The present citrus oil business is dominated by two trends:
The price for orange oil as a bulk product is under serious market pressure. This has been ongoing for a number of years. In many regions of the world, for example, Southern Italy, this has led to a situation where oil is no longer recovered. However, due to insufficient deoiling, this results in giving away a valuable product (even at a low price) and increased waste water treatment costs or losses in revenue when selling the peels for animal feed. Based on 30,000 l/h emulsion of orange oil coming from the extractors, a return on investment between one and two years can be achieved at present prices as shown in Table 1. Therefore, large processors must focus on increasing production efficiency.
In contrast to the economical situation for orange oil, we see a very strong dynamism in the market for other citrus oils. The price for more rare oils like grapefruit, pink grapefruit, lemon, and mandarin is increasing, partly influenced by climatic factors like hurricanes. This makes the recovered oil very valuable and brings an even stronger focus onto production efficiency.
In addition, the tendency towards constructing bigger production lines is still very dominant in the market, especially in Brazil and the US. This increases the pressure for the equipment suppliers to provide the industry with units having higher capacity and efficiency.
Westfalia Separator has reacted to this trend by introducing new models, such as the new ESE 500 for first stage oil emulsions and the new OSD 60 for second stage emulsions. These machines are tailor-made for these applications. In intense test work, these machines have been optimized for Brazilian as well as American processing conditions on various fruits. Mainly, the capacities have been brought up to a maximum level of 130 GPM depending on fruits and conditions. Furthermore, recovery rates could be optimized by approx. 10% from 3 lbs/ton to a level of 3.3 lbs/ton.
Paper published with permission.