Why Are Oil Seed Processors Moving Towards Mechanical Processing?

Many people these days are looking for natural, simple chemical free and environmentally friendly product and process. Is there a better and healthier option to process oil than to use hexane?

The oilseed processing industry uses hexane to process over 90% of all soybeans processed in North America. There is no question that the use of solvents (like hexane) is the most efficient method to remove oil from vegetable protein seeds. But is efficiency the best model to feed humans and animals?

Here, in North America, expeller-pressed soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sunflower, and camelina are growing rapidly within the human food and animal feed industries. Chemical-free soy flour, stabilized rice bran, and canola flour, as well partially defatted and full fat oilseed meals are now seen in health food sections of grocery stores. In addition, certified organic poultry, dairy and poultry are being fed oilseeds processed by high shear extrusion and mechanical extraction. The consumer that is concerned about health, safety and the environment is naturally attracted to meat, milk and egg products produced by animals that were fed diets naturally processed without chemicals.

Insta-Pro International created an ExPress® system that is the perfect fit for the small to medium markets. Large solvent plants do not have what the small to medium producers need. Our technology is better suited for these production “niche’s.”

Refined expeller-pressed vegetable oils command premiums within the food service, specialty health food stores, and the oils’ sections of most grocery stores. To refine expeller-pressed oils without caustic chemicals (known as “physically refining“) is another positive action that continues to attract more users of these vegetable oils.

Another practical reason small-medium oil seed processors like mechanical processing is the much larger capital costs to build an oilseed plant using hexane. Increased capital costs for a hexane oilseed extraction plant can exceed four times the costs of mechanical processing. With health conscious customers and lower costs for mechanical oilseed processing, do I need to say more?

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