana Branch and Home Workplace Editor Jim Eldon worked with a number of hand- and electric-powered grain mills. While the Corona did a passable job, they got the best results with the C.S. Bell #60 hand mill and the Marathon Uni Mill, which is motor-driven. "I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I tried the Marathon," Diana says. "I opened the stones to 1/8th inch, and out came a bin full of whole kernels and hulls split right at the seams. What a thrill that was!"

She found that by starting with the widest setting,and gradually narrowing the opening, almost every seeds were dehulled. The stones crack the hulls open first, then rub them to encourage the seeds away from the fibrous lining. The Bell hand mill worked almost as the same. "As long as the stones open as wide as the widest unhulled seeds, any mill will work," she says.

Because the seeds slip through the mill on its flat side, grading is an important step to take before dehulling. We made three sizing boxes. The first is 1/4-inch hardware cloth [wire screen]. The second is two layers of 1/4-inch cloth, moved slightly apart to narrow the opening in one direction, and the third is two layers of screen adjusted to make a still-smaller opening. Since the smallest unhulled seeds are about the size of the largest hulled kernels, the grading step prevents these undersized seeds from passing through unhulled. Processed together at a closer setting, the smallest seeds hulled out.

keywords: oilseed processing ,palm kernel seed ,Oilseed Extruding

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