InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA -Palm Fatty Acid Distillate (PFAD) is the side product which is produced from crude palm oil (CPO) to be Refined Deodorized Palm Oil (RBDPO) in the refinery plant. The numbers of PFAD in the CPO refining process reach about 4% of the processed CPO.
The refining process of palm oil consists of some phases, they are, degumming which means, gum and other materials which are not used, such as, logam, and others should be vanished. The next process is bleaching which means, the color of palm oil should be pale. In general, it uses the color absorption, such as, bleaching earth, and it is followed up by the deodorization process to vanish the compound producing bad smell. In the deodorization process, the PFAD is produced. The diagram process in the Refinery could be seen in Picture 1.
There had CPO refinery capacity reaching about 45 million tons of CPO per year in Indonesia nationally in 2014 (Reuters.com, 2014). So if the refinery operates within 75% capacity, there will be about more than one million tons of PFAD per year. The numbers are enough to be the material in one industry. Now, PFAD main usages are for the oleochemical, soap, woof, and biodiesel industries.
Besides using as the material for oleochemical industry, PFAD has other function, that is, as the material to produce bio-active compound which is good for the heath. It happens for PFAD has bio-active compounds, such as, Vitamin E (tocopherol and tocotienol), phytosterol, and squalene.
Bio-active compound in PFAD produced by many refineries in Indonesia has been identified by Estiasih, dkk (2013) and could be seen in Table 1.
From the information, it showed that PFAD is potential to produce bio-active compounds, especially, vitamin E, phytosterol, and squalene. It is the alternative to advantage PFAD for the compounds are produced in the same time when producing CPO or other vegetable oil. But the squalene itself could be extracted from the heart of a shark.
Bio-active ingredients mentioned above are mostly used as the food suplements for they are good for the health. Vitamin E, especially, tocotrienol, is good to reduce bad collesterol, against the heart attack and cancer. Phytosterol is too. Squalene is the hydrocarbon compounds of C30H50 which have good antioxydant and good for the skin health, reduce the collesterol in the blood and good to prevent heart attack. The compound could also prevent cancer and tumor and it is also believed for the better immunity (Gunes, 2013). (Achmad Sofian Nasori & Indra Budi Susetyo/ Pusat Teknologi Agroindustri Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi (BPPT)
This article once published in InfoSAWIT, November 2016