Margarine Manufacture    Web Designs By Silicon Scorpion
The Basic steps

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Margarine manufacture is carried out in two distinct stages. The first stage is called
refinement, where oil is extracted from seeds or beans and refined. 

The second stage is called
processing, where oil and other materials are made into margarine.

Refinement            Storage tank



Step 1

The seeds are harvested and transported to a
crushing mill.

Step 2

The oil is removed from either seeds or
beans by either expulsion or extraction.

Step 3

The 'crude' oil (dark golden colour) which has been
extracted from the seeds or beans needs to be
neutralised. This neutralisation removes any "free"
fatty acids. If these "free" fatty acids were left they
would cause the oil to develop an unpleasant taste. The
neutralised oil is then washed and dried thoroughly.

Step 4

The oil is now bleached to remove any
colour or impurities. This bleaching process
is completed by using special absorbent
earth. After bleaching is completed the earth
is carefully filtered out.

Step 5

After oil modification has been completed, the oil is
deodorised to remove any smells and tastes. This process
is completed by blowing steam through the heated oil,
where the steam and any smells and tastes are drawn off
by a vacuum. At this stage the oil is now colourless,
odourless, tasteless and a light brown colour. It is this oil
that is bottled and sold as vegetable oil.

Step 6

The vegetable oil is then used in the
manufacture of margarine and spreads. Oil
modification is used to help make this oil
harder. Three ways to modify oils are
hydrogenation, rearrangement or


Step 7

The next process is the blending stage,
where various oils are mixed or blended
together to make the right texture for the
final spread product.

Step 8

The refined oil is now blended with ingredients such as
vitamins, colours, flavours and emulsifiers. At the same time 
a mixture of water, whey, brine and
powdered ingredients is 

Step 9

These two ingredient mixtures are blended
together at temperatures around 50 - 60 o C
while being slightly mixed. This mixture or
emulsion needs to be pasteurised at
temperatures around 70 to 86 o C.

Step 10

The mixed spread is now chilled to make it go solid.

Step 11

During the chilling process, the product is
'worked' in a cylindrical chamber with a
series of pins, which kneads the spread at
a fixed speed.

Step 12

After the chilling process, the product is
now ready to be packed and transported to
supermarkets, where it needs to be stored
at between 2 o C and 5 o C.

Margarine T e r m s


Emulsion: a mixture of oil and water.

Emulsifier: Something that keeps the water and oil mix together. Without it the oil
and water would separate with the oil "floating" on top of the water.

Fractionation: a liquid oil is cooled under controlled conditions. This separates the
high melting point triglycerides, leaving the fat in two parts, one which is more solid than the other at room temperature.

Hydrogenation: occurs through the addition of hydrogen to unsaturated fatty acids to
create saturated fatty acids with a higher melting point.

Pasteurise: to expose a substance (e.g. milk, oil) to high temperatures (about 60 o C) to
kill any micro-organisms.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids: Polyunsaturated fatty acids are found mostly from
vegetable sources, such as sunflower oil or seeds, but is also found in oily fish such as

mackerel and sardines. There are two main groups of polyunsaturates, called n-3 and
n-6. Both contain fatty acids which are essential to health. As the body is not capable
of producing these, they must be obtained from the diet and are therefore called
"essential fatty acids".

Rearrangement: a process where two different oils are combined to produce a fat
with different melting characteristics.

Refine: to make or bring to a fine or pure state.

Saturated fatty acids: Saturated fatty acids are the type of fat that is found in larger
amounts in foods from animals, e.g. meat, butter, cheese and cream. Many baked
goods such as cakes, biscuits and pastries are also high in saturated fat. Excessive
intake of saturated fat can increase blood cholesterol levels, one of the major risk
factors for heart disease. Saturated fatty acids are usually solid at room temperature
and are sometimes known as "bad fats".

Triglyceride: Triglycerides are the major form in which fat occurs in nature.
Triglycerides come from food and are also made in the human body.

Unsaturated fatty acids: Unsaturated fatty acids are found in significant amounts in
most types of nuts, avocado pears, rapeseed oil and olive oil. Unsaturated fatty acids
do not raise blood cholesterol and evidence shows that they may also help to reduce
blood cholesterol levels if they replace saturated fat in the diet. Unsaturated fats tend
to be liquid at room temperature and sometimes are known as "good fats".

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©September 2001