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Red palm oil (RPO) is a high carotenoids product that resulted from crude palm oil (CPO). The conventional process of RPO includes degumming, neutralization, deodorization, and fractionation processes. This research aimed to develop the simple and economical acid degumming method for processing of red palm oil. 85% phosphoric and 99.5% citric acid were used and the factors used in the study were acid (phosphoric:citric acid 0.06:0.04,0.08:0.02,0.10:0 % w/w), temperature (90, 100, 110 °C) and time (20, 25, 30 minutes). The sample was stirred at 200 rpm. In addition, the neutralization process was further studied. The results indicated that the optimal condition for degumming was 90 °C for 20 minutes and the optimum ratio of acid to separate the gum is 0.06% phosphoric acid (w/w) and 0.04% citric acid (w/w) citric acid. The sedimented gum was separated from the oil by washing the oil with water at 60 °C. After degumming the oil contained 82.70±6.49% yield carotenoids, 3.50±0.55% free fatty acid (FFA), 3.01±0.73 umol Trolox eq/g DPPH-free radical scavenging activities and 4.43±0.05 umol Trolox eq/g FRAP-free radical scavenging activities. The free fatty acids and phosphorus content were separated by NaOH at 80 °C for 30 min with constant stirring. Soap from the saponification reaction and excess NaOH were washed out with water at 60 °C. After neutralization, the oil contained 0.46±0.05% fatty acids, 637.60±8.64 mg/kg carotenoids, 74.48±9.39% oil yield, ˂ 0.1 mg/kg iron, the copper and phosphorus contents were not detected.
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