The decoring technology (patented by Loh, T W) revolutionizes the decades’ old palm oil milling process by utilizing spikelets/loose fruits rather than fresh fruit bunch (FFB) as feed stock in the cooking/sterilization process. The decoring machine and bucket decoring conveyor remove the core of the FFB thus producing a mixture of loose fruits, spikelets, stalk fibre, debris of organic matters and loose sand, etc. The spikelets are mildly cooked continuously for separation of the loose fruits from the stalk. Clean loose fruits are then sterilized in a continuous sterilizer using steam of about 0.68 barg (10 psig.) in less than 18 min. Empty fruit bunch (EFB) and sterilizer condensate are eliminated. The sterilized fruits are then fed into conventional digesters. The digested fruit mash is first washed by very hot water to get rid of much oil and sludge therein. The nuts are removed before the nut-free fibre is fed into a screw press. By so doing, additional oil can be recovered thus boosting oil extraction rate (OER). Elimination of EFB and sterilizer condensate also would increase OER for the industry and it is a significant monetary return for the country. The decoring technology also ffers many other advantages and benefits such as saving more than 25% in capital cost in mill construction, lower operation and maintenance costs, lower power and steam consumption, and lower wastewater discharge. The oil-free stalk fibre and spikelets together with the excess press fibre are good source of organic materials for making compost, pulp and paper.
Keywords: FFB, DECORING, PALM OIL MILLS, PALM OIL-Processing & Milling, MPOB PUBLICATIONS