Nutriswiss, the Swiss-based edible oil and fat specialist has moved to expand its refining operations with new short path distillation (SPD) equipment that will have a broad range of applications for confectionery and snacks sectors.
As the company explained to Confectionery Production, the process removes contaminants and isolates fatty acids at particularly low process temperatures. At the same time, it prevents the contaminations of food products and preserves micronutrients.
With this new technology, Nutriswiss is able to achieve previously unattained levels of quality and overcome a key hurdle for manufacturers.
In relation to its uses for confectionery, the company said that with its new distillation processes, the cocoa butter and shea butter, coconut, palm and nut oils that are also widely used in the confectionery industry for pralines, chocolate, biscuits and coatings for bakery products, can be gently refined without the formation of unwanted by-products such as 3-MCPD.
The process removes or reduces free fatty acids, plasticisers, pesticides, mineral oil residues (MOSH/MOAH) and mono- and diglycerides. In addition, operational parameters can be selected that ensure that high value substances such as tocopherols are retained. Furthermore, when refined with SPD, these fats/oils are characterised by low pollutant concentrations, reduced yield losses and improved crystallisation properties. In addition, better stability during storage can be expected compared with classical, physical refining. As such, they can be used in a wide variety of confectionery applications — including some that might not have been considered possible at first.
Valuable components such as micronutrients are preserved and yields of essential omega-3 fatty acids, for example, can be maximised. At the same time, hydrocarbons (MOSH/MOAH), pesticides or plasticisers such as DEHP derived from mineral oil are significantly reduced or even removed. Thanks to the application of this method, Nutriswiss claimed that it is setting new standards in terms of the purity, quality and nutrient content of the oils they offer.
The SPD plant occupies a new seven-storey facility and has been expanded in cooperation with plant manufacturer, VTA, to include supplementary process technology. SPD is a well established process and has been used in the fish oil industry for years.
In Southeast Asia, red palm oil is refined by the method to obtain micronutrients and carotenoids. Nutriswiss is initially focusing on the contract refining of palm oil. An average of two tons per hour can be processed in continuous mode. Thanks to the flexible plant technology designed to comply with current GMPs, product changeovers are fast and simple. As such, the fat specialist is also able to focus on numerous other oils, including sensitive omega-3 oils from algae and fish. For each oil, a comprehensive profile with more than 30 different fat indicators is drawn up before, during and after the production process and an individual process plan is defined.
Michel Burla, managing director of Nutriswiss, said: “The construction of the new plant is very important to us and is our response to the growing demands of our customers. Applications of exceptional quality, the isolation of certain fatty acids, the enrichment with valuable essential fatty acids and the targeted use of free fatty acids are just some of the possibilities we’ll be offering in the future. Even those facing stricter legal limits will be able to meet the higher requirements with our help. Together with our plant engineering company, we have developed innovative solutions that give us a major quality advantage when refining edible oils. This benefits our customers and, ultimately, the consumer.”