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Company Background

Discuss about the Food Processing of SunRice company.

Company Background

SunRice is an Australian owned company built by Australian rice industry that mainly deals in rice milling and packaging. It started in 1950 with a single rice mill in Rivera South Wales. Their innovation has been a key to their success. Currently, they have state of the art processing which entails value-added food plants and packaging across Australia, the USA, Pacific, Middle East, and Papua New Guinea. With over 30 brands, SunRice has broad businesses which include Riviana foods, Trulai Industries, SunFoods, and Solrice. They have 2200 employees and supply their products to over fifty countries. They are a key player in Australia’s domestic market, supplying the staple food around Australia. It supplies around 50 countries with assorted food products which include table rice, rice meals, and flour, snacks and livestock products. SunRice also has animal and feeds division and a rice research company. Their retail products include long grain rice, microwave rice, rice cakes, health and wellbeing rice, red chicken curry and bulk bag rice.

Brown Mill

The main aim of rice milling is to remove the husk and bran and produce a final product that’s fit for consumption. According to Kong (2010), the milling process entails the elimination of the husk from paddy, producing brown rice that can, later on, be polished to produce white rice.

At the factory, the first process is receiving the rice. Tests are carried out on the paddy to ensure that they meet standards for the next steps or to ensure that the final product is of the required standards. A moisture tester is used to measure the moisture content which should be between 13 – 14% for optimum milling. The paddy is also tested for milling yield utilizing a quality kit. The paddy is then weighed using a weighing scale, measurements recorded and fed into apex separators. The machine removes large contaminants especially metallic ones which are separated using an installed magnetic system. The paddy is then fed into a paddy cleaner. It is a machine that separate impurities such as straws, dust and other light particles from the paddy to ensure the next machine works efficiently. The machine consists of single/ doubles blowers with sieving decks to aid in removing impurities (Narasimhan et al., 2017).

The cleaned paddies are fed into a destoner. The destoner is efficient in removing high-density impurities such as stones, glass, and metal. Its efficiency is high such that it excludes smaller or lightweight contaminants a similar size to grain kernel producing excellent cleaned paddy. The destoner creates conditions for producing a high-end product that complies with food safety standards. The cleaned paddies are then fed into a hulling machine. Huller machine removes husks from the paddy through a procedure that takes place between rubber rolls and utilizing weight pressure, pressing and twisting forces are applied. The hulled material is separated into husk and brown rice in a separating chamber using air force. The separated waste (husk) are packed for sale as chicken or kitty litter and also used for making fertilizer. The dehulled husk is 20% of the total weight. The brown rice as denoted by Alwan et al. (2016), is then fed into paddy separator which ensures efficient separation of paddy from shelled brown rice. The brown rice goes through the paddy separator twice, where the first pass takes 95% while the recovered 5% is run through it for the second time. From the successions of cleaning, brown rice is produced; whereby 5% of the brown rice is packed for consumption. 

Brown Mill

White Mill

For whitening, the brown rice is fed into a stone polisher. Fast they pass through a magnetic system which removes any metallic materials acquired from the previous processes. The machine utilizes a friction and abrasion forces that cut off the bran. This process turns brown rice into white rice. The procedure is repeated thrice, with the fourth pass polish done with customer preference. To create rice floor, broken white rice is fed into a plan sifter that mills the rice into the floor. Grading is carried out using a length grader machine which consists of indented cylinders. The machine rotates; shorter grains are lifted until they are dislodged by gravity and discharged through screw conveyor, while full-grain length remains at the bottom (Park et al., 2018). Grading also is done according to thickness using thickness grader whereby the white rice is passed through rotating cylindrical screens which separate under or oversized grains.

Color sorting is done using a color sorter. It functions by taking and storing each grains image, and if the color isn’t appropriate, it’s passed through the primary sorter. The rest of grains are passed through a secondary sorter whereby means of air ejects bad grains. This quality check is done hourly to check off colour. Moisture content is tested and should not exceed 9%.

The white rice is placed into finished product bins, and those for export are fumigated using methyl bromide. Domestic rice is stored intermediately for 12 – 14 days in silos where they are fumigated using phosphine. Fumigation ensures that species that cause destruction are neutralized. Rice is tested at the laboratory for various contaminants, and the results have maximum acceptable limits. For Lupkin alkaloids – 200mh/Kg, Cadmium – 0.1mh/Kg, Aflatoxin – 0.015mg/ Kg, E.Coli – nil, Salmonella – nil and Coliforms – 20/g.

Packaging is done for each product or type of rice, and then a multipond machine fills the weighed rice into bags where they are labeled and heat sealed. The bulk packaging bags are tested every hour for quality, drop test and correct labeling. The bulk packaged rice is then packed into boxes placed on pallets and wrapped, a process carried out by robots.

Hygiene and CCP at the plant

Hygiene is maintained at the plant. Mardar et al. (2017) assert that food hygiene provides necessary environments for averting risks/ threats that can result in health issues, hence prevent the consumer from a disease. The milling is carried out by good manufacturing practices (GMP) and good hygiene practices (GHP). The plant is designed and machines installed in a manner that allows for easy cleaning. SunRice just like most food plants has critical control points (CCP). The CCP is the point where control is applied to reduce or eliminate safety hazard(s) to acceptable levels. The first CCP is at the apex separator that contains a magnet which aids in improving the rice safety and prevent equipment damage. The second CCP is at the stone polisher and packaging point which also has a magnet.

White Mill

Preservation methods

Different preservation methods are applied at the company which ensures that the rice doesn’t undergo spoilage. Chemical methods are highly utilized which include fumigation using methylbromide and phosphine which control insects. Physical methods used include using pallets where the packed rice is raised on the storage floor. Use of pallets prevents the packed rice from coming into contact with floor water and floor contamination (Criveanu, Sperdea & Criveanu, 2012).

The Company all started with a small family of 5 groups who were selling fresh orange juice from one door to another in Australi. In many cases, the oranges were only grown and harvested as fresh fruits to be eaten. Any orange that was not looking good enough for the market was left in the paddock despite being perfectly fine. However, the arrison Brothers, Morris Brothers, and Davidson family who are the leaders in the local fruit gorwing industry were aware that such oranges were perfect and much could be done with them. They blended together and sold their juices from one door to another not knowing that the business would grow into a large company.

Juice Processing and Processing Equipment Machines

Success in producing quality citrus juice depends on balancing of the appearance, texture and flavor and health and safety concerns and finally the manufacturing cost. To ensure that the final product is of quality, then the raw materials too should be of high quality.

At receiving of the raw materials like citrus fruits, documents are checked to ensure that the fruits conform to the factory specifications, and they meet regulatory requirements. Visual examination is carried out, and the fruits are inspected for fungal decay, microbial rot, physical damage and foreign objects (Mole, 2018). Other tests are also done such as pH using pH meter, moisture content, etc. and the results recorded. Those that don’t meet the specifications are rejected. The fruits are sorted to remove those that don’t meet the standards. The fruits are stored awaiting processing. They are conveyed via roller conveyors to the first processing step which is cleaning with chlorinated water that contains food grade sanitizers. Abrasive washing is carried out which entails brushing to remove foreign products, pesticide residue and reduce microbial load. According to Sádecká et al. (2014), in the machine, the fruits move in irregular rotation, and at the same time, spraying and brushing take place. The fruits then move utilizing chain conveyors for storage.

Hygiene and CCP at the plant

Fruit inspection is carried out as the fruits move on the conveyor. The inspection ensures that fruits that are damaged by the cleaning process are removed. Also, those that don’t meet processing standards and were not removed during first sorting are removed. The fruits are then conveyed to size grading machine. The machine contains a belt roller where the fruits move continuously, and the diameter of the rollers differs creating a gap between moving rollers. The gap grades the fruits according to size. The fruits are conveyed for extraction. Citrus essential oil extraction employs the principle of feed scrapper and fast revolving needle rollers. The revolving needles pierce the fruit peel, and then water sprays remove and separate the essential oil. At the finisher machine, the fruits are size reduced into a semi-liquid state by cutting and squeezing pressure. The semi-liquid juice is then fed into a hydroclone machine which separates the peel from the semi-liquid juice. The hydroclone applies centrifugal force as noted by Simone et al. (2016) to separate the semi-liquid juice and the peels by utilizing fluid pressure.

The semi-liquid juice is then fed into a secondary finisher where further clarification takes place to separate the juice from the pulp. The finisher carries out mechanical separation utilizing sieves. The clarified juice is pumped into holding tank filtered via 3mm sieve where they are blended. The juice is mixed in the tanks with rotating blades where other ingredients can be added, e.g., other juice concentrates, sweeteners, preservatives. Sádecká et al. (2014) assert that blended juice is pumped into balance tank which averts cavitation risk and ensures constant flow into the production line. The juice is then pumped into heat exchangers where pasteurization takes place where both batch and continuous method is used. Time and temperature are monitored (185-201.2° F), and the process ensures specific minimum exposure. Pasteurized juice is then pumped into holding tank with ice generators which ensure that the temperature of the juice is brought down to prevent burnt taste or loss of volatile aroma (Mole, 2018). The juice is then pumped into holding tanks ready for bottling, packaging or dispatch.

Hygiene and CCP at the plant

Maintaining hygiene at the juice processing plant is vital to ensure that there is no spread or multiplication of microorganism through cross-contamination. The high hygiene standards are beneficial to the consumers, employees and the factory. Hygiene is useful in preventing spoilage of the juice making it unfit for consumption.

Preservation methods

The first CCP is the first sorting after receiving where it reduces fungal decay, microbial rot reducing the microbial load to an acceptable level. Monitoring procedure is through sample visual observation. The second CCP is washing where critical limits are water spray pressure and washing duration. Monitoring procedure is checking the time of soaking and water spray pressure. The third CCP is at pasteurization which is a CCP for controlling microbial hazards, and monitoring procedure is automated readout of temperature and time (Akbar, & Anal, 2011). CCP at pasteurization according to Akhtar Sarker and Hossain (2014) prevent subsequent microbial growth because the microorganisms are destroyed.

Preservation methods

There are different juice preservation methods utilized at the factory. The major one is pasteurization. Pasteurization entails passing the juice through jacketed tubes that are heated using steam as denoted by Akhtar, Sarker, and Hossain (2014). The heating enables denaturing of microorganism that would otherwise cause spoilage hence reduction in shelf life. High-temperature short time (HTST) treatment is used to reduce the loss of aroma and product freshness. Chemical preservation is also used. This entails the use of preservatives such as sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate which are mostly used. The chemicals prevent nutrition losses caused by microbiological, enzymatic and chemical changes, hence lengthening the shelf life.  The preservatives prevent the growth of molds, yeast, and bacteria. Sodium benzoate is effective on bacteria, yeast, and molds as denoted by Akhtar, Sarker, and Hossain (2014), while potassium sorbate is effective against molds only. The physical methods of preservation are carried out during washing. The washing utilizes chlorine which is useful in destroying microorganisms and the water spray and abrasive brushes also enable the same.

Company Background

UNCLE TOBYS started oat milling in 1893 and since then has been providing Australian’s with a range of breakfast cereals and snacks. Their first product was introduced into the Australian market by Co in Sidney and Clifford Love. UNCLE TOBBYS name is identical with proper nutrition, health, surf, sun and vitality for life. Their products include different products with varying brand names. These include oats which entailing Traditional Oats and O&G Chunky Oat Meal, cereals which include Uncle Tobys Plus and Cheerios and snacks which include Muesli Bars and Farmers Pick. The company owns a research and development facility located in Rutherglen. The company is planning to mill oats for human non-food uses, hence for feeding livestock. The company operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Juice Processing and Processing Equipment Machines

Oat Processing and Processing Equipment Machines

The main aim of oat milling is to separate the oat from the kernel to get an optimal yield of clean, sound whole oat that is husk free and other inessential matter. Another aim is to produce an attractive appearing finished product with a pleasant taste, appropriate digestibility, and good shelf life.

At receiving, the industrial oats are inspected if they meet the company’s processing requirements if not, they are rejected.

Physical quality requirements




No discoloured, damaged oats and dark groats


Not sour or musty

Test Weight

Min. 53Kg/hl


Min. 14%

Husk content

Max. 26%

Grading (plumpness)

Min. 90% > 2mm

Foreign grain

Max. 3%

Foreign material

Max. 1%

Cleaning is carried out to exclude undesirable material from the industrial oat. Cleaning is achieved by passing the oats through screens. They are passed under a magnetic separator to eliminate foreign metal objects. They are then fed into revolving screens as denoted by Huza et al. (2017) which retain foreign material like stones, sticks, and straws. Retained oats undergo aspiration to remove light contaminants, followed by dry stoner that eliminates rocks and other grains.

Grading is then carried out by dividing the oats into various sizes done using variances in weight and density. Grading ensures that the oat mill operates at maximum efficiency. The grading machine separates based on width. Grandison (2011) points out that it has perforated cylinders in series, where the first has middle perforations allowing medium and small oats to pass through the cylinder, while larger ones conveyed to end of the cylinder. Medium and small oats enter second perforated cylinder with smaller holes allowing smallest oats to pass through.

 The graded oats are fed into a dehulling machine. The oats pass through rotating discs and thrown into series of impact on the dehuller’s wall causing separation of the groat from the hull. The process takes place until about 85% oats are dehulled because over dehulling cause oat breakage. The efficiency of dehulling is depended on oat moisture (ideal is 12 – 14%) content and weight (Koeberl et al., 2018). The groats are subjected to the second aspiration which separates the groats from hulls based on the smoothness of particles and density. Unhulled oats are returned to dehuller.

The groats are then kiln dried. The machine has vertical cylinders where groats are placed, then steam and air is injected into the columns. The groats moisture content is increased by steam (2200 F 15 minutes) to enhance enzyme inactivation. The groats then undergo radiant heating to remove excess water through evaporation. The heating as denoted by Amelin and Lavrukhina (2017) also improve Maillard reaction producing desired flavors and color. Air is injected into the groats to lower temperature and reduce moisture to 10%. Peroxidase activity is measured to monitor enzyme inactivation. Kilning is beneficial in that; it increases the oat’s shelf life by inactivating bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Proper monitoring of temperatures is done to avert the loss of vitamin B.

The oats are then converted to different oat products and food ingredients. The oats undergo milling then processed into steel cut oats, instant oats and rolled oats. Steel cut oats are produced by chopping groats into two or four. The groats are fed into a revolving bladed machine which slices the groats forming steel cut oats. Old fashioned oats/ rolled oats are produced through steaming groats which are then flattened with rollers. Flattened groats are pushed into steam of air to dry. Instant oats are created by passing groats through steam and flattening rollers to give thinner flat oats. Precooking is done using steam to produce the instant oats.  The different household brands are packed.

Hygiene and CCP at the plant

Hygiene at UNCLE TOBYS plant is significant in various ways. Maintaining high hygiene standards ensures that there is no cross-contamination which causes spoilage resulting into food poisoning. Burgess et al. (2013) note that proper hygiene ensures that the oats are free from contaminants. They are hazardous which could cause an unacceptable risk to consumer health. A range of foodborne illnesses is as a result of pathogenic microorganisms.

The plant has various oat processing points as CCP. The first CCP is cleaning where a magnet is used to separate foreign metallic material. Monitoring procedure is by physical checking of the magnets/ metal detectors.  The second CCP is at the groat steam injection whereby the critical limit is steam temperatures. Monitoring procedure is automated readout of temperature and time. It is a step for killing microbes.

Preservation methods

Preservation of oats at the plant is done chemically whereby fumigation is done using phosphine which controls insects. Preservation is also achieved during kilning where temperatures of steam are used to inactivate enzymes. Amelin and Lavrukhina (2017) assert that oats have lipolytic enzymes which break down fat to form free fatty acids which makes the oat grains rancid. The subjected steam inactivates the lipolytic enzymes, which in turn avert rancidity, enhancing preservation (Amelin & Lavrukhina 2017). During kilning, the radiators absorb moisture and heat at the kiln destroys bacteria, yeasts, and molds, therefore improving preservation.

Company Background

Riverina Fresh is Australian owned and deals in the production of dairy products. It is based in Riverina region in NSW with their milk sourced from the dedicated farmers and the farm owned and operated by the farmers. To enhance freshness, the raw milk is collected daily and directly delivered to the factory in Wagga Wagga, NSW. The company has on-site technicians who test the quality of the milk for consistency. The company produces fresh milk, which includes full cream, light and skim milk. Café milk which includes gold, full cream, light and skim milk. It also produces office milk and cream (Criveanu, Sperdea, & Criveanu, 2012). Other products include yogurts, flavored milk, milk powder, whey concentrate, cheese curd and infant formulas. Riverina Fresh produces over 900Kltrs milk per week. The milk shelf life is 17 days and fresh/ thickened cream 28 days. It has HACCP accredition from BRC and a star rating from NSW Food Auhtoorty.

Milk Processing and Processing Equipment Machines

Milk from the farms is received at the plant, and quality tests are carried out. Samples are taken from farm containers before collection or from bulk milk tanker and tests carried out. According to Despande (2014), tests for the raw milk received include bacterial count, antibiotics, milk fat, protein, and milk cell count. If the milk is unsuitable, hence doesn’t meet the company’s standards, it is rejected. Once approved, the raw milk is pumped into storage tanks awaiting processing.

The raw milk is pumped into pasteurization unit/ machine. The main reason for pasteurization is to denature all microorganisms that are harmful to health, therefore ensure the dairy products are safe for consumption. It also inactivates undesirable enzymes and spoilage microorganisms to improve the shelf life of the dairy products. Pasteurization as denoted by Pearce et al. 2012) is attained by continuous thermal processing and three steps involved which include heating, holding and cooling. Heating (1600F) raises the raw milk temperature to a lethal point to target microorganisms. Holding is done at a constant temperature for a specific time to lower microbial load. Hot milk is passed into the regeneration zone where it gives its heat to incoming cold raw milk. Through this process, the pasteurized milk is cooled minimizing heat damage.

Separation is carried out in a centrifuge machine. It’s carried out to obtain cream and skim milk for further processing into a range of products. The separation machine operates utilizing centrifugal separation principle. The raw milk is subjected to a centrifugal force resulting in separation due to the milk being immiscible or having different densities. Centrifugal effect throws outward milk components that are denser than milk plasma while displacing fat globules near the centrifugal bowl’s rotation axis (Kamana et al., 2017).  Through the process, cream is obtained which can be mixed with butter to produce ghee or anhydrous milk fat. The cream can also be mixed with buttermilk to produce buttermilk powder. The skim milk obtained can be processed to produce caseinate.

The skim milk obtained from separation can undergo further processing which is ultrafiltration at ultrafiltration unit. Ultrafiltration is a process that concentrates skim milk. Grad (2016) points out that, ultrafiltration is pressure membrane separation method in which a membrane is used to separate various constituents in the skim milk mixture. The process utilizes membranes of pore sizes that don’t exceed 0.01 micron. Separation takes place due to the molecular size of the skim milk and chemical relations between the fluid components and the membrane that is in interaction with the membrane (Kamana et al., 2017). The pressure used is 30 - 150 psi. Through this process, milk serum and skim milk concentrate are obtained.

The skim milk or cream can then be further taken through standardization. Standardization is the adjustment of the skim milk or cream to a specified value. It’s also the addition of ingredients into the skim milk or cream to produce a product of the desired composition. This process is employed to get the precise fat content required. It is used to create a range of dairy products such as yogurt and cheese.

Hygiene and CCP at the plant

Maintaining high levels of hygiene at Riverina Fresh is one of their aims. It is because hygiene levels have got a direct influence on the production economic cost. Hygiene at the plant is beneficial in averting spoilage of the dairy products making them unfit for consumption and also leading to loses. The milk processing at the plant has various critical control points. The first CCP is the cold storage tanks where the CCP is the refrigeration temperatures, and the critical limit is ≤ -390F. Monitoring method is storage tanks temperature monitoring, and corrective action is adequate temperature control. Verification is by carrying out lab tests. The second CCP is at pasteurization where the hazard is microbial. Novakovic and Savanovic (2017) denote that the CCP is pasteurization temperature. The critical limit is 1610 – 1760F. Corrective action is carried out by re-pasteurizing and efficiently monitoring the temperature gauges. Verification is by ensuring proper temperature control and working of the pasteurizer. The third CCP is at cheese cutting where the hazard is physical, i.e., metal pieces. Monitoring is through scanning by metal detector each time the cheese is cut.

Preservation methods

The primary preservation methods employed at the factory are pasteurization and cold storage. Pasteurization enhances preservation by inactivating microorganisms such as bacteria. O'Connell et al. (2017) point out that inactivation of enzymes also enhances preservation by pasteurization. The heat in pasteurization reduces the microbial milk load to a low value such that the product pasteurized can have an extended shelf life. The milk is heated up to 1610F for 15 seconds a process called high-temperature short-time (HTST). Cold storage of the milk enhances preservation by ensuring that the spoilage microbes are inactive. The low temperatures of around 390F are not favorable for microbial and enzymatic activities rendering them inactive (Grad, 2016). Conditions that exist inside the cold storage tank apart from cold temperature is the humidity. It should be kept at an appropriate range because when low, it means the product loses moisture due to increased rates of evaporation (Gómez-Aldapa et al., 2013). The motion of air is also a condition in the cold storage tanks that enhances preservation by the air not being stagnated; it flows over the stored milk (product) for better cold temperature transfer. The purity of air also is a condition that enhances the cold storage process since the storage tanks don’t allow entrance of foreign air getting into the tank. Impure air may be a carrier for spoilage microorganisms.

Company Background

Riverina Oils and BioEnergy (ROBE) was built in 2013 with the aim of crushing oilseed and refining the oil. The state-of-the-art factory is built in Wagga Wagga, Australia where they get quality raw material and human resources. In Australia, they are one of the largest Agri-Food processing value-added investments for the last five years. Daily, they have a capacity of producing more than 200 tonnes of refined vegetable oil for human consumption and 300 tonnes of protein meal for animal feed industries. Everything is produced in-house ensuring consistency of the product’s quality. It directly employs 70 personnel. ROBE supplies canola oil to leading food manufacturers in Australia and also exports to the USA, India, New Zealand and South-East Asia. They also provide mid-sized food manufacturers with sunflower, canola, soybean, olive and cottonseed oils and custom made blends. The company attained Non GM certification from US Food Chain Global. It is HACCP approved and the products are Kosher, and Halal approved.

Oil Processing and Processing Equipment Machines

The seeds are received at the company and checked if they meet the company’s standards. Tests are done like checking the level of foreign contaminants like pests, leaves, stones e.t.c. Damage is also assessed like the level of seed breakage.

The first process is cleaning to remove foreign materials such as stones, leaves, straws etc. Such material if left would otherwise diminish the final product quality like causing spoilage (Yun, Ling & Yunjun, 2010). The cleaning machine works with a combination of vibrating coarse screens that revolve, reels and aspiration. Fine screening enables removal of dirt or sand. The cleaning machine has a magnetic device that aids removal of metal contaminants from the oilseed. Conditioning is carried out to the seeds using drier e.g. soybean if received at 13% needs to be dried to 10% moisture content. Conditioning facilitates removal of hulls efficiently.

Dehulling is done using a machine that removes the husks. Kaviani et al. (2015) denote that, dehulling enhances production efficiency, reduces wear of the expeller and improves the capacity of the extraction equipment because the hulls are abrasive. The dehuller has revolving blades which drive the seeds conveying the seeds outside the machine. The force results in breakage of the hulls and the seeds separated with sifting screens and shaking conveyor belts. The dehulled seeds are flaked. Flaking/size reducing as denoted by Esmaeilzadeh et al. (2014) increases the surface area of the oilseeds, hence increasing solvent penetration and thus improved extraction efficiency. The cracking mill has corrugated cylinders that revolve in series. Flaking process raptures the seeds reducing the solvent movement distance into the flaked seeds.

The flaked seeds are fed into a heating machine to undergo cooking/ tempering. Tempering machine has revolving drums with live steam. Tempering is done to denature proteins hence release oils from the seed cells and also inactivate enzymes. Tempering as denoted by Benítez-Benítez, Ortega-Bonilla, and Martin-Franco (2016) sterilize the oil, reducing microbial load and melts solid fat. The tempering is carried out by raising the temperature to 1490F (soybean), 2120F (canola) and 1220F (rapeseed) and adjusting moisture by live steam.

The tempered seeds are fed into oil mechanical extraction machine. The machine utilizes hydraulic press with horizontal stack plates. The cooked oil enters between the stacks and the stacks are compressed by a hydraulic ram. Oil runs out through openings and undergoes filtration.  The oil extraction machine utilizes solvent extraction principle using hexane or toluene as solvents. The flakes are brought into contact with the solvent and the solvent dissolves the oil on contact (Guadagnin, Cattani & Bailoni, 2013). Desolventizing is then done to separate the solvent from the oil. The solvent has a low boiling point than the oil, therefore, separate before the oil during separation. The oil is further processed through refining.

Refining process aims at producing clear oil with little or no flavor. Degumming is done through preferential hydration using water making gums insoluble then separated. A little amount of phosphoric or citric acid according to Kaviani et al. (2015) is added to convert non-hydratable phospholipids to hydrated phospholipids. Free fatty acids are neutralized with sodium hydroxide and the soap and hydrated phospholipids carried out. The oil is then bleached to remove color using acid-activated clay minerals. Clear oil is then steam distilled at low pressures to deodorize the oil. The process results in obtaining refined oil. The refined oil undergoes polishing filtration then loaded into tankers for transport.

Hygiene and CCP at the plant

Hygiene at ROBE is significant in various ways. It ensures that there are no cases of cross-contamination at the plant e.g. proper segregation of raw materials and finished products. Hygiene is vital because high standards of hygiene ensure there are no pest infestations.  Proper hygiene ensures there are pest control measures at food factory (Criveanu, Sperdea & Criveanu, 2012). The first CCP is differential pressure (dP) during polishing filtration. Hazard is physical foreign matter; critical limit to control is differential pressure and monitoring by load-out operators. Verification is by dP check during loading and with pump off. Records to check are inspection record and CCP verification checklist. The company has a HACCP plan and is HACCP approved. The second CCP is during loading where the hazards are physical foreign matter and chemical residues. Critical limits to control are tanker being clean and certificate of cleanliness. Monitoring is by load-out operators, verification is by inspecting tanker. Records are wash certificate and tanker rejection register.

Preservation methods

The major preservation method is low water activity. It is achieved through the heating process during tempering. The heating process as pointed out by Criveanu, Sperdea, and Criveanu (2012) ensures that microbial load is reduced. The heating destroys microorganisms present in the flaked seeds, ensuring that the final product attains the expected shelf life. The heating also reduces any excess moisture which would otherwise create a conducive environment for microorganisms.


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