H. Kamal, A. Wäsche, A. Borcherding
Department of Process Engineering
Mr. Kamal
Giggenhauser Straße 35
85354 Freising / Germany
Tel.: +49(0)8161/491-428
Fax.: +49(0)8161/491-444
email: kamal@ivv.fhg.de
Internet: www.ivv.fhg.de  
Pilot Plant Processing of Crops:

Processing of Crops
Plant proteins, oil, starch and fibres are an important source of ingredients for both non-food and food applications. Processing yields, product portfolio and product characteristics are the key issues in the development of isolation processes for crops. For instants, seed-specific constituents, like phytic acid in rapeseed, have to be evaluated regarding their impacts during protein isolation and byproduct separation (fibre).
Figure 1 shows a processing scheme for rapeseed protein that have been evaluated regarding processing yields and product characteristics.

Figure 1: Rapeseed process
Pilot Plant Equipment (Figure 2)
The Fraunhofer Pilot Plant is designed as a modular concept to cover all aqueous and aqueous-alcoholic processing steps in protein isolation, protein concentration and protein modification. The processing includes separation steps and various possibilities to dry proteins, starch and fibres.
The processes can be operated in both continuous operation mode (max. 50 kg/h seed) and batchwise operation mode (up to 200 kg per batch). The plant is controlled and operated by a SPS system.

The equipment includes:
  • 4-stage counter-current extraction cascade
  • centrifugal decanters and separators (throughput up to 10 m³/h)
  • 2-stage extraction cross-flow and protein precipitation
  • cross flow ultrafiltration plant (separation area 10 m², throughput up to 10 m³/h) (Figure 3)
  • ring drying plant (up to 100 kg/h water evaporation) for dietary fibre und starch (Figure 4)
  • spray drying plant with internal and external fluid bed (up to 40 kg/h water evaporation) for protein isolates (Figure 5)

Figure 2: Pilot plant for protein isolation

Figure 3: Cross flow ultrafiltration plant

Figure 4: Pilot plant, ring dryer

Figure 5: Pilot plant, 3-stage spray dryer
Evaluation of the Processes and Products
Process trials in pilot plant scale in conjunction with our analytical possibilities are the basis for the calculation of mass balances.
For example, the processing characteristics for the protein isolation of rapeseed, lupins and soybeans are compared in Table 1.

Table 1: Protein yields in protein isolation
Yield of Protein1) Rapeseed Process Lupin Process Soybean Process2)
Dietary Fibre

41 %

7 %

23 %

Isolate Fraction 1: 8 %
Fraction 2: 40 %

58 %

53 %

1) On percentage of raw protein
2) Literature: E. Bernardini: Oilseeds, Oils and Fats, Volume 1, Publishing House, 1985

Our analytical and product laboratories are equipped to determine compositions, functional and properties of physical products.
This wide range of pilot plants and laboratory equipment makes it possible to assess the processes and to characterise, compare and evaluate the products.

The results of such a evaluation can serve as a basis for process development and can be also used in the market preparation phase.