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JULY/AUG 2020 â–ª VOL 36 NO 6


Current regulations


The rise of biosurfactants Cover 4.indd 1

13/07/2020 11:05:30






Surfactants are a key ingredient in cleaning and personal care products and biosurfactants based on oils and sugars are expected to gain in popularity

Deep Frying


Current regulations What are the rules governing the safety and quality of frying oils including those for acrylamide and trans fatty acids?

The rise of biosurfactants




Sowing the seeds of innovation Vertical plate conditioning allows oilseed processors to more efficiently use steam

Transport & Logistics Comment

2 22

Natural protection of oils

There is a clear trend towards natural oil protection solutions to maintain the life of deep frying oil

Glyphosate’s full cost



Below average Chinese imports

Biofuel News


Renewable resources


Indian demand and logistics hit by Covid-19 The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on Indian edible oil demand and port operations


Malaysia to challenge EU palm oil policy at WTO

Transport News


Record soya shipments despite COVID-19 effect

Renewable News


Developing the oil palm sector


Challenges face companies and communities involved in developing palm oil on the African continent

Biotech News


Petrobras produces renewable diesel Bayer’s settlement plan hits setback

Diary of Events


International events listing

International Market Review


Mixed outlook in wake of pandemic




Contents July.Aug.indd 1

World statistical data



30/07/2020 10:50:38




EDITORIAL: Editor: Serena Lim serenalim@quartzltd.com +44 (0)1737 855066 Assistant Editor: Gill Langham gilllangham@quartzltd.com +44 (0)1737 855157 SALES: Sales Manager: Mark Winthrop-Wallace markww@quartzltd.com +44 (0)1737 855114 Sales Consultant: Anita Revis anitarevis@quartzltd.com +44 (0)1737 855068 PRODUCTION: Production Editor: Carol Baird carolbaird@quartzltd.com

Glyphosate’s full cost Just when German chemical giant Bayer must have thought it had laid its Roundup weedkiller liabilities to rest, a US court decision just two weeks after it had agreed a US$10.9bn settlement deal has delayed its plans. Bayer inherited its legal woes when it decided to buy US biotech and agrichemicals corporation Monsanto back in 2016/17. That decision has spawned around 125,000 lawsuits in the USA, with plaintiffs claiming they developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or other forms of cancer after using Roundup. Cases were coming before juries just as Bayer was finalising its US$63bn acquisition in 2018. Although always maintaining that Roundup’s active ingredient – glyphosate – is safe, Bayer announced on 24 June that it would pay out US$8.8bn-$9.6bn to resolve around 95,000 lawsuits, setting aside an additional US$1.25bn to address potential future litigation in a proposed class action case featuring an independent scientific panel (see p14). However, the presiding judge has questioned whether it would be lawful to leave the question of whether Roundup is capable of causing cancer to a panel of scientists, rather than judges and juries. Whatever the courts decide, the debate on whether glyphosate causes cancer will rumble on as neither regulators nor scientists have a conclusive answer themselves.

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Comment July.Aug.indd 1

The US Environmental Protection Agency, whom some critics have accused of colluding with Monsanto, says glyphosate is not likely to cause cancer in humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer says glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans, although it also says sunlight, oral birth control and alcohol are possibly carcinogenic as well. And the European Food Authority says glyphosate-containing formulations (which include additives to increase a weedkiller’s ability to penetrate external barriers like plant foliage skin) pose a carcinogenic threat to humans, but not glyphosate alone. Numerous cities, states and countries around the world have taken steps to either restrict or ban the chemical. Germany will prohibit its use by 2023, France will eliminate glyphosate by 2021 with limited exceptions and Mexico will phase it out by 2024. However, it is noteworthy that while Sri Lanka was the first country in the world to issue a nationwide ban in 2014, the government decided to lift this in 2018 due to crop losses and overgrowing weeds. That’s because herbicides are a vital tool for farmers growing a wide range of crops, including oilseeds. In the EU, for example, the bloc’s ban on neonicotinoids, introduced in 2013 to protect bee populations, has been blamed for declining rapeseed yields in Europe. Glyphosate is the world’s most widely-used herbicide, with an estimated 6.1bn kg sprayed on crops, across gardens and in public spaces between 2005 and 2014, according to The Guardian newspaper. The chemical has raised yields and eliminated the need for farmers to manually till their land to remove them, saving time and avoiding soil erosion. Balanced against these factors are potentially higher costs of non-glyphosate produce, groundwater contamination resulting in higher costs for water treatment and the external cost of farmers and consumers potentially falling ill as a result of exposure. Counting the true cost and impact of using or restricting the use of glyphosate is a far from easy task. Serena Lim serenalim@quartzltd.com www.ofimagazine.com

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Below average Chinese imports Chinese purchases of key agricultural goods from the USA are below average despite the country promising to increase orders, according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data reported by AgriCensus on 10 June. The USDA, however, was forecasting a sharp rise in purchases in the fourth quarter to make up for the shortfall. Chinese purchases of soyabeans, wheat, corn and sorghum were all lagging five-year averages, a senior USDA economist told the International Grains Conference on 10 June, while adding that exports of pork, beef and cotton had matched or exceeded the trend.

BRAZIL: US global financial derivatives firm CME Group and Brazilian stock exchange B3 are working together to launch new futures contracts for Brazilian soyabeans in third quarter 2020, World Grain reported on 23 June. The new agreement also included the extension of the existing B3 cross-listed mini-soyabean futures and options contracts and would allow the companies to evaluate potential products related to South American soyabean and soyabean-related products. “These new contracts respond to the demand from our customers for regional hedging and price discovery tools,” said Tim Andriesen, CME managing director of agricultural products.

tensions with the USA following President Donald Trump’s criticism of China for its Hong Kong security law and handling of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Pieterson Institute of International Economics, China had, up to April, purchased US$26bn worth of US goods based on Chinese import figures, which translated into US$20bn when based on US exports. Of that, agriculture accounted for US$6.3bn, well below the $36.6bn commitment for 2020. The USDA said it was monitoring the deals closely.

Labour crunch hits Malaysian palm oil

Foreign workers who harvest and collect palm fresh fruit bunches comprise 84% of Malaysia's plantation workforce

A labour shortage in Malaysia is causing a potential 25% loss in palm oil yield and is expected to worsen in the coming months, Reuters reported the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) as saying on 20 July. The MPOA said the gov-

ernment’s decision to freeze recruitment of new foreign workers until December could lead to the industry's ‘demise’. “Pre-COVID, we were already short of 36,000 workers. This (shortage) has already resulted in us not realising our

Photo: United Plantations


With China pledging to increase US farm good purchases to US$40bn/year for 2020 and 2021 in its Phase One trade deal with the USA, the USDA said it expected a sharp rise in purchases over the next few months. “The China agreement is over a calendar year agreement, so we would expect to see a number of purchases occurring in the fourth quarter of 2020,” said Robert Johansson, chief economist of the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service Division. The news that China was falling behind its trade deal commitments could be seen against a backdrop of rising political

potential production by 10%25%,” MPOA CEO Nageeb Wahab was quoted as saying in a conference. Around 84% of Malaysia's plantation workforce come from countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh and the MPOA said it had not been able to replace the thousands who had left palm estates to return home as borders closed. A lack of workers could delay palm fruit harvesting and lead to a drop in oil output from the world's second largest palm oil producer, especially ahead of the peak production season that began around September. Wahab said plantations were actively recruiting local workers but they were not interested in jobs they considered dirty and difficult.

Cargill completes mapping of Brazilian soya supply chain Global agribusiness Cargill has completed the mapping of its Brazilian soya farm suppliers, the company announced in its mid-year progress report on 30 June. The company said the move was part of its progress towards building a deforestation-free soya supply chain. In its report, Cargill estimated that 95.68% of its soya sourced from Brazil was grown on land that was deforestation and conversion-free (using the 2008 Forest Code as a reference point). The company had also expanded its direct engagement 4 OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020

General News July.Aug.indd 2

with farmers in Brazil, including the launch of a new farmer association in Bahia state. “We haven’t wavered in our commitment to protecting forests and native vegetation, and we believe this can be done in ways that are economically viable for farmers and local communities,” said John Hartmann, global sustainability lead for Cargill’s agricultural supply chain. Cargill’s mapping of its Brazilian supply chain allows the company to identify the locations of its direct and indirect suppliers. The company said it was also continu-

ing to grow its Sustainably Sourced and Supplied certification programme in Brazil and Paraguay. Farmers who commit to this programme pledge to produce their crops by using the best agricultural practices, protecting worker welfare, and managing greenhouse gas emissions under a continuous improvement process. Cargill also outlined its partnerships with farmers and advancements on its US$30M fund to find solutions to protect forests in ways that are economically viable for farmers in South America. www.ofimagazine.com

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NEWS IN BRIEF FRANCE: French agro-industrial group Avril and Dutch science-based company Royal DSM are launching a joint venture to produce canola proteins, World Grain reported on 15 July. Avril and DSM said construction would begin on a manufacturing facility in Dieppe, France, owned by Saipol, a subsidiary of the Avril Group. The companies said Avril would supply the joint venture company, Olatein, with non-genetically modified canola meal from the new on-site crushing unit while DSM would market and sell the new company’s product, CanolaPRO, which was a meat and dairy alternative.

Cash-strapped Vicentin set to resume exports The judge overseeing the preventive bankruptcy process of cash-strapped Argentine crusher Vicentin has ordered the national tax agency to lift export restrictions on the company, AgriCensus reported on 3 July. Meanwhile, creditors had requested a New York judge to subpoena financial documents from the global soyabean giant, alleging it had ‘improperly siphoned’ around US$400M just before its bankruptcy in February, AgriCensus added on 6 July. The banks – including Rabobank, Credit Agricole, ING Bank and the International Finance Corporation – were requesting copies of money wire transfers that they claimed had been made by the crusher to several close entities during the latter half of 2020. Denying the allegations, Vicentin said it had always complied with requests for information on its financial position, a source close to the

company was quoted as saying to Argentine newspaper Infobae Economico. Vicentin has faced financial problems since defaulting on payments to grain suppliers and brokerage firms in December 2019. The company is believed to owe approximately US$350M to grain suppliers, with a total debt of US$1.5bn. The tax agency (AFIP) had restricted Vicentin’s grain and derivatives exports at the end of last year due to the lack of payment of grain export duties and other taxes. In his ruling, Judge Fabián Lorenzini said the main goal of the preventive bankruptcy process was to allow the company to survive and preserve jobs, an outcome that would be thwarted by an export ban. The move would allow the crusher to start exporting products such as soyabean derivatives for the first time in six months.

Study recommends cutting carbs, not saturated fat An international team of experts on heart disease and diet say there is no evidence that a low saturated fat diet reduces cholesterol in people with familial hypercholesterolemia, Science Daily reported on 6 July. For decades, people diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolemia have been instructed to minimise their consumption of saturated fats to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. However, after reviewing dietary guidelines for people with familial hypercholester-

An international study says a 'heart healthy' diet is one low in sugar, not ADM said fat burgers could come from a variety of sources, including plants saturated

olemia, the study concluded there was no evidence for

health experts to recommend a low saturated fat diet.

"Our study showed that a more 'heart healthy' diet is one low in sugar, not saturated fat," said lead author David Diamond, professor and heart disease researcher at the University of South Florida. Diamond said following a low-carb diet was most effective for people at increased risk of heart disease, such as those who were overweight, hypertensive and diabetic. Familial hypercholesterolemia is a genetic disorder that causes people to have cholesterol levels two to four times higher than the average person.

Paraguay soyabean exports to Brazil more than triple Soyabean exports from Paraguay to Brazil have increased 370% year-on-year in the first half of 2020 due to low water levels complicating other export routes, AgriCensus reported on 14 July. The latest data published from Paraguay’s central bank also showed that strong Brazilian domestic demand was a factor in the huge export surge. For the January-June period, Brazil acquired 379,100 tonnes of soyabeans from Paraguay, a dramatic increase from 80,600 tonnes in the same period in 2019. “Although Brazil has had a record soy-


General News July.Aug.indd 3

abean campaign, almost all of its soyabean is being exported to China. Due to this, Brazil increased purchases from Paraguay for domestic consumption,” Daniel Hidalgo, head of the central bank’s foreign trade department, told AgriCensus. “Brazil will continue buying our soyabeans. It is expected that this growth will continue in the second half, but expectations are that our second main export destination will be Russia,” Hidalgo said. Exports to Argentina, Paraguay’s largest soyabean importer, reached 3.1M tonnes, up 18.7% year-on-year.

According to Hidalgo, soyabean exports for the whole of 2020 would grow 25% from the 4.9M tonnes exported in 2019. Around 600,000 tonnes of soyabeans were in storage at Paraguayan ports due to very low water levels in the Paraná River halting the flow of barges, the head of Paraguay’s maritime and shipping chamber, CAFyM, told AgriCensus. Paraguayan exporters usually shipped nearly 30% of total soyabean exports via this section of the Paraná River. Barges are used to ship soyabeans to ports in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.


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BIOFUEL NEWS IN BRIEF NETHERLANDS: Neste will collaborate with fast food chain McDonald’s to recycle used cooking oil into Neste renewable diesel, the Finnish renewable fuels producer announced on 24 June. In the scheme, logistics firm HAVI will collect used cooking oil from all 252 Dutch McDonald’s restaurants and then use converted Neste renewable diesel in its trucks to deliver goods to McDonald’s. Neste’s MY Renewable Diesel is sold in Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and the USA in California and Oregon. CHINA: The country’s largest oil refiner, China Petrochemical Corp, is planning to expand its biofuel operations by continuing its B5 biodiesel project in Shanghai while accelerating research on B10, China Daily reported on 18 June. The Shanghai unit of China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec) said it had provided B5 biodiesel to tens of thousands of vehicles in Shanghai, helping to dispose of 30,000 tonnes of kitchen waste since its pilot programme started in 2017. Sinopec said more than 40% of its 240 gas stations in Shanghai provided B5 and it was planning to expand its biodiesel stations to other major cities.

Malaysia to challenge EU palm oil policy at WTO The Malaysian government is taking legal action against the EU’s restrictions on palm oil-based biofuels with the World Trade Organization (WTO), The Straits Times reported on 1 July. Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the EU’s renewable energy directive (RED) ‘restricts free trade practices’. “The policies adopted by the EU in the Delegation Regulation under the European Union Renewable Energy Directive II have created unreasonable restrictions on Malaysia’s sustainability efforts,” he was quoted by The Straits Times as saying. The world’s second largest palm oil producer would be challenging the EU via the WTO’s dispute settle mechanism, he added.

Last year, the European Commission passed a law to phase out the use of palm oil in transport fuel between 2023 and 2030 after concluding that its cultivation resulted in excessive deforestation. Palm oil’s biggest producer Indonesia had challenged the law at the WTO in December, claiming the bloc’s restrictions were unfair. As a sign of solidarity and to show its commitment to address the ‘anti-palm oil campaign’, Khairuddin said Malaysia would act as a third party in Indonesia’s WTO case. Together Indonesia and Malaysia produce 85% of the world’s palm oil. Although the EU’s consumption of palm oil in food had been in steady decline, its use as a biofuel had increased, The Straits Times said.

Nuseed in offtake deal with Saipol for carinata Global seed firm Nuseed announced on 22 July that it had agreed to supply French vegetable oils and biofuels producer Saipol with its carinata feedstock, currently grown in Argentina. The multi-year offtake agreement follows the first commercial Nuseed Carinata shipment to Saipol’s crush plant in Rouen, France in June. “Nuseed Carinata is an excellent biofuel feedstock with non-GM high-protein meal,” said Saipol CEO Christophe Beaunoir. “From seed to the field and to our processing facility, every step is closely managed by Nuseed and independently certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, providing us complete confidence in the quality, supply and the greenhouse gas reduction we can provide.” Nuseed, a subsidiary of Australian agricultural chemical firm Nufarm, said it planned to scale up production of carinata in Argentina, with longer-term plans to develop the crop in other South American markets and parts of the world.

Indonesia produces first batch of 100% palm biodiesel Indonesian state oil firm PT Pertamina has produced its first batch of biodiesel made entirely from palm oil (D100) at its Dumai refinery, Reuters reported on 15 July. “This trial shows that our refinery and catalysts are ready. Next, we have to think how to make the economic side work too,” PT Pertamina CEO Nicke Widyawati said. However, the country’s plans to produce 100% palm oil fuel had been delayed by three years, Reuters said on 16 June. The government had initially planned to


Biofuel news July.Aug.indd 2

start producing so-called ‘green diesel’ in 2023 but it was moving the target to 2026 after research and investment plans were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters quoted Musdhalifah Machmud, deputy minister at the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, as saying. Making fuel from palm oil is part of Indonesia’s plan to maximise the use of palm oil domestically to absorb excess supply and reduce expensive fuel imports. Indonesia’s target to raise the blending

of palm biodiesel from 30% to 40% in 2021 had also been delayed due to low crude petroleum oil prices, Reuters said. In other news, the government has announced a US$195M stimulus package for the biodiesel industry as part of a COVID-19 economic recovery plan, Eco Business reported on 2 July. The US$195M fund would go towards subsidising biodiesel prices at the pump to stay competitive with regular diesel and would be in place for 2020 only. www.ofimagazine.com

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TRANSPORT NEWS IN BRIEF CANADA: G3 Ltd has opened a grain export terminal at the Port of Vancouver, World Grain reported on 8 July. The G3 Terminal Vancouver could receive and ship a variety of grains and oilseeds and had a storage capacity of 180,000 tonnes. It could accommodate vessels up to Capesize and its three ship loaders moved cargo on board at up to 6,500 tonnes/hour. NETHERLANDS: Dutch storage and transport firm the Dekker Group has extended its long-term lease contracts at the Port of Rotterdam by 25 years, allowing it to double its storage capacity in the next few years, the port authority announced on 20 May. The lease contracts on behalf of Dekker subsidiary Maastank were for the company’s location at Welplaatkade in the Botlek area and new adjacent sites. The move would allow Dekker to double the storage capacity of its tank terminal for vegetable oils, oleochemicals and biofuels to approximately 140,000m³, it said.

Record soya shipments despite COVID-19 effect The Brazilian grain transportation system has performed better than anticipated in the 2019/20 marketing year, according to a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Global Agricultural Information Network report on 14 July. Brazil’s largest port located outside of São Paulo in Santos loaded a record 4.6M tonnes of soyabeans in April, up 68% from the previous year. Similarly, Paranaguá port shipped 2.4M tonnes of soya and soya products in May, twice the amount shipped during the same month in 2019. “Containment of coronavirus has been key to the Brazilian ports’ performance,” the USDA said. “Early on in the pandemic, rumours of a strike at Santos forced the government and private industry to come up with an enhanced protection and mitigation protocol to ward off coronavirus

outbreaks. At the port of Santos, managers also developed contingency plans to hire contracted workers if absenteeism put operations at risk. “Although there have been sporadic reports of workers testing positive for coronavirus at various export terminals of Brazilian ports, as of late June, there were no reports of contagion.” The USDA report said Brazil’s soyabean exports were forecast to reach a record level of 84M tonnes in 2020/21 due to available supplies and an extremely favourable exchange rate. “The export forecast assumes that global demand for soyabeans will not see a severe downturn connected with COVID-19. In China and Europe — key soyabean importers — meat consumption is not likely to suffer a dramatic downturn despite the economic slowdown.”

Sharp rise in biofuel throughput at Klaipėda

The operators of the Klaipėda terminal in Lithuania say there has been a sharp increase in biofuel handled at the facility since the start of 2020, Bunkerspot reported on 9 July. Klaipėdos Nafta (KN) announced that over 37,000 tonnes of biofuel had been handled at the facility since the start of this year compared with around 5,000 tonnes throughout 2019. The terminal handles

both ethanol and biodiesel. Most of the biofuels handled at the terminal were destined for Western and Northern European markets, according to KN. The company also said that in 2020, the throughput of biofuels had been regular on a month by month basis, while in 2018 and 2019 activity had been more variable. KN’s interim commerce director Jurgita Šilinskaitė-Venslovi-

enė said changes to the EU’s policy on emissions reduction would affect member states, including Lithuania, where a law on alternative fuels was being drafted providing that no less than 6.8% of the energy value of fuel must be biofuels. Few Baltic ports handled biofuels, Bunkerspot said. Apart from Klaipėda, biofuels were also trans-shipped via Latvia’s Ventspils and Liepaja ports.

El Grano planning to expand Kazakhstan facility Grain handling company El Grano’s expansion plans for its recently completed Kazakhstan facility for wheat and sunflowerseeds include a new mill and additional silo storage, World Grain reported on 6 June. The company, which originally milled wheat in relatively small capacities, commissioned the greenfield silo facility in Akkol City in 2018. The site has a total storage capacity of 12,000 tonnes, train and truck intake and loading facilities, and processing equipment. El Grano is now planning to increase the silo storage capac-


Transport news July.Aug.indd 2

El Grano’s Kazakhstan facility handles sunflowerseeds and wheat

ity to 40,000 tonnes and build a 150 tonnes/day mill by 2025, according to World Grain. Founded in 1997 with one silo storage unit and two flour mills, El Grano decided

to develop its grain handling and processing operations to take advantage of its strategic location, with access to Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, China and

countries to the south, World Grain said. The company faced several challenges including the fact that the Kazakhstan market was dominated by large private and state-owned holdings that tended to rely on quantity rather than product quality. “In order to compete in the international market, El Grano decided it needed to focus on quality, not just quantity. It set out to cater to customers with high demands and to offer made-to-measure solutions … which needed a facility with flexibility in operations and the ability to extend storage capacity in the future.” www.ofimagazine.com

22/07/2020 12:09:35


Petrobras produces renewable diesel Brazilian petroleum firm Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) has successfully completed large-scale testing of a renewable diesel that complies with the country’s new fuel regulations, Spanish news agency EFE reported on 15 July. Produced at the company’s 208,000 barrels/day Presidente Getúlio Vargas (REPAR) refinery in the southern city of Araucária, Paraná, the fuel now only needed authorisation from the National Agency of Petro-

IN BRIEF EUROPE: Finnish renewable fuels producer Neste announced on 27 May that it is teaming up with global polymer firm Covestro to promote the use of sustainable raw materials in plastics. The collaboration aims to replace several thousand tonnes of fossil raw materials in the production of polycarbonates with Neste’s renewable hydrocarbons, made from feedstocks such as waste oils and fats. In a separate announcement on 19 May, Neste said it had updated its traceability dashboard which provides data on the company’s palm oil and palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD) supply chains. By the end of 2019, 99.5% of its PFAD supply chain had been independently mapped and validated to the supplying mills, with 71% mapped back to oil palm plantations. Neste’s target is to map its entire PFAD supply chain to plantations by the end of 2020 but progress had been slower due to COVID-19 and other factors, it said.

leum (ANP) in order to be commercialised. ANP’s new fuel specifications are due to take effect in August, according to a 24 June Oil&Gas Journal report. They require regular fuel, whether produced locally or imported, to have a minimum specific mass of 715kg/m³ and a minimum octane rating of 92 research octane number (RON). “The new specification is welcome and will bring the quality of the fuel sold in Brazil closer to that of the American and

European market,” Petrobras’ director of refining and natural gas Anelise Lara was quoted as saying in Associação Brasileira de Engenharia Automotiva’s (AEA) Youtube broadcast ‘Sustainable Mobility and the Future of Fuel’ on 23 June. Renewable diesel could be produced in dedicated plants or via co-processing of vegetable oil and animal fats with mineral diesel in units inside oil refineries using the company’s H-Bio process, the company said.

Safflower oil potential hailed by scientists

Researchers are hailing an Australian high oleic safflower oil as a potential replacement for petroleum in industrial products ranging from fuels and lubricants to speciality chemicals and plastics, ABC News reported on 6 June. Scientists at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), have succeeded in producing a safflower seed oil – called Super-High Oleic (SHO) safflower – containing over 92% oleic acid, the national science research agency said on its website. Initial studies showed the safflower oil to be a superior lubricant with lower emissions than conventional petroleum-based products, ABC News said. It also led to reduced friction and wear on engine parts. The SHO safflower was the culmination of 18 years of research by CSIRO plant scientists. Conventional safflower, one of humanity’s oldest crops which has been used to dye fabric for thousands of years,

contains low levels of oleic acid, but Australian scientists re-engineered the oilseed using gene silencing. This switched off genes that control processes within the safflower seed that limit the level of oleic acid, causing a build-up of the highly desirable oil. Safflower is a naturally hardy plant but the CSIRO variety is being developed to suit a range of growing conditions. With its giant tap root, the plant’s ability to find deep moisture gives it improved drought tolerance, giving it an advantage over crops like

canola, wheat and lentils. It also thrives in salty and sodic soils, a problem across much of Australia’s temperate cropping zone. CSIRO said safflower was a relatively minor crop in Australia, grown on about 10,000ha, but it expected to see significant areas of SHO safflower in the country by 2023. The commercial rights to the new safflower variety have been licensed to Australian clean technology company GO Resources, which operates in the industrial lubricant and oleochemical sectors.

Researchers convert algae waste oils into new products Waste products from algae-based omega-3 oil production are being converted into renewable foams by researchers at the University of California, Science Daily reported on 12 May. The university team worked with oil from the green microalgae Nannochloropsis salina, a common source of omega-3 fatty acids that are sold as dietary supplements. 12 OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020

Renewable news July.Aug.indd 2

Although more than 70% of the leftover oils are typically thrown away or burned, the researchers developed a process to purify and convert this waste stream into azelaic acid, a building block for flexible polyurethanes. The team also converted the co-product, heptanoic acid, into a food flavouring and fragrance valued at over US$500/kg.

Team member Michael Burkart said microalgae contained a variety of metabolic components that were insoluble in water but soluble in algae oil when extracted, inhibiting downstream reaction efficiency. Removing the organic contaminants was therefore key, which the team did by using simple physical methods, along with saponification. www.ofimagazine.com

22/07/2020 11:42:02

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Bayer’s settlement plan hits setback German chemical giant Bayer is delaying a plan to resolve future litigation just two weeks after it agreed a US$10.9bn deal to settle most of the 125,0000 Roundup weedkiller cancer lawsuits it faces in the USA, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on 9 July. While the US$10.9bn deal agreed on 24 June addressed 95,000 lawsuits, US$1.25bn had been set aside to settle about 30,000 outstanding claims in a future class action case. The future class would feature an independent science panel that would decide whether glyphosate – Roundup’s active ingredient – is a carcinogen rather than leave the decision to individual judges and juries, said Bayer’s global head of litigation William Dodero. However, in a court filing on 6 July, presiding US federal district judge Vince Chhabria said the plan to create a future

IN BRIEF USA: Technology company Calyxt announced on 3 June that its high oleic, low linolenic (HOLL) soyabean had been classed as a non-regulated article by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Developed using the company’s Talen gene-editing technology, Calyxt said it was expecting to launch its HOLL soyabean by 2022. “USDA confirmation is an important next step in bringing this product to the market,” said Calyxt CEO Jim Blome. Currently in the development process, the HOLL soyabean is expected to offer improved stability, helping widen its use so that food manufacturers and chefs can offer healthier alternatives to consumers.

class action was problematic and he was “tentatively inclined” to reject it. “It’s questionable whether it would be constitutional (or otherwise lawful) to delegate the function of deciding the general causation question (that is, whether and at what dose Roundup is capable of causing cancer) from judges and juries to a panel of scientists,” Chhabria was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald. Bayer said it would delay the US$1.25bn plan to give parties more time to address the questions raised by Chhabria. The company inherited its legal disputes following its 2018 takeover of global agrochemical firm Monsanto. Meanwhile, Bayer lost an appeal challenging the outcome of the first US Roundup case to go to trial. School groundskeeper Dewayne “Lee” Johnson had sued Monsanto after con-

tracting non-Hodgkin’s lymphona and a jury in 2018 had found that glyphosate had substantially contributed to Johnson’s illness, awarding him nearly US$290M in compensatory and punitive damages that were later reduced to US$78.5M. In a 21 July ruling, the California Court of Appeals denied Bayer’s motion for a new trial on condition Johnson accept a settlement of US$10.2M in compensatory damages and the same amount in punitive damages. “In our view, Johnson presented abundant – and certainly substantial – evidence that glyphosate, together with the other ingredients in Roundup products, caused his cancer,” AFP reported the judges as saying in their ruling. Roundup herbicide is used worldwide in combination with Bayer's genetically modified seeds.

Genome map of soyabeans developed Researchers in China have developed a high-quality genome map of diverse soyabean varieties, which could help improve breeding and cultivation of the oilseed, Xinhua Net reported on 18 June. In-depth resequencing and structural analysis on 2,898 soyabean accessions from around the world was carried out by researchers from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The research involved the selection of 26 representative soyabeans, including three wild soyabeans, nine farm varieties and 14 modern cultivated varieties. Researchers then assembled and annotated the genomes of the 26 soyabeans and con-

structed a high-quality graphbased soyabean pangenome, which contained almost all the genetic information of soyabeans including the unique gene structure variation of some important varieties. The information gathered could help analyse the regulation mechanism of important

agronomic traits, Xinhua Net said, such as the brightness and colour change of soyabean seed coats. Genome resources that could represent different soyabeans were key for China’s efforts in the molecular design breeding of soyabeans, according to the research team.

Sime Darby puts oil palm genome research in public domain Malaysian palm oil firm Sime Darby has made its genome research into higher yielding oil palm seeds publicly available in a move it said could help the industry slow deforestation, Reuters reported on 11 June. Sime Darby said its 10-year research had resulted in its ‘GenomeSelect’ seeds, which could increase palm oil output by 20%. 14 OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020 

Biotech news.indd 2

By putting its genome map identifying the genetic markers for higher yields in the public domain, Sime Darby said it aimed to help scientific research centres and other major industry players fast-track their research. “Sharing the genome can save scientists years in their own research,” said Sime Dar-

by chief research and development officer Harikrishna Kulaveerasingam. Sime Darby said it was now scaling up production of its GenomeSelect seeds for its own needs and was also developing oil palms that were easier to harvest, resilient to climate change and disease tolerant. www.ofimagazine.com

29/07/2020 12:51:20

DIARY OF EVENTS 24-26 August 2020

22-24 September 2020

28-29 October 2020

15-16 December 2020

Biodiesel Production Technology Summit Minneapolis Convention Center, USA www.biodieseltechnology summit.com/ema/ DisplayPage. aspx?pageId=About_Us

Oils and Fats Industry Exhibition Kiev, Ukraine https://oil.agroinkom.com.ua/

ICIS Pan American Oleochemicals Virtual Conference (Online) www.icisevents.com/ panamoleochemicals

Palmex Thailand 2020 ICC Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand http://thaipalmoil.com

2 September 2020 The Sustainable Palm Oil Dialogue Europe (Online) https://rspo.org/newsand-events/events/ the-sustainable-palm-oildialogue-europe 16-18 September 2020 ICIS World Surfactants Virtual Conference (Online) www.icisevents.com/ worldsurfactants

24-25 September 2020 29th FEFAC Congress Queen Elisabeth Hall Antwerp, Belgium https://fefac.eu/newsroom/ events/xxix-fefac-congresstowards-climate-neutral-feedand-livestock-production-ineurope/ 6-7 October 2020 Oleofuels 2020 Marseille, France https://www.wplgroup.com/ aci/event/oleofuels/ 6-7 October 2020

Black Sea Oil Trade Kiev, Ukraine www.ukragroconsult.com/en/ conference/bso2020

Biofuels International Conference & Expo Brussels, Belgium www.biofuels-news.com/ conference/biofuels/biofuels_ index_2020.php

21-22 September 2020

6-8 October

Bio Impact Ag & Environment (Online) www.bio.org/events/ bio-impact-digital

Palmex Indonesia Santika Premiere Dyandra Hotel & Convention North Sumatra Indonesia http://palmoilexpo.com/

17 September 2020

22-22 September 2020 Future of Biofuels Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers, Denmark https://fortesmedia. com/future-of-biofuels2020,4,en,2,1,5.html

22-23 October 2020 7th High Oleic Oils Congress Toulouse, France http://higholeicmarket.com/ hoc-2019/

30 October-1 November 2020 Globoil India 2020 Goa India www.globoilindia.com 2-4 November 2020 World Bio Markets Passenger Terminal Amsterdam The Netherlands www.worldbiomarkets.com 10-12 November 2020 ICIS Asian & Indian Surfactants Virtual Conference (Online) www.icisevents.com/ehome/ asiansurfactants/contact_us/ 11-12 November 2020 Nordic Lipid Forum (Webinar) https://lipidforum.info/nordiclipid-forum-seminar-2020/ 7-9 December 2020 10th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts (AlgaBBB 2020) Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, USA www.elsevier.com/events/ conferences/internationalconference-on-algal-biomassbiofuels-and-bioproducts

25-26 February 2021 OFIC 2021 Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia http://mosta.org.my/events/ ofic-2021/ 2-5 May 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo Portland, Oregon, USA www.aocs.org/attendmeetings/industry-events 14-16 September 2021 oils+fats Munich 2021 Messe Munich, Germany www.oils-and-fats.com/ index.html 17-20 October 2021 EuroFed Lipid Congress, Expo Leipzig, Germany www.eurofedlipid.org 8-10 November 2021 AOCS Australasian Section Meeting Newcastle, Australia www.aocs.org/attendmeetings/industry-events

Information correct at time of going to press For a full events list, visit: www.ofimagazine.com

www.sepiolsa.com Ph: +34 949 010 000 bleachingearth@sepiolsa.com


Diary.indd 1



25/07/2020 17:55:27


Mixed outlook in wake of pa

Key factors to watch

While the pandemic has been unfolding, many other questions have needed to be factored in. How many hectares, for example, would US soyabean farmers plant after last year’s weather and China trade debacles? According to the USDA’s June update, the big shift from maize to soya, expected by many in the trade, failed to happen. The USA saw just 130,000ha of extra soyabean plantings. In the USDA’s 1 June quarterly estimate, soyabean stock was closer to market thinking, implying about 8% less soya disappearance than last year. Then there is the question of how quickly US soyabean sales to China will recover, with some help from US President Donald Trump’s ‘phase one’ trade deal but hindrance from rhetoric over COVID-19 blame and political events in Hong Kong? Chinese buyers have frequently surprised the market by continuing to purchase from the USA amid 16 OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020

John Buckley EDITED.indd 2

Figure 1: World oil consumption – past season unusually flat for growth (million tonnes)

Figure 2: Larger sunflowerseed crops filling rapeseed gap (million tonnes)

Source: John Buckley

At their nadir in second quarter 2020, leading vegetable oil price indicators had plummeted by 15% to 25% due to the impact of COVID-19 on food and industrial consumption (see Figure 1, right). Consumer stockpiling (triggered by largely unproven supply fears) only partially offset the impact of global restaurant closures and the reduced biofuel needs of a world in lockdown. This has left forecasts for 2019/20 world consumption flat compared to the previous season’s 3.6% and 2016/17’s hefty 5.5% growth trends. The current season could be revised down further – as the outlook for 2020/21 consumption already has, from a meagre 2.8% recovery to near zero, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Source: John Buckley

In the wake of COVID-19, diminishing demand has weighed heavier on prices than the threat of supply dislocation from lockdowns. The key question for the second half of 2020 is how quickly can consumption bounce back? John Buckley

what appears to be a growing political fracture. Yet the overall development of this trade has not met expectations. Main US rival Brazil, for example, was reported to have shipped 8.86M tonnes of soyabeans to China in June when the USA supplied only 493,000 tonnes. This helped Brazil raise its June shipments by over 60% on the year to around 13.7M tonnes. Markets have also been preoccupied with how quickly Malaysia, the second largest palm oil producer, might win back sales to top customer India as the two countries attempt to repair political differences. Has palm oil production followed its normal seasonal pattern, rising into the summer/autumn months, or would dry weather and COVID-19 lockdowns keep it down? In first half 2020, Malaysian output was down 7.6% on the year, having been as much as 13% lower in May.

In addition, will the palm oil giants, especially Indonesia, be able to continue with ambitious plans to use far more in biodiesel when the crude mineral oil price is still struggling at its lowest for some years? So far, Indonesia is not far off this year’s biodiesel target and has pledged support for a higher blend that could help mop up some of the surplus. There is also the question of how tighter supplies of rapeseed/canola will influence the broader supply mix. Things may loosen a little for rapeseed in 2020/21 if Australia and the former Soviet countries get their expected bigger crops. But even an extra 1.5M tonnes or so of canola will still leave this market 4M to 5M tonnes beneath the peak production levels it saw in 2018 and 2017 respectively. In contrast, sunflower oil has continued to rapidly gain market share through higher planted areas and mostly favourable weather to date. At almost 57M tonnes, the current sunflowerseed forecast is 9M tonnes or about 18.5% larger than it was three years ago. Not surprisingly, current market conditions have led to a fairly volatile period for prices, despite the overall downward trend. So how are these factors evolving to affect prices going forward?

Soyabean stays strong

All the current signs are that soyabean supplies will remain abundant for the next few years. After a strong start on larger 


22/07/2020 14:35:42


hectarage, the USA should grow a much bigger crop this year – the USDA data points to 112.5M tonnes compared with last year’s disappointing 97M tonnes, although still below the record 120M tonnes achieved in the previous two years. Bigger US supplies should also coincide with expected larger Latin American crops. The USDA has the combined total of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay at almost 195M tonnes in 2020/21 against this season’s 184M tonnes. Based on higher crush in China, Latin America itself and a number of smaller/moderate sized consumers taking advantage of lower soya prices, world consumption is seen reducing the soyabean carryover stock from this year’s 99M tonnes to 95M tonnes (against the record 112.5M tonnes of 2018/19).According to the futures markets, it is a recipe for fairly stable prices through the year ahead. The USDA recently raised its ex-farm average for the new season from US$8.20 to US$8.50/bushel, close to last season’s, assuming crushing will repeat last year’s record of 58.7M tonnes and exports jumping by almost 11M tonnes. Recent soya events include: • Prior to the US/China trade war, the USA exported 55-60M tonnes/ year of soyabeans. US sales to China have been picking up with cheap offers, assisted by a weakening US$ versus the Brazilian Real, and Chinese crushers needing to rebuild depleted stocks. Brazilian supplies have looked a bit tighter than expected after heavy sales to China raised its prices. Mexico and Egypt have also become important outlets for the North Americans. • Brazil’s farmers have made bigger than usual forward sales while main soya product exporter Argentina has seen its sales slowed recently by new export tariffs. • World demand for soyabean oil was expected to rise by just over 1% (about 750,000 tonnes) this season but the USDA forecasts a 4.2% (2.3M tonnes) rise in 2020/21, the bulk of this in China and Latin America. • US soyabean oil futures recently nudged multi-year lows while meal futures took a hit from fears of declining US meat production.

Palm oil demand still uneasy

Fears of renewed coronavirus surges quashing demand have kept prices of www.ofimagazine.com

John Buckley EDITED.indd 3

Tight year ahead for rapeseed?

An upward revision to this year’s official planted area estimate from Statistics Canada to 8.4Mha was well within trade guesses and less than 1% below last year’s

First half 2020

figure. The latest USDA estimate has Canadian output at 19M tonnes – the same as last year and over 1M tonnes down from 2018. Recovering from previous droughts, Australia is expected to raise its crop by 1M tonnes to over 3.3M tonnes. Ukraine has been forecast to produce 4M tonnes versus last year’s 3.5M tonnes and 2018’s 2.9M tonnes, while Russia should achieve about 2.1M tonnes, slightly up on the past two year’s average. After a difficult start with the weather, the EU faces another small crop, probably close to last year’s 16.8M tonnes against 2018’s 20.3M tonnes. The EU also starts the new season with lower stocks, a possible spur to repeat last year’s front-loaded import campaign, which will remain heavily dependent on supplies from Ukraine, then Canada and Australia as these later-harvested crops arrive. EU price rises have been kept under control so far by strong imports – up over 40% so far this season – and by flattening demand from the biodiesel sector. Canadian prices have held up after June stocks were revealed tighter than expected amid strong exports (despite the loss of Chinese business, previously 40% of Canada’s trade) and a long period of higher domestic crush. However, the Canadian market has also been restrained by 2019 delayed harvests still coming into the commercial pipeline, resulting in ample nearby supplies. It is possible the Canadian crop may turn out larger than 19M tonnes as top canola state Saskatchewan’s crop was recently said to be in far better shape than last year’s at this stage. Tight rapeseed supplies will be offset by bigger sunflowerseed crops coming from Ukraine, Russia and Argentina athough, at this stage, the European harvest looks similar to last year’s (see Figure 2, p16). Ukraine has, as usual, been a strong exporter, increasing sunflower oil shipments for the season to date by 10% to 5.7M tonnes.  ● John Buckley is OFI’s market correspondent

Source: John Buckley


palm, like most vegetable oils, in check recently amid more mixed input from the supply side. Some analysts had Malaysian June production rising seasonally but the Malaysian Palm Oil Association warned of a possible 10-20% annual output loss due to COVID-19 lockdowns on labour. The USDA recently forecast Malaysian output recovering to 19.3M tonnes (after dropping in 2019/20 by 2.3M tonnes from the 2018/19 high point of 20.8M tonnes). Indonesian output is also expected to rise by 1M tonnes for the second year running. Malaysia’s June palm oil exports jumped 25% on the month but some analysts have July dropping back as much as 2030%, due to concerns over India raising new import duties. Questions remain about the extent to which demand from the big three importers – China, the EU and India – will recover in the months ahead (see Figure 3, below). The USDA estimated their combined imports dropping by almost 2M tonnes this season. India’s January-June imports from Malaysia totalled just 397,151 tonnes, a staggering 85% down on the year. India’s total edible oil imports crashed by over a third in the spring due to coronavirus disruptions. Palm oil imports by the world’s second largest importer, the EU, remain 11% down on the year. Meanwhile, world number one palm consumer Indonesia is forecast to increase consumption by 600,000 to 14.3M tonnes under an expanded biofuel programme. Over the coming months, palm oil production should ramp up seasonally by several hundred thousand tonnes a month so demand will need to keep pace to avoid stock build-up weighing further on prices – and palm must keep a competitive edge against soya.

First half 2019

Figure 3: Top Malaysian palm oil buyers OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020


22/07/2020 14:35:44

DEEP FRYING Harmful substances can be formed during deep frying due to the exposure of frying oils and fats to high temperatures over a long period of time. What are the rules governing the safety and quality of frying oils including those for acrylamide and trans fatty acids? Dr Rüdiger Weißhaar Fried food is popular worldwide, producing appetising food which has a good aroma, flavour, texture and mouthfeel. Frying is also an efficient means of food preparation as it is fast, has excellent heat transfer, is lethal to microorganisms and is applicable in food service and street food. In order to maintain the safety and quality of food, many national and international regulations have been enacted (see Figure 1, p19). As different as detailed national regulations are, there are a number of universal food law principles accepted in nearly every country, the main rule being that food should be safe for consumers. This means that food should not be harmful to consumers’ health and should be fit for human consumption.

Safety of used frying oil

It is undisputed, that harmful substances can be formed during the lifetime of a frying oil, even if good manufacturing practices (GMP) are followed. “There is no other kind of food which is exposed to harsher thermal conditions (high temperature for a long time of exposure) than deep frying oil,” according to the conclusions of the 3rd International Symposium of Deep Fat Frying in March 2000. “Myriads of complex heat and/ or oxygen induced reactions take place during the usage life of a deep frying fat, provoking drastic changes in the sensory, physical, chemical and nutritional properties of the oil. “A number of clinical symptoms are described for the long term consumption of high levels of highly oxidised fats such as diarrhoea, anorexia, anaemia, reduced growing and myocardial inflammation.” In the EU, Regulation EC No 178/2002 states that in determining whether any food is injurious to health, regard should be paid to: a) the probable immediate and/or short-term and/or long-term effects of that food on the health of a person 18 OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020

Deep frying regs.indd 2

Current regula ti consuming it, and on subsequent generations; b) the probable cumulative toxic effects; c) the particular health sensitivities of a specific category of consumers where the food is intended for that category of consumers. “Despite all possible hypothetical health risks, there is a general agreement in research that moderate consumption of used frying oils, used at normal frying conditions is not injurious to human health”, the 3rd Deep Fat Frying Symposium concluded. Even the occasional consumption of moderately deteriorated frying oils and fried food is not rated as harmful to human health. This is a point of considerable legal importance because the marketing of food which is injurious to human health is classified as a criminal offence in most countries, with serious punishments.

Assessment criteria

From the first moment of use, frying oils undergo steadily growing changes in sensory properties, chemical composition and physical characteristics.

The crucial question for fryer operators and food inspectors is how extensive the changes can be for the quality of the used frying oil and fried food to be still acceptable for consumers. The 3rd Deep Fat Frying Symposium concluded that the principle quality index for deep fat frying should be the sensory parameters of the food being fried. Two tests should be used to confirm abuse, analysing: • Total Polar Materials (TPM) < 24% • Polymeric Triglycerides (PTG) < 12% Over the last 20 years, many countries have established guidelines or regulations for fryer operators and official food control agencies on abused frying fats and oils. In most cases, TPM is the critical parameter with limits from 24% to 27%. (see Table 1, p19). If the sensory properties of a used frying oil are not acceptable and at least one of the recommended or regulated limits is exceeded, the oil is undisputedly not suitable for human consumption. A food item takes up a significant amount of frying oil so that the oil itself becomes an ingredient of the fried food item. If any ingredient of a foodstuff is www.ofimagazine.com

18/07/2020 20:24:29

Overview: countries controlling the quality of frying oil Overview: countries controlling the quality of frying oil

Legislation/ Regulation

Source: Oleotest.com


Figure 1: Countries controlling the quality of frying oil 10th International Symposium on Deep Frying - 08 -10 March 2020


Hagen / Germany

Source: Oleotest.com

Source: Oleotest.com



unsafe, the whole foodstuff is rated as unsafe. This is a basic principle of food law all over the world. Therefore, food which is prepared in abused frying oil or frying fat is unsafe and not suitable for human consumption. The best parameter for the assessment of extracted frying fat is the amount of PTGs. However, the limits for chemical parameters cannot be simply transferred to fat extracted from fried food because values can be changed as a result of the extraction procedure. It should also be noted that a frying oil is not automatically acceptable if its values are in line with the limits. There are some frying applications, where the sensory quality of the frying oil may become unacceptable long before TPM and PTG limits are reached. This is the case with frying oils with high amounts of linolenic acid like rapeseed oil; frying oils with E900 (dimethylpolysiloxane) as an antifoaming agent; and the frying of bakery products like doughnuts where the oil bath has an unfavourable surface to volume ratio. In these cases, the use of additional parameters such as anisidine value, acid value or smoking point may be helpful. www.ofimagazine.com

Deep frying regs.indd 3

Austria Belgium France Germany Hungary Italy Netherlands Portugal Spain Switzerland Chile Japan USA

27% 25% 25% 24% 25% 25% 27% 25% 25% 27% 25%

1.25% 1700C 1.25% 1700C 1.00% 1700C

12% 10% 14% 12%



1800C Oxidised FA<1% 1800C Linolenic acid<2% 1800C 1700C Oxidised FA<0.7% 1800C 1800C 1800C 1800C No silicone additives

1700C 1.00% 1700C 1.25% 1700C 2.00%

Carbonyl value <50 Smoking/colour

Table 1: Regulations for used frying oils

Relevant danger CCP Limit Control Measure Documentation Responsibility

Formation of substances in toxicological relevant amounts Yes Oligomer triglycerols <12%; total polar amounts <24% Quick test Removal and exchange of frying oil Documentation of the values with date and time Chef de cuisine

Table 2: Exemplary HACCP protocol for frying operations Another tool for assessment of these oils can be a statistically verified combination of various parameters. For example, a combination of TPM and acid value.

Acrylamide regulations

Acrylamide is a neurotoxin classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Group 2A probable carcinogen. Binding limits for acrylamide in fried food do not exist but different governments and NGOs have a number

Source: R Stier, B Matthaus

a tions

Polar FFA Smoke PTG Heat Others materialon Deep Frying point International Symposium - 08 -10 March 2020limit - Hagen / Germany

Source: B Matthaus


of regulations and guidelines to mitigate acrylamide levels. In the EU, there are benchmark levels and a catalogue of mitigation measures for different food groups. French fries have a maximum acrylamide limit of 500 µg/ kg while potato crisps and crackers have a maximum level of 750 µg/kg. Mitigation measures are obligatory if benchmark values are exceeded The most important measure to minimise acrylamide formation is temperature control. u OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020


18/07/2020 20:24:31

DEEPRegulations FRYINGfor trans-fatty acids worldwide Netherlands


2016 New limits for high and low fat products


2013 FDA declared that trans fat are not generally recognized as safe,


2016 Not more than 5% TFA


Commitment to reduce the amount of TFA in food


2013 Not more than 2% TFA and labbeling

Figure Regulations for trans fatty Source:3: October, 2010 Consumer Affairs Agency Food acids Labeling worldwide Division (Japan) 10th International Symposium on Deep Frying

u In the EU, French fries and other cut deep-fried or oven-fried potato products should have a temperature of 160-175°C when frying; or 180-220°C when using an oven. Sliced potato crisps should have a maximum temperature of 168°C at the exit of the fryer.

Due diligence and HACCP

Food business operators at every stage of the food chain have to ensure that their products are safe and fit for human consumption. The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system is a preventive approach to food safety that attempts to avoid hazards rather than attempting to inspect finished products. The use of HACCP in food business is mandatory in many countries. The system analyses possible biological, chemical and physical dangers; identifies where points of danger can occur; sets critical limits at danger points; establishes corrective actions; and outlines procedures to ensure HACCP is working. The important critical points for frying operations are temperature and TPM or PTG (see Table 2, previous page).

Trans fatty acids

Industrial or artificial trans fatty acids (TFAs) can be found in baked, fried and snack foods and are formed when fats and oils are partially hydrogenated to improve their taste, texture and shelf-life. Industrial TFAs increase our risk of heart disease by increasing the ‘bad’ low density cholesterol in our blood, while also lowering the ‘good’ high density cholesterol. In the EU the content of industrial TFAs in food intended for the final consumer 20 OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020

Deep frying regs.indd 4


08 -10 March 2020 -

Hagen / Germany

and food for supply to retail should not exceed 2g per 100g of fat. The formation of TFAs during the frying process is negligible if frying conditions are in line with GMP, especially if recommended temperatures are not exceeded. TFA concentration can rise by the transition of fat from fried goods into the frying oil (see Table 2, previous page).

Labelling of allergens

Allergenic substances have to be labelled if they are ingredients of a foodstuff, for example, where doughnuts are fried in (hydrogenated) peanut oil, the use of peanut oil must be labelled. In the USA, major food allergens are those which contain protein derived from milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts and soyabeans. The EU lists substances causing allergies or intolerances, which include milk and milk products; egg; fish; crustaceans; almond, hazelnut, walnut and cashew nuts; peanut and peanut products; and soyabeans except for fully refined soyabean oil. A typical example of an allergenic contaminant is traces of seafood protein in frying oil, which is used alternately for shrimps and french fries. The labelling of allergenic contaminants is not obligatory in most countries although this may change if the Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling (VITAL) concept is adopted in Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and the EU. In the VITAL concept, allergenic substances which are not basic ingredients of a food item have to be labelled if a specific threshold or judgement value is exceeded.

Source: Consumer Affairs Agency Food Labelling Division, Japan

Commitment > 1% TFA

Different lists of threshold values for different allergens are in preparation worldwide. The compromise labels of “may contain [allergen]“ or “processed in a facility that also processes [allergen]“ are often used although these advisory labellings should not be used to conceal defects in GMP.

Food additivies

Food additives must be approved by national food authorities with consideration to safety assessments; technological need; ensuring that the use of the additive will not deceive consumers and labelling requirements.

Labelling of GM frying oils

An increasing proportion of edible oils, such as soyabean, corn oil, rapeseed and cottonseed oils, is produced from genetically modified plants (GMO). The use of GMOs for food and feed must be approved by national or international food authorities. The labelling of GM food is required in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the USA and the EU. Fully refined oils and food served in restaurants and fast food outlets do not have to be labelled as “genetically modified“ or “bioengeneered“ (USA) in most countries. In the EU, all food (including processed food) or feed which contains more than 0.9% of approved GMOs must be labelled (even food served in restaurants and fully refined frying oil).

What can we expect in the future? In the future, aspects other than consumer protection and food safety may possibly gain in importance in the field of deep frying. These include: • The protection of fryer operators and ambient air from harmful volatile substances such as acrolein. • Sustainability and climate protection aspects such as climate-friendly production of frying fats and oils; energy efficiency of frying systems; and recycling of used frying oils as raw material for biogas and biofuel. The number of worldwide regulations will no doubt increase.   This article is based on a presentation made at the March 2020 10th International Symposium on Deep Frying in Hagen by Dr Rüdiger Weißhaar, who is a member of the scientific staff of Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUS) Stuttgart, one of the four official food control and animal health laboratories of BadenWürttemberg state in southern Germany www.ofimagazine.com

18/07/2020 20:24:32

OFI Half Page Horizontal Ad – Increase Profits.indd 1

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There is a clear trend towards natural oil protection solutions to maintain the life of deep frying oil Waut Dooghe Deep fried foods remain very popular today despite the trend towards low fat products. At the same time, consumers are increasingly focused on healthy and environmentally-friendly ingredients. Retailers are therefore looking to their suppliers to ensure they can meet these customer requirements. Deep frying can lead to undesired chemical and physical changes that affect both the quality of the deep-frying medium and the fried food. Synthetic antioxidants such as tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) can be used to extend the shelf life of frying oils but are less effective in deep frying conditions. Furthermore, there is a clear trend towards natural oil protection solutions. With this trend in mind, ingredients supplier Kemin Industries developed FortiFry Liquid, a natural antioxidant consisting of a tocopherol-rich extract, speciality oils and an emulsifier system to protect the frying life of oil. Forti-Fry was tested on a vegetable oilssalmon oil blend, as food manufacturers are exploring the use of fish oil for frying purposes, due to its high level of healthy polyunsaturated fats. Unfortunately, the many polyunsaturated fats in fish oil are highly sensitive to oxidation. To prolong the life of the frying oil blend, Forti-Fry was tested at 0.15% and 0.3% dosage rates. The frying life of the treated salmon and vegetable oils blend was compared with an untreated reference, and with the pure reference vegetable oil blend. Deep frying trials consisted of two frying cycles of four consecutive hours per day. Each frying cycle involved three hours of pre-heating at 140°C (to

Natural protection of oils

promote oxidation reactions), followed by frying for one hour at 180°C (to promote polymerisation reactions). During each cycle, eight batches of raw, sliced potato chips were fried for three minutes at 180°C. At the end of each cycle, oil samples were taken for analysis of Dimerised and Polymerised Triglycerides (DPTG) and Total Polar Compounds (TPC) using using Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). Each fryer was topped up with fresh oil from each respective treatment to compensate for oil loss during frying. Maximum legal limits for DPTG range from 10-16%, and from 24-27% for TPC, depending on the country. Although the addition of salmon oil appeared to have an impact with regards to formation of DPTG during the deepfrying process, it did not affect the frying life of the frying oil blend. However, when the salmon oil was treated with 0.15% or

Figure 1: DPTG of frying oils in batch frying of raw potato chips 22 OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020

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0.3% of Forti-Fry, the frying life increased by more than 50% (see Figure 1, below). Similarly, inclusion of salmon oil in the reference oil was slightly beneficial in delaying the formation of TPC. A stabilising effect was also seen when the salmon oil was treated with Forti-Fry, resulting in a frying life that was around 40% higher compared with the untreated reference vegetable oil blend (see Figure 2, below). Kemin’s natural antioxidant significantly prolonged the frying life of the oil by preventing undesirable off-flavours and decreasing foaming. The emulsifiers also supported a sufficient heat transfer manifested in even browning of the food. The optimal dosage in the vegetable oil and fish oil blend was 0.15%. ● This article is based on a poster presented by Waut Dooghe, a senior research associate at Kemin Industries, at the 10th International Symposium on Deep Frying in Hagen, Germany in March 2020

Figure 2: TPC of frying oils in batch frying of raw potato chips

Source: Kemin Industries



15/07/2020 12:28:50

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The rise of biosurfactants Surfactants are a key ingredient in cleaning and personal care products and biosurfactants based on oils and sugars are expected to gain in popularity Serena Lim

Surfactants play a very important role in products that we use every day. They are in our soaps, facial cleansers, shampoos, shaving creams and even our toothpaste. They are in the cleaners we use to wash our countertops or cars; and in insect repellents and sun screen sprays that protect us when are outside. They are also a main constituent in paints, coatings and adhesives. “Just about anything that is sprayed, applied, brushed, wiped or smeared on probably has some form of surfactant in it,” says the IngredientsShop website. So what exactly are surfactants? Surfactants or surface active agents are compounds that lower the surface or interfacial tension between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. In a product, they reduce or break the surface tension so that the function will either be completed or easier to complete, acting as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents and dispersants. Surfactants are the most important ingredient in cleaning products, helping to break up and remove grease and grime by helping water wet things more uniformly. “You might think water gets you wet, and it does,” says British science writer Chris Woodford. “But it doesn’t get you nearly as wet as it might. That’s because of surface tension. Water molecules prefer their own company so they tend to stick 24 OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020

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together in drops. When rain falls on a window, it sticks to the surface in distinct droplets that gravity pulls down in streaks. To make water wash better, we have to reduce its surface tension so it wets things more uniformly. And that’s precisely what a surfactant does. “The surfactants in detergents improve water’s ability to wet things, spread over surfaces and seep into dirty clothes fibres.” Surfactants also do another important job, Woodford says. One end of their molecule is attracted to water, while the other end is attracted to dirt and grease. “So the surfactant molecules help water to get hold of grease, break it up and wash it away.”

Market size

The biggest market for surfactants is home and personal care, accounting for three-quarters of the US$40bn in annual surfactant sales, says industry veteran Neil Burns. Other large markets include cosmetics, agriculture, enhanced oil drilling and environmental remediation. According to Prof Douglas Hayes of the Department of Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science, University of Tennessee, USA, the surfactants and detergents market totalled some 20.9M tonnes in 2017. Household detergents comprised some 42% of the total, industrial surfactants around 29%, personal care 16% and pharmaceuticals 7%, he told

delegates at the 2019 International Palm Oil Congress & Exhibition (PIPOC). The market share between regions was 30.5% in Europe, 28.5% in North America and 26.3% in Asia/Pacific. Prof Hayes said bio-based surfactants make up nearly a quarter (24.2%) of the total surfactants and detergents market, totalling some 5.7M tonnes in 2017 and worth US$10.1bn. Europe accounts for 47.4% of the bio-based surfactants market, followed by North America (26.6%) and Asia/Pacific (18.1%). However, it is estimated that bio-based surfactants will account for 27.5% of the overall market in the future, with Asia/ Pacific as the greatest growth region. Biosurfactants are expected to gain in popularity, especially in niche markets such as cosmetics, personal care and pharmaceuticals.

What are biosurfactants?

Surfactants are mainly petroleum-based and are usually non-biodegradable, accumulating in the environment. Biosurfactants, on the other hand, are derived from living organisms. Commercially, they are made by large-scale fermentation of oil, sugar or a combination of the two. With increasing environmental regulations and consumer demand for milder ingredients that are bio-based, biodegradable and sustainable, the focus u www.ofimagazine.com

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Rhamnolipids poised to go big

• Decreased waste such as by-products, unused feedstocks and spent catalyst • Reduced CO2 emissions • Increased biocompatibility (reduced toxicity) if ingested or applied to the skin • Increased sustainability in packaging • Reduced environmental impact and persistence (ecotoxicity)

The time is right for rhamnolipids after years of promise without reaching commercial scale, says an article in the 15 June issue of Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN). The biosurfactant is the base of a Booni Doon facial cleanser due for a June launch in the USA. Last year, Unilever launched a variety of its Quix dish soap in Chile based on rhamnolipids from Evonik Industries. And in another sign of confidence, US surfactants producer Stepan Company purchased the NatSurFact rhamnolipid business from Logos Technologies earlier this year, the C&EN article says. Rhamnolipids consist of one or two rhamnose sugar groups attached to one or two fatty acid chains. Optimised fermentation strategies and improved extraction and concentration methods are now offering rhamnolipids on a larger scale. Evonik is now regularly making commercial quantities of rhamnolipids at a site in Slovakia and is designing a dedicated plant that will produce “low double-digit kilotonnes” starting in 2023. Stepan is supplying NatSurFact’s existing customers with samples and making plans for expanded production and expects its rhamnolipids to be in consumer products within the next few years, C&EN writes. Depending on purity and volumes, rhamnolipids cost 10–30 times as much as conventional surfactants which, although high, is a big drop from just a few years ago when they were 1,000 times as expensive as their conventional counterparts, according to AGAE Technologies marketing and sales director Dustin Nelson. “This is now an economically viable large-scale project.” A good surfactant can also be effective even if it makes up only a small percentage of the final product, making price differences less impactful than they might be for other ingredients. Pairing different biosurfactants opens up even more options. For example, Dan Derr – who helped develop NatSurFact – and his team experimented with a waterbased all-purpose cleaner that was 1% rhamnolipids and 2% sophorolipids and found it was excellent at cleaning oily surfaces. “Sophorolipids are better emulsifiers than rhamnolipids, and rhamnolipids are better cleansers,” Derr says. The moves by big firms like Stepan and Evonik are signs that rhamnolipids’ time has come, says industry veteran Neil Burns. “If you see a surfactant take its place in a decent-size brand ... that’s thousands and thousands of tonnes. That says it’s cost-competitive, widely available, and has been scrutinised to death with respect to environmental impact and toxicology.”

Oilseed feedstocks

There are various routes in the processing of oilseeds that can be used to produce biosurfactants, according to Prof Hayes (see Figure 1, left). For industrial (non-food) use, vegetable oil feedstocks include: • Palm kernel oil (PKO) – 48% 12:0, 18% 14:0, 8% 16:0 • Coconut oil – 48% 12:0, 16% 14:0, 8% 16:0 • Algal oils (such as AlgaPure from Solazymes) enriched in 10:0, 12:0 and 14:0 • Cuphea – enriched in 8:0-14:0 • Tallow – 23-27% 16:0, 15-23% 18:0, 3-4% 14:0, 36-43% 18:1 • Palm stearine – 54% 16:0, 5% 18:0, 1% 14:0, 33% 18:1, 7% 18:2 For food and pharmaceutical use, feedstocks include: • Palm oil – 18:1-rich; 16:0+18:0+18:2 content • Jatropha – 14.7% 16:0, 6.9% 18:0, 42.4% 18:1, 35.2% 18:2 • Soapnut – 4.7% 16:0; 1.5% 18:0, 7.0% 20:0, 52.6% 18:1, 23.9% 20:1

Biobased Surfactants and the Biorefinery

Figure 1: Bio-based surfactants and the biorefinery u is turning to biosurfactants. Prof Hayes said in his PIPOC presentation that sustainability is a major theme when it comes to bio-based products, taking into account their life cycle – from the feedstocks on which they 26 OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020

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are based, through to synthesis, uses and end of life. Biosurfactants should offer: • Increased performance at lower cost • Increased use of renewable resources as feedstocks • Reduced energy and water utilisation

Source: Prof Douglas Hayes, PIPOC 2019

Synthesis of biosurfactants

Several microorganisms, mostly bacteria and yeast strains, can be used to produce biosurfactants, including Bacillus subtilis, Candida antarcita and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A Journal of Petroleum and Environmental Biotechnology article says these strains influence biosurfactants production, along with factors such as: • Carbon/feedstock source: The quality and quantity of biosurfactants produced is affected by the nature of the carbon source which includes diesel, crude oil, glucose, sucrose and glycerol. • Nitrogen is important in biosurfactant production because it is essential for microbial growth, as protein and enzyme syntheses depend on it. • Environmental factors: To obtain large quantities of biosurfactants, it is always necessary to optimise the bioprocess as the product may be affected by changes in temperature, pH, aeration or agitation speed. • Aeration and agitation: These are important factors as both facilitate oxygen transfer from the gas phase to u the aqueous phase. 


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RENEWABLE RESOURCES BASF Rhamnolipids, Rewoform SL 446 Sophorolipids Brenntag Specialties Sophorolipids (modified) Clariant Rhamnolipids, sophorolipids Ecover Eco-surfactant sophorlipids Evonik Rhamnolipids, sophorolipids GlycoSurf LLC Rhamnolipids (synthetically produced) Groupe Soliance Sophogreen sophorolipids Lion Corporation Sophorolipids Nikkol Rhamnolipids and Trehalose lipids Schill + Seilacher Sophorolipids Stepan ACS-Sopho sophorolipids, NaSurFact rhamnolipids Wheatoleo Sophorolipids Figure 2: Commerically available biosurfactants u

Commercial production

Several companies are now involved in the commercial production of biosurfactants (see Figure 2 above), chiefly in the area of rhamnolipids and sophorolipids, according to Prof Hayes. Research and development (R&D) is also continuing to make progress. “There

is a lot of work via genetic modification to make microorganisms more effective.” R&D was also required in post production work – taking biosurfactants and modifying them to achieve the target application, or blending them with other surfactants to improve effectiveness. Other interesting R&D areas included

Source: Prof Douglas Hayes, PIPOC 2019

Company Product

utilising enzymes for biosurfactants production, with lipase proving the most robust and promising, Prof Hayes said. Glycolipid biosurfactants were another R&D target area as these could utilise lowcost carbon sources such as used cooking oil, glycerol, soapstock and agri-waste. Lipopeptide biosurfactants were also a growing area of interest, with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-tumour applications in plant disease agents, fungicides, laundry detergents, fermented foods, and biofouling prevention in food processing equipment.


Biosurfactants can be produced from renewable resources or wastes and offer products which are biodegradable and non-toxic to the environment. They continue to gain in popularity, especially in niche markets such as cosmetics, personal care, pharmaceuticals and environmental-related products.   Serena Lim is the editor of OFI

How surfactants work - a guide to their structure Surfactants are a key Hydrophilic (wateringredient in cleaning loving) products and have a head hydrophobic (waterhating) tail and a hydrophilic (waterloving) head. Hydrophobic The hydrophobic (watertail of each surfactant hating) head surrounds soils. The hydrophilic head is surrounded by water. When there is a sufficient amount of surfactant molecules in a solution, they combine together to form structures called micelles. As the micelle forms, the surfactant heads position themselves so they are exposed to water, while the tails are grouped together in the centre of the structure away from water.

Hydrophobic tails are oriented inwards, away from water

The micelles work to remove soils. The hydrophobic tails are attracted to soils and surround them, while the hydrophilic heads pull the surrounded soils off the surface and into the cleaning solution. Then the micelles reform with the tails suspending the soil in the centre of the structure. 28 OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020

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The hydrophilic Nonionic (water-loving) head of each Anionic surfactant is electrically Cationic charged. The charge can Amphoteric be negative, positive, or neutral. Depending on the charge of the hydrophilic head, the surfactant is classified as anionic, nonionic, cationic or amphoteric. Anionic surfactants have a negative charge on their hydrophilic end. The negative charge helps the surfactant molecules lift and suspend soils in micelles. Because they are able to attack a broad range of soils, anionic surfactants are used frequently in soaps and detergents. Anionic surfactants create a lot of foam when mixed. While anionic surfactants are excellent for lifting and suspending particulate soils, they are not as good at emulsifying oily soils. Sulphates, sulphonates, and gluconates are examples of anionic surfactants. Nonionic surfactants are neutral and do not have any charge on their hydrophilic end. They are very good at emulsifying oils and are better than anionic surfactants at removing organic soils. The two are frequently used together to create dual-action, multi-purpose cleaners that can lift and suspend particulate soils and emulsify

oily soils. Examples of some common nonionic surfactants include ethoxylates, alkoxylates, and cocamides. Cationic surfactants have a positive charge on their hydrophilic end. The positive charge makes them useful in anti-static products, like fabric softeners. Cationic surfactants can also serve as anti-microbial agents, so they are often used in disinfectants. Cationic surfactants cannot be used with anionic surfactants. If positively-charged cationic surfactants are mixed with negatively-charged anionic surfactants, they will fall out of solution and no longer be effective. Examples of some common cationic surfactants include alkyl ammonium chlorides. Amphoteric surfactants have a dual charge on their hydrophilic end, both positive and negative. The pH of any given solution will determine how the amphoteric surfactants react. In acidic solutions, the amphoteric surfactants become positively charged and behave similarly to cationic surfactants. In alkaline solutions, they develop a negative charge, similar to anionic surfactants. Amphoteric surfactants are often used in personal care products such as shampoos and cosmetics. Examples of some frequently used amphoteric surfactants are betaines and amino oxides.   Posted by Judy Shapiro, International Products Corporation www.ipcol.com/blog/an-easy-guide-tounderstanding-surfactants/ www.ofimagazine.com

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Sowing the seeds of innovation Vertical plate conditioning allows oilseed processors to more efficiently use steam and adds a waste heat recovery loop, offering significant reductions in overall energy consumption Jamie Zachary Innovations in vertical plate conditioning technology are being praised by advocates as timely considering the developing needs of today’s oilseed processors. By combining vertically oriented pillow plates with air sections, oilseeds are “conditioned” prior to the crushing process, allowing for efficient extraction of the valuable oils, says Stan Pala, global sales director, oilseeds for Canada’s Solex Thermal Science. The technology also provides a much-needed latchkey solution to reducing energy costs with improved productivity, he adds. “The commodity prices of oil and meal are something processors are generally unable to influence directly. However, optimising processing operations is something that is in their control,” says Pala, who leads the oilseeds division of the heat exchanger technology firm. “Plate technology provides oilseeds processors with the opportunity to make improvements that create a noticeable impact on their bottom lines.” They are also looking to increase crushing capabilities with minimal capital expenditure. Meanwhile, increasing moisture levels in imported products are placing added stress on existing equipment. Solex global director of food products Pedro Moran notes crushing plants in Europe are seeing soyabeans from Latin America and canola from Canada, in particular, arriving at their plants with moisture levels that are 1-2% higher than what they are used to seeing. “Because the existing equipment was designed to accommodate lower moisture levels, this creates processing issues, affects the final yield efficiency, as well as 30 OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020

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creating production bottlenecks that lead to significant losses,” he says. Aging equipment is also proving costly to maintain. Rotary and vertical seed conditioners often require significant tube replacement costs caused either by abrasion or cracking due to thermal stress.

Waste heat recovery

Yet it is steam consumption that is on the top of many oilseed processors’ hit lists – or, to be more specific, reducing associated energy costs. Pala estimates steam accounts for about a quarter of total processing costs. “There’s an incredible economic motivation to re-using waste heat from elsewhere in the plant to reduce the overall steam demand, and thereby energy consumption in the preparation process,” he says, adding this also can be connected to government incentives for energy savings and CO2 emission reductions. Most of the available waste heat for recovery exists as a by-product from different processes in the extraction stages. For example, the main sources of waste heat in a typical soyabean processing plant include: • Flash stream or condensate from the extraction process • Cooling of gas engines or gas turbines for efficient operation • Vapours from dryer coolers (DC) • Boiler flue gases — economiser • Other sources from another process For canola processing plants, typical sources of waste energy include: • Vapours from the cooker • Pressed and refined oil

By combining vertically oriented pillow plates with air sections, oilseeds are ‘conditioned’ before crushing, allowing for the efficient extraction of oils

• • • •

Condensate or flash steam Boiler flue gases Gas turbine or engine Other sources from another process

Most of this waste energy is low-grade heat – process heat that is usually discharged to the environment because its recovery and utilisation is not typically viable due to its low temperature (condensate around 90°C, hot oil in the 80-95°C range and vapours around 80°C). “For the most efficient recovery, you need to minimise the temperature difference between the waste heat and the seeds,” says Pala. “And to do so, you need a very large heat transfer area.”

Vertical plate conditioners

Plate technology has the advantage of offering significantly more heat transfer area than tubes within the same space. An added bonus is its modular configuration that fits within most current oilseed plants. A standard plate-style unit measuring 3.3m x 3.3m x 1m can offer about 420m2 of heat transfer area, compared with about half for traditional tube heating technology. The oilseeds flow by gravity between the plates with hot water, condensate or steam flowing counter-currently inside the plates to provide most of the heat load needed. Air sections allow air to be blown through the moving bed of seeds to remove the moisture that is released as the seeds are heated. At the bottom of the conditioner sits a discharge feeder that allows for uniform mass flow of seeds through the unit (see diagram, above). The oilseeds’ velocity through the heat exchanger is low – about 60cm/minute – www.ofimagazine.com

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OILSEEDS which helps to extend the lifetime of the plates due to almost no abrasion. “The pillow plates are double-welded together, which allow for corrugation after expansion. This is necessary for efficient heat transfer by convection,” says Pala, noting the double-weld design also protects the product from contamination. Independent flexible connections to the supply and discharge manifolds allow for thermal expansion without the risk of cracking. “The profile of the plates also allows for the heating medium to make a certain number of internal passes to increase the velocity inside the plates, if needed. This means the plates can maintain the flow rates necessary for efficient heat transfer.”

Pala adds plates come with a lower total cost of ownership than tube technology. The gentle handling of seeds through the vertical exchangers minimises plate abrasion, leading to plates that typically last the lifetime of the conditioner – a minimum of 15 to 20 years.

Finding the sweet spot

Moran acknowledges that plants will have different considerations when looking at vertical plate conditioning technology. For example, as the need to recover more heat increases, so too does the required heat transfer area. At a certain size, however, the payback time becomes too long.

“It is important to find a sweet spot in terms of that ROI, as well as factor in other circumstances that influence the recovery rate such as seasonal conditions,” says Moran, noting that Solex uses proprietary thermal modelling software to find the best solution. “Winter, for example, offers a much more efficient opportunity for heat recovery due to the incoming low seed temperature or the quality of the waste source (that is, saturation of the vapours from the DC).”   Jamie Zachary is the content marketing manager at Solex Thermal Visit www.solexthermal.com for more information on vertical plate conditioning

Steam savings

By more efficiently using steam and adding a waste heat recovery loop, plant operators can significantly reduce overall energy consumption. “In the example of a soya plant with 125 tonnes/hour processing capacity, adding a single vertical plate conditioner (VPC) module with a waste heat stream at 90°C can reduce annual steam consumption by more than 10,000 tonnes,” says Pala, noting the proprietary indirect plate heat exchange technology developed by Solex in these units has been around for more than 30 years. If waste heat at only 70°C is available, steam savings of more than 5,000 tonnes/ year are still possible. “Given the above and assuming a steam cost of US$20/tonne, plants can expect to save more than US$100,000/year for each module they install – with standard VPCs containing multiple modules that will run on a combination of heat recovery and steam,” says Pala. In canola plants, steam requirements are high due to the cooking process, offering an even better opportunity for heat recovery. In a typical 2,000 tonnes/day plant, waste energy from cooker vapours (at 85°C and 90% moisture), hot oil (4085°C) and sub-cooling of condensate (from 100-180°C) offer a combined steam savings of up to 60kg/tonne. In many cases, the heating will be fully covered by the waste energy, and eventually only the bottom banks of the conditioner will run on steam if needed.

Additional advantages

The larger heat transfer area and modular design also mean vertical plate conditioning technology allows plants to seamlessly increase production capacity as it can often be installed in the same space as existing equipment. www.ofimagazine.com 

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Demand, logistics hit by Covid-19 COVID-19 has had a major impact on Indian edible oil demand and operations at leading ports Sunder Singh first half of May has been one of the worst times in recent history for edible oil consumption and imports in India. The retail prices of almost all importdriven food products – such as edible oil, pulses, spices and dried fruits – rose by 10-20% due to supply disruptions in April, according to Chandrashekhar. The first lockdown in India was imposed for 21 days starting 25 March and then extended in a second lockdown by another three weeks on 15 April. The third lockdown, which began on 4 May, ended on 17 May. That day, Indian authorities extended the lockdown for two more weeks. As of 17 July, India had more than one million cases of COVID-19 and more than 30,000 deaths. Although some relaxations have been introduced, hotels and restaurants, one of the largest consumers of edible oil remain shut until further notice. The hotel, restaurants and cafeterias (HoReCa) sector accounts for 40% of India’s total edible oil demand and is not expected to reach preCOVID-19 levels again for at least a year.

As one of the world’s largest consumers and importers of edible oil, India consumes around 23M tonnes/year of vegetable oils, largely being met through imports. Palm oil is traded from Malaysia and Indonesia, while shipments of soyabean oil come from Argentina and Brazil. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a steep decline in edible oil imports in the past few months. The virus has also led to massive losses in jobs and incomes; panic buying by retail consumers; and hit the supply chain through disruptions in processing, transport and labour, according to Hindu Business Line senior editor G Chandrashekhar, speaking at the OFI 9 June webinar. Indian edible oil imports are forecast at 13.5M tonnes for 2019/20, a fall from 15M tonnes in 2018/19 (see Figure 1, below). Palm oil accounts for more than 60% of total vegetable oil imports (see Figure 2, below).

Impact on demand

The COVID-19 pandemic started to impact Indian edible oil demand and imports from 25 March, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown across the country. The second half of March, April and the


India UPDATED.indd 2

(million tonnes) 2019/20 2018/19 7.5 Palm oil 9.2 3.3 Soyabean oil 3.1 2.6 Sunflower oil 2.3 0.1 Others 0.4 13.5 TOTAL 15.0 Figure 2: India edible oil imports

Source: G Chandrashekhar

Figure 1: India vegetable oil balance sheet

Although edible oil imports and processing activities have slowed, there is sufficient stock in the country to meet domestic

Source: G Chandrashekhar

2019/20 2018/19 (million tonnes) 1.8M Opening stock 2.5 7.5 Domestic output 7.3 13.5 Import 15.0 22.8 TOTAL AVAILABLE 24.8 21.0 Consumption 23.0 1.8 End stock 1.8

Sufficient stocks

demand, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) executive director B V Mehta. “Our monthly consumption of edible oil is 1.8-1.9M tonnes. The demand will certainly fall as hotels, restaurants and cafeterias have not been operating for the last two months. However, it would be difficult to estimate the extent of the fall as household consumption might increase slightly during the lockdown period. “Imports of vegetable oils (comprising edible and non-edible oil) have also slowed down, but there is no concern about availability. We have sufficient stock of imported oil. “Local production of mustard oil is also happening. The harvesting of the mustard crop is ongoing in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, so all local processing mills are operating. There are some labour shortage and logistics issues but those are getting sorted out,” Mehta said. Hotel and restaurants urged the government to relax measures during ‘lockdown 4.0’ to help mitigate hardships faced by the industry. On 17 May, new guidelines were issued allowing states to define red, orange and green zones to enable the reopening of certain segments of the economy Red zones are areas with the highest COVID-19 cases while green zones are those with no confirmed cases in the last 21 days. The hospitality association has proposed that hotels and restaurants in green zones be allowed to operate at 100% capacity and 50% capacity in orange zones, the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India said. The decline in economic growth in the www.ofimagazine.com

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TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS current financial year is expected to have an impact on edible oil consumption. Indian edible oil producers and importers are expecting that a large proportion of middle income households will opt for cheaper substitutes in the coming months as disposable incomes are expected to fall substantially in the short and medium term. Chandrashekhar told the OFI webinar that edible oil consumption was expected to stay weak in June and July and the traditional festival demand period from August-October was unlikely to be robust. “We expect economic activities to slowly begin to revive in the third quarter (July-September) provided the pandemic peaks by June. By the fourth quarter (October-December) HoReCa demand may revive, but stay at pre-COVID levels.”

Logistics and labour concerns

In addition to the drop in edible oil demand, the country’s long lockdown has impacted the movement of cargoes at all the leading importing ports of edible oil. The pandemic has led to backlogs at many ports due to a shortage of labour to unload and transport goods. Lockdown 3.0 was expected to bring some respite after the restarting of economic activity in a phased manner.

Instead, importers dubbed it as possibly the ‘worst stage of lockdown’. This was because the government allowed movement of stranded workers, leading to a large exodus of labourers from the leading importing ports. Freight rates for ocean, road and rail all witnessed a major spike during April and May, with ocean tariffs up 50-100%, according to some estimates. “With the global disruption in demand and supply, the supply chain cost globally and in India has become a major concern for edible oil importers,” a Mumbai-based edible oil importer told OFI. “Logistics costs have significantly gone up on demand and supply dynamics. We hope that we see some relaxation by the end of this month [May]. Although edible oils are categorised as essential commodities, the overall lockdown and non-availability of labour has caused a number of hardships for importers.” On the positive side, the Indian government has issued a series of guidelines in an effort to cushion the impact of the lockdown on port and shipping operations. These include the allotment of additional land for storage to accommodate the need of port users,

who are facing issues with respect to movement of cargoes, as well as waivers of penalty charges due to delays in loading, unloading or evacuation of cargo. Some of the other measures include deferment of payment of vessel-related charges by shipping lines as well as waiver on some lease rentals and licence fees.

Poor palm oil demand recovery

In the meantime, palm oil demand is not forecast to recover until the first quarter of 2021, AgriCensus quoted Godrej International director Dorab Mistry as saying on 26 June. The rebound in India’s palm oil purchases in May and June would drop off soon, according to Mistry, as the recovery was largely due to filling pipeline stocks which had slumped to near-record lows as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. “By the end of 2020, Indian palm oil demand will be between 85-90% of preCOVID levels. 100% will be only reached in the first or even second quarter of 2021,” AgriCensus reported Mistry as saying at a SEA webinar.  Sunder Singh is a freelance journalist Visit https://www.ofimagazine.com/webinars to view the OFI 9 June webinar or download the presentations


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31/07/2020 10:59:58


Developing the oil palm

Long before palm oil flourished in the humid tropics of Malaysia and Indonesia, West Africa was home to the crop, according to former Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) CEO Datuk Darrel Webber. Evidence of palm oil’s use as a staple food crop dates back as far as 5,000 years. “Palm oil provided a vital food source for local communities and was one of the region’s earliest traded commodities.” Throughout the 1800s, British traders imported African palm oil, using it for a growing number of products, from soap to margarine to candles, according to National Geographic. Once scientists discovered how to isolate glycerine from the oil, its applications multiplied to take in pharmaceuticals, photographic film, perfume and even dynamite. By the turn of the 20th century, oil palms had been shipped to Malaysia and Indonesia, and commercial plantations began to take hold there. Today, the two Asian countries are the largest palm oil producers in the world, while the oil palm sector in Africa remains largely overlooked.

Outdated views

“What comes to mind when you think of palm oil in Africa?” Akwaaba Ventures director Ranveer Chauhan asked delegates at the International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition (PIPOC) last November. He said some outdated views included: • The oil palm sector does not even exist • Maybe there are just natural groves and all palm oil is imported • Africa is too primitive for sustainability initiatives • The continent is not ready for investments or partnerships Africa, however, is not only the original 34 OFI – JULY/AUGUST 2020

Africa.indd 2

Photo: Ranveer Chauhan, PIPOC 2019

Palm oil accounts for some 70% of edible oil consumption in Africa, with around 22M ha of land available to convert to oil palm plantations. However, challenges face companies and communities involved in developing the crop on the continent Serena Lim

home of the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis), it is the only consumer of the unrefined red palm oil, Chauhan said. “Palm oil is the largest edible oil produced, imported and consumed in African markets today.” Palm oil accounts for around 70% of edible oil consumption in Africa and it is estimated that up to 22M ha of land in West and Central Africa could be converted to oil palm plantations by 2021, says Webber. According to Chauhan, there are 19 countries lying in the equatorial zone where palm oil can be produced (see map, opposite). Eleven of these countries are best suited for foreign direct investment (FDI), having enough suitable available agricultural land, rural labour, and existing markets serviced through imports. The countries marked in dark green on the map indicate where foreign investment can be made while light green nations show where local investment should be boosted. Of the 19 countries, Nigeria is the biggest producer and consumer of palm oil. Nigeria produces around 1M tonnes/year of palm oil. Its government announced last June that it was planning to invest 180bn naira (US$500M) to increase palm oil production to 5M tonnes/year by 2027 by offering low interest loans to farmers and erecting barriers on crude palm oil imports, a Bloomberg report says. Nigeria ranks third in the world in terms

of land area planted with oil palm but it is only the fifth largest palm oil producer due to low yields as much of its oil palm cultivation is grown by smallholders. The policy aims to double the oil palm planted area from 3M ha to 6M ha to meet all of the country’s domestic palm oil demand by 2027. Nigeria spent about US$500M importing 600,000 tonnes of palm oil in 2018, Bloomberg says. Africa also imports much of its edible oil needs, consuming some 10-12M tonnes/ year and producing around 4M tonnes/ year, Chauhan told the PIPOC 2019 conference. This level of consumption is “dangerously low” and the market should be consuming some 25M tonnes/year to achieve healthy levels, he said.

Investment challenges

Factors supportive of edible oil consumption growth in Africa are its urban population growth of 50% and its upward GDP per capita growth. “Africa also has the fastest population growth in the world today,” Chauhan said. However, as Africa becomes the new frontier of industrial palm oil production, many challenges remain for the companies and communities involved. “Investment and expansion in palm oil is growing – and growing fast – in Africa,” the Guardian newspaper reported Abraham Baffoe, Africa regional director www.ofimagazine.com

15/07/2020 15:01:37


10 Deg N

of NGO Proforest, as saying back in 2016. “If palm is planned and implemented very well, then it has the potential to provide jobs and economic development – but if planning and implementation is poor, it has the potential to create deforestation, loss of habitat and loss of livelihood in local communities.” In Africa, an estimated 3M haSof land 10 Deg “traditionally used or inhabited by local communities” – covering both forest and farmland – have been acquired by palm oil companies, according to Devlin Kuyek, a researcher with non-profit farmers organisation GRAIN. That is in line with an Economist report in 2014 which said that in the past decade, politicians in West Africa and countries of the Congo basin had leased out around 1.8M ha of land for palm oil plantations, with interested companies including Wilmar International, Olam International, Sime Darby, Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) and Equatorial Palm Oil, according to a March 2019 report published by non-profit media outlet Ensia. Negative reports have included those from Liberia’s Sinoe County, where residents say that since the palm oil company GVL arrived in 2010, crops have been destroyed, shrines desecrated, burial grounds and grave sites denigrated, rivers diverted or dammed, and precious wetland areas polluted, the Ensia report said. In Sierra Leone, a court ruling in November 2018 ordered Singapore-based palm oil company Siva Group to return land to the community and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid rent. Yet also in Sierra Leone, an outgrower model has been developed in which a company operates some land as a plantation but also provides smaller plots of land on which local farmers can cultivate palm trees independently. And while the 2004-established RSPO has come under criticism for not being effective enough, the organisation does serve as a check on companies, says Daniel Krakue of Social Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development, a non-profit organisation in Liberia. Baffoe said in the Guardian report that the concept of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is at the heart of the sustainability agenda for the palm oil industry. The principle – that a community has the right to give or withhold its consent to proposed projects that may affect lands that they customarily own, www.ofimagazine.com

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Guinea Bissau

Nigeria Togo Central Ivory Sierra African Coast Benin Leone Ghana Republic Liberia Cameroon Equatorial Ghana Guinea Rep. of Congo Gabon Dem. Rep. of Congo

Ethiopia Uganda


10 Deg S Source: Ranveer Chauhan, PIPOC 2019

lm sector


THE OIL PALM SPACES occupy or use – is now a key doctrine in international law and central to the RSPO’s principles and criteria. Olam International’s palm oil operations in Gabon have been cited as evidence that sustainable palm oil operations can be implemented in Africa.

Olam in Gabon

Olam operates three oil palm plantation areas in the Central African nation of Gabon in a 60:40 joint venture with the government. Situated on the Equator and on Africa’s west coast, more than 76% of Gabon is covered in forest, with 11% of its land area protected in national parks. Recognising the conflicting demands on its land, the government embarked on a project few other nations had ever tried – a national land-use plan, National Geographic wrote. Gabon National Parks Service (ANPN) director Professor Lee White oversaw the process of mapping the country’s land and wildlife and determining which areas should be developed for agriculture. In 2011, the government formed a joint venture with Olam, granting it two new oil palm concessions and later selling it an existing plantation in 2016. “Africa had not seen sustainable, large-scale palm developments until OPG successfully planted 31,500ha across two sites (Awala and Mouila) in Gabon,” says Supramaniam Ramasamy, Olam’s president and global head of palm and rubber plantations. “The area planted was even more

notable considering that many other palm development projects in the wider region had suffered major setbacks due to political risks, difficulty in securing large land banks without encumbrances, community issues and unclear policies.” In November 2019, Olam announced that its Makouke plantation was its fourth to become RSPO certified. “The certification strengthens Olam’s leadership as the largest certified producer in Africa with production capacity of 92,000 tonnes of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO), 16,866 tonnes of certified sustainable palm kernel (CSPK) and 6,500 tonnes of certified sustainable palm kernel oil (CSPKO),” Olam said at the time. Today, the Olam Palm Gabon (OPG) partnership has 112,455ha of RSPO certified oil palm plantations and 99,000ha of High Conservation Value forest, wetlands and savannah permanently protected, according to Olam’s 2019 annual report published on 14 April. The company is committed to no further development or expansion of new plantations until all its plantations achieve full RSPO certification in 2021. OPG also operates two palm oil mills, one kernel crushing plant and an edible oil refinery producing cooking oil and soap, sold to Gabonese consumers. “What we’re trying to do in Gabon is find a new development path where we don’t cut all our forest down but keep a balance between oil palm, agriculture and forest preservation,” Prof White told National Geographic.  Serena Lim is the editor of OFI OFI –JULY/AUGUST 2020


15/07/2020 15:01:38

STATISTICS STATISTICAL NEWS Global rapeseed production forecast to rise

Global rapeseed supply and demand (million tonnes)

EU palm oil imports (‘000 tonnes)


European Commission, UFOP

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has forecast global 2020/21 rapeseed production at 70.8M tonnes, up 2.6M tonnes from 2019/20. Output is projected to rise in Australia, Ukraine and Canada. Demand is expected to reach 69.9M tonnes, down around 350,000 tonnes from 2019/20. According to Agrarmarkt-Informations Gesellschaft (AMI), consumption is likely to fall particularly sharply in the EU-28 (including the UK). The decline in EU-28 demand in 2020/21 is projected at 23.1M tonnes, down 325,000 tonnes compared with 2019/20. Exports are expected to rise by 0.3M tonnes to 15.3M tonnes, with larger export volumes from Australia and Ukraine expected to offset smaller exports from Canada.

EU palm oil imports The EU-27+UK imported around 5.5M tonnes of palm oil between July 2019 and the end of June 2020. This was a drop of around 0.7M tonnes or 11% from 6.2M tonnes in the previous year. The Netherlands (≈1.61M tonnes in imports), Spain (≈1.52M tonnes) and Italy (≈1.35M tonnes) remained the largest importers. According to European Commission statistics, the Netherlands remained the largest EU palm oil importer within the EU, but the country is also a palm oil exporter to other member states. Spain imported the second largest amount of palm oil, despite a 16% fall compared to 2018/19. In contrast, Italy raised its palm oil imports by 13%. Vegetable oil prices rebound

Crude vegetable oil prices other than refined palm oil

John Buckley

Prices of selected oils (US$/tonne) Jan 20

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At their lowest point in second quarter 2020, leading vegetable oil prices plummeted by 15-25% due to the impact of COVID-19 on food and industrial consumption. Consumer stockpiling only partially offset the impact of global restaurant closures and the reduced biofuel needs of a world in lockdown. However, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 86.6 points in June, gaining 8.8 points (or 11.3%) after declining for four consecutive months. The rebound mainly reflects higher palm oil values, as well as those of soyabean, sunflower and rapeseed oils.

Mintec provides independent insight and data to help companies make informed commercial decisions. Tel: +44 (0)1628 851313 E-mail: sales@mintecglobal.com Web: www.mintecglobal.com The Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants represents the interests of companies and associations involved in the production, processing and marketing of oil and protein plants in Germany


20/07/2020 11:07:20

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