European Journal of Experimental Biology Open Access

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Bleaching of vegetable oils using press mud obtained from sugar industry

Peymaneh Ghasemi Afshar, Masoud Honarvar, Maryam Gharachorloo, Parvin Eshratabadi and Behzad Bazyar

The management of waste such as "Filter Mud", the sugar industry residue is becoming one of the major areas of concern for Iran. Treatment of this material and its conversion to the forms that might have applications in vegetable oil industries helps in cost effectiveness and efficient recycling of this industrial by-product. In this study the possibility of the bleaching of vegetable oils with two different filter muds obtained from sugar industry was investigated and compared with commercial activated bleaching earth. After the activation of the ash of filter muds by HCl and H2SO4, bleaching process was carried out on the oils under vacuum at the constant temperature of 110°C using 1 and 2 % adsorbents. Beta-carotene content, color, peroxide value and acidity of the neutralized and bleached oils were determined. The results indicated that the bleaching efficiency varied depending on some experimental parameters namely the type of adsorbent used, adsorbent activation method and adsorbent dosage. The results revealed that acid activated ash of sugar industry filter muds significantly decreased all the subjected characteristics apart from the acidity and despite the differences in composition and particle sizes, the efficiency of these adsorbents particularly the HCl activated ash of sugar beet filter mud for removal of Beta-carotene and reduction of oil color was comparable to bentonite, the commercial activated bleaching earth. Therefore the activated ash of sugar industry filter mud might be employed as an alternative to the commercial bleaching agent in edible oils refining due to its effectiveness.