Natural bleaching earths pre-blended with steam activated carbons have been shown to be a beneficial alternative to acid-activated bleaching earths in removing undesirable components during edible oil refining
3- and 2-MCPDs and GEs pose a potential cancer risk and it is therefore important for edible oil producers to limit the content of these compounds in their products to the highest possible degree. Dr Pat Howes suggests how palm oil producers, in particular, can minimise the presence of chloride and partial glycerides, which lead to the formation of MCPDs and GEs
Bleaching earths are the most important
processing aid utilized in the refining of edible oils. The handling, disposal, and use of the
spent bleaching earth has historically been considered problematic.
The main issues are the potential for spontaneous combustion of the spent bleaching earth (SBE),
and the leaking of entrained oily materials from the SBE into ground water at landfill sites.
According to the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), global edible oil production in 2014 was
tonnes. For an average bleaching earth consumption of 0.5% of the weight of the oil, this would
equate to at least one million tonnes per annum of spent bleaching earth.
Dr Patrick Howes is the technical director at
Natural Bleach Sdn Bhd, Malaysia
NATURAL BLEACH SDN BHD is a manufacturer of Natural & Acid Activated Bleaching Earths, and their blends with Activated Carbons
11, Jalan SS18/6, Subang Jaya,
47500 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan,Malaysia.
Tel: +603-5633 9305
Fax: +603-5634 5686