Fractionation of raw lecithine by ethanol extraction

Project: Research project

Description

Lecithine was discovered in egg yolk in 1846 by Maurice Gobley. Later on it was found that lecithines are good for human health. The stukture of lecithine molecules is quite similar to fats. Lecithines have got a phosphoric acid molecule insteat of the third fatty acid, sometimes connected with an choline-, ethanolamine- or inositolgroup. The phosphoric acid part is polar while the two fatty acids are non polar. The lecithines act as a surfactant and is used in food industry, cosmetics and in pharmacytical industry.

Different use of lecithines require different compositions of lecithines. A product with a high content of phosphatidylcholin can be reached by ethanol extraction of raw lecithine. This is normally carried out by batch extraction in industry. The aim of this research project is to develop a new, economic process for continuous extraktion. The product should have a content of 25 to 40 % phosphatidylcholine dependent on the extraction parameters. A new process was developped on labscale und tested on pilot plantscale. The new process has just been implemented in one of of the produktion plants at Lucas Meyer (Germany) with good success. The solid content in the extract phase is about 30 % higher than in the old process.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/06/9531/01/98