High Shear Mixers for Edible Oils

High Shear Mixers for Edible Oils

Edible oils may be extracted from a variety of plant or animal sources and are commonly found in the foods we eat. This report will focus on plant derived oils. These oils include the following examples: cottonseed oil, palm oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and linseed oil. These oils are usually obtained through solvent extraction and then purified. The purification process generally involves the following steps:

  • Degumming. This involves treating the crude oil with water and / or acid (typically phosphoric acid) to hydrate phosphatides and allow separation through centrifugation.
  • Alkali refining. The degummed oil is then treated with an alkali solution (i.e. NaOH) to reduce the free fatty acid content and remove other impurities through conversion to water soluble soaps. These soaps are removed from the oil with a water wash.
  • Bleaching. The oil is purified further and colors removed through bleaching. Typically, diotomaceous earth or clay is used to absorb color affecting substances. The clay and absorbed impurities are then filtered out.
  • Deodorization. Vacuum steam distillation is then used to remove volatile compounds that may affect taste, color, or odor.
  • The oil can then be either subjected to fractionation, hydrogenation, interesterification, esterification, or simply packaged depending on the properties desired in the final product.

IKA® Works has become a world leader in the supply of high shear mixing equipment for use in the purification of edible oils.


  • Reduced additive quantities. The intense high shear mixing action (see Tech Info for more details) of an IKA® Mixer ensures intimate contact between the oil and any additives (i.e. phosphoric acid, caustic soda) allowing a smaller quantity of additive to treat a larger quantity of oil.
  • Decreased processing times. Utilizing innovative Generator designs and up to three distinct stages of rotors and stators, IKA®Mixers ensure that all components are intimately blended together. This allows additives to work more rapidly and a higher purity oil is produced more quickly.
  • Improved filtration efficiency. The IKA® CMS and MHD mixers are capable of rapidly and effectively dispersing the clay or diatomaceous earth throughout the oil. This allows a more effective bleaching process and lowers the occurrence of clogged filters.
  • Versatility. The modular concept of the IKA® Works 2000 Series Mixers allows a single unit to be adapted to a wide range process requirements.



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