Wheat Germ Oil Extraction Process

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Wheat germ is the by-product of wheat flour processing. About 30, 000 to 50, 000 Tons wheat germ are produced in flour industry every year in China. Wheat germ is the quintessential part of wheat seeds, which is rich in protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins and minerals, trace elements, etc. Wheat germ has the laudatory title of " Nutrition Treasure of Natural World”.

making wheat germ oil

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,598 kJ (382 kcal)
Carbohydrates 51.8 g
Fat 10.7g
Protein 29.1g
Vitamins Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic acid (B5), Vitamin B6, etc.
Minerals Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, etc.

Main Wheat Germ Oil Extraction Process

At present, there are 4 main extraction technology for wheat germ oil processing: supercritical CO2 fluid extraction, traditional solvent extraction, low temperature pressing and subcritical low temperature extraction. But the some of these methods have a lot of shortcomings.
  • Supercritical CO2 fluid extraction High Cost, Low Output: As its requirements for equipment is very high, supercritical CO2 fluid extraction machine is very expensive. Besides, its output is low and difficult to adapt to large-scale production.
  • Traditional Solvent Extraction (Hexane) – High processing temperature, high energy consumption, low quality of oilcakes or meals. It is a process of extracting oil at normal pressure by use of Hexane. The temperature of extracting process and desolventizing process is high, resulting in high rate of protein degeneration of oilcakes or meals.
  • Low Temperature Oil Pressing - High residual oil content in oil cakes / meals; high impurities and moisture content. Direct squeezing or expelling is not suitable for low oil yield materials such as wheat germ.

Advantages of Subcritical Extraction Technology

Subcritical Extraction Technology is a kind of pressurized (0.3-0.8 MPa) fluid extraction process. The extracting agent exists in the form of gas under normal pressure, while under critical pressure it exists in the fluid state. Under critical pressure, the molecular diffusion ability of extraction solvent is enhanced, transfer rate is accelerated, permeability and dissolving capacity is improved significantly. Besides, as it is a kind of low temperature extraction technology, the natural active ingredient in extraction materials are fully retained and protected.

wheat germ oil production process

The extraction process is cut off from the air, which can avoided oxidation reaction of special materials and help getting high grade oil products just as supercritical extraction. But the extraction pressure is much lower than supercritical extraction, which is a good thing that makes the equipment price is much lower and also make it feasible for industrialization scale production.

Subcritical Extraction of Wheat Germ Oil

Why Wheat Germ Oil?

The main application of wheat germ is extracting oil. The oil content of wheat germ is 8%~13%. Wheat germ oil is rich in vitamin E, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, 28 carbon alcohol and a variety of physiological activity components. Moreover, its natural vitamin E content is the king of all vegetable oil. It also plays an important role in the regulation of body electrolyte balance and blood pressure, lower cholesterol, prevent disease of heart head blood-vessel. It has recognized as a kind of “golden oil” for nutritive health.
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