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The cold squeezing technique (includes skinning and

scraping) gives better quality products (as the terpenic


mix is not altered by thermal treatments) , but the
yields are very low (normally under 0,5 % of the peel
weight) . Moreover with these systems the terpenic
fraction is extracted with a lot of water that is
separated by centrifugation.
While the essential oils obtained by simple squeezing
are always liquid, the ones obtained by steam current
or solvent contain also solid products at room
temperature, waxes and tri terpenic hydrocarbons.

The analysis of this process gave the following data :

Kind of process Process Quality of Energetic Time of


efficiency (= essential oils consumption thermal
% of (content in in extraction treatment
extracted aldehydes as phase per kg
essential oils) citral % ) of extracted
essential oil
Manual pressing
(excluded 45 – 70% 1,3% 1,0 kW -
centrifugation )
The process Life Terpene can be subdivided in four
sections strictly connected.
This process allow a complete recovery and
valorization of all the components existing in the citrus
fruit pulp deriving from the citrus fruit juice.
The finished products present a complete
environmental compatibility and can reduce evidently
the environmental impact in many application related
to the organic solvent use
The first phase of Life Terpene process allow to
separate the terpenic mix from the other citrus fruit
components and to obtain the first finished products:
terpen and essential oils.
This phase of the process implies the PIDIC dynamic
process and is described in the following diagram:
The PIDIC process ("Peels Improvement by means of
Instant Controlled Depression") has been recently
developed and patented by Contento Trade.

Estractor PIDIC

Thanks to this new process it's possible to extract the


essential oils contained in the citrus fruit pulp without
altering theirs physical-chemical and organoleptic
characteristics and , in the meanwhile, to modify the
structure of the vegetal residue to facilitate its
successive desiccation or chemical treatment.
It's a thermal mechanical innovative treatment; it can
be applied both to lots of material in a suitable
treatment chamber (static PIDIC) or to a homogenous
flow of material, thanks to an apposite treatment duct
(dynamic PIDIC).

Treatment chamber of a static DIC equipment

The first process is very useful for the preliminary lab


study and for the treatment of very delicate materials,
thermal sensitive or with high added value ; the second
process results particularly economic and efficacious
for the treatment of big quantities of materials, as the
citrus fruit pulps.
The plant structure for the application of dynamic
"PIDIC" to citrus fruit pulp is here after described and
illustrated.

PIDIC dynamic system

Legend
1. Boiler 4. Vacuum reserve
2. Dynamic system with three chambers 5. Vacuum pump
2A: charging chamber
2B: treatment chamber
2C: unloading chamber
6. Cooling chiller

7. Collection of condensed steams


3. Communication valve between 2B and
4

The raw material (citrus fruit pulp) is put in the


chamber 2A and a certain quantity slides in the
chamber 2B, ready to be treated. In the chamber 2B is
placed, thanks to the boiler 1, some steam at high
pressure that warms the material till softening at the
right point.
The valve 3, that is opened after some seconds,
connects instantaneously the treatment chamber 2B
with the vacuum chamber 4 (that is maintained at a
high depression level thanks to the pump 5) .
This sudden shift of pressure causes a controlled
expansion of the treated vegetal structure and the
explosion of the utricles containing the essential oils
with immediate evaporation of the volatile compounds
(essential oils).
The pressure shift causes a quick temperature
decrease both in the chamber and in the vegetal
structure , that becomes "texturized". The
texturization consists in the creation of a series of
utricles of regular volumes in the vegetal structure
that increases its specific surface.
Hot air dried apple Texturized and hot air dried apple

Hot air dryed mango Texturized and hot air dryed mango

Effects of the texturization on vegetal materials

The vaporized compounds are instantaneously


aspirated in the treatment chamber 2B, through valve
3 , in the vacuum reserve and then are condensed in
the cooling chiller 6. Periodically the condensed liquid
is transferred in the collection chamber 7 , This liquid
contains normally water, terpen and essential oils that
can be easily separated with vacuum distillation.
The main advantages of the dynamic PIDIC process
compared to the traditional extraction techniques are
the following:
The global energetic consumption of the extraction
process is 10 times inferior to the traditional thermal
processes (steam current, supercritical CO2 , solvent
extraction)
The yield of the extraction process is nearly the 95%
of the total terpen content in the citrus fruit pulp, so
surely superior to the traditional mechanical
technique (rasping, peeling) that usually is about the
60-70%;
Minimization of the oxidated terpen in the extracted
terpenic mix (present in quite a good quantity in the
processes with current steam extraction) and
consequent reduction of allergic risks by use of
obtained terpens;
The high temperature developed during the process
allows a citrus friut peels sterilization; this process so
helps their handling and the transport before the
turbo desiccation;
The terpenic waxes, considered polluting agents in all
the application of the terpens and essential oils, are
not extracted as on the opposite happens for all the
other extraction processes ;
The fractionated distillation that is applied at the end
of the process implies a "online" deterpenation of the
essential oils without the use of solvents (and so it
doesn't create the problem of their disposal),
Improved pectin extraction thanks to the citrus fruit
peels texturization that ameliorates the attack of the
acid reagent;
The citrus fruit peels texturisation, incrementing the
specific surface, reduces noticeably the energetic
consumption needed for their desiccation decreasing
at the same time the treatment costs;
The plant can both be used for the citrus fruit peels,
flowers, entire citrus fruits.
The second process section is based on the turbo
drying process and allows to desiccate extremely well
the citrus fruit pulp to make them useful for other
applications.
As alternative to the desiccation process it's possible to
use the citrus fruit pulp deriving from the Section 1 for
the pectin production with the method described in
Section 4.
The Section 2 of the process is described in the
following diagram:
The Vomm drying process

Each turbo dryer is planned and realized applying an


original technology patented by VOMM.
The principle is based on the creation and advancing of
a thin material stratum, in strong turbulence within the
stratum, adherent to the internal walls of a cylindrical
surface, though this thin stratum it's possible to
exchange heat with high exchange coefficient and high
thermal efficiency.
The product to be desiccated is alimented by a
cylindrical horizontal element in which a turbo agitator
centrifuges the material on the internal wall.
The heating is realized mainly indirectly by diathermic oil
conduction in the coaxial part with the cylindrical
element and starts directly by convection with preheated
air.
This mechanism allows to use limited quantity of air,
without direct flames, and is consequently suitable in the
material recovery plants (it avoids alteration of the
products with creation of degraded substances difficult
to be eliminated).
As the treatment occurs in hot air current there is the
phenomenon of the "humid bulb" that maintains the
material at temperatures around the 80° C.
The VOMM turbo desiccators are extremely reliable,
constant and need a very reduced maintenance.

Figure 1 - A VOMM turbodryer

Another positive characteristic that they present is the


possibility to treat materials of different texture (liquids,
semi liquids, slime, pastes and mixtures of
heterogeneous products) very easily.
The efficacy of the thermal treatment at high
temperature doesn't imply on the other hand an
uncontrolled temperature increasing of all the mass, and
excludes the dangerous risks of overheating that can
originate combustion or self combustion phenomena.
The ratio surface/mass is noticeably valorized with this
procedure, so the thermal exchange on each particle on
the hot wall results the sum of a great series of contacts
each of one for very rapid periods.
Consequently the desiccation process doesn't require
neither long treatment periods nor prolonged exposition
of the material surface to the heating source.
The product in this way doesn't reach temperatures
superior to the pre fixed security values, both for the
thermal exchange technique adopted and for the
insertion of control instruments that allow to verify
continuously the operative conditions of the plant and so
to modify, with simple operations, the parameters in
short times.

General description of Vomm desiccation plant


For the citrus fruit pulp a desiccation process realized
at open cycle is more suitable.
The working procedure is such structured:
the product, opportunely grinded with a specific Vomm
mill, is alimented through a pump to a volumetric
batcher, that has some sensors of "material presence"
and that provides automatically to the supplying of new
material to be treated; it feeds the product at controlled
capacity and variable depending on the conditions
inside the turbo desiccator.
If the product lacks for a certain period, an acoustic
alarm starts up and also the automatic stop of the plant
can be planned.
At the starting of the plant the engines are activated in
logic sequence and with opportune agreement.
Similarly the stop of the plant is automatic for any
problem of the single engines.
A continuous stirring system in the batcher guarantees
a constant alimentation and prevents the formation of
clots in the fresh material.
Within the turbo desiccator the product is centrifuged
by a rotor that turns at adequate speed to guarantee
the formation, maintenance and advancing of the
material stratum.
The continuous stratum of material that covers the
internal part of the turbo desiccator for a ten mm after
some seconds is desiccated and stabilized and comes
out from the plant.
In equi-current to the material, a preheated air flux acts
essentially as vector fluid to remove as quickly as
possible the steam water that is continuously
developed by a thermal exchange of the product with
the hot walls of the turbo desiccator.
A thermal jacket, run through by a diathermic oil, covers
all the machine.
The rotor has its support and rolling members on the
external part of the evaporation chamber and,
consequently, well protected by soiling risks.
The cycle is in slightly vacuum so, till the product is
desiccated and stabilized by a cyclone, any kind of
dust coming out in the environment is prevented.
The carrying hot air is obtained at controlled
temperature by indirect thermal exchange between air
and diathermic oil.
The wet air and the desiccated product are separated
in an adequate cyclone where the dry product is put by
a bottom valve. A sensor signaling assures the control
of the correct emptying of the cyclone.
The air mixed to the steam is washed in a scrubber
and then directly sent to atmosphere.
The diathermic oil used un the desiccation plant is
maintained at the right temperature by an autonomous
high yield boiler for the heating of the diathermic oil.
There in after is presented a process diagram that
justify the turbo desiccator plant structure optimized for
the treatment of the citrus fruit peels.

For specific kind of products is anyway possible to use a


different plant configuration, called "at closed loop"
described as follows:

Aspetti caratteristici dell’impiantistica Vomm


Di seguito vengono evidenziati alcuni particolari aspetti
tecnologici ed impiantistici che caratterizzano la
tecnologia VOMM di essiccazione.
Turbo-Dryer monostadio
Il trattamento avviene in un unico passaggio con tempi
di stazionamento del prodotto molto brevi (decine di
secondi) senza ricorso ad operazioni preliminari di
preparazione del prodotto con miscelatori e
convogliatori vari, garantendo la costanza delle
caratteristiche finali del prodotto essiccato.

Salvaguardia del prodotto e principio


dell’equicorrente
Il prodotto viene essiccato in modo del tutto omogeneo
ed ottimale in un film ad alta turbolenza e per poche
decine di secondi senza possibilità di depositi di
materiale all’interno dell’apparecchiatura, senza
incorrere in prolungate e rischiose esposizioni alle
temperature elevate. Tale garanzia viene ottenuta
grazie al principio di funzionamento dell’impianto
VOMM, poiché sia il prodotto da essiccare sia il flusso
di gas di veicolazione del vapore generato, viaggiano in
equicorrente. Ciò vuol dire che il gas caldo di
veicolazione che entra nel turbo-essiccatore non
investe un prodotto già essiccato e quindi
termicamente degradabile, bensì un prodotto umido,
ed in quanto tale naturalmente termostatato.
Risanamento microbiologico
A fronte delle controllate condizioni di stabilizzazione
del prodotto va evidenziato come il sistema VOMM
svolga parallelamente una energica e drastica azione
riduttiva della carica microbiologica in quanto la
disposizione in film sottile ad alta turbolenza del
prodotto a contatto con la parete calda del turbo-
essiccatore permette una sequenza di shock termici
letali per le forme microbiche presenti.

Robustezza ed affidabilità meccanica


La realizzazione meccanica risponde ai più elevati
criteri di solidità e robustezza costruttiva, garantendo
la più prolungata durata dell’impianto, senza ricorso
ad onerose pratiche manutentive.

Autocontrollo delle condizioni operative


I tempi veloci di processo permettono altrettanto
veloci risposte di autocontrollo delle condizioni
operative in quanto l’impianto è dotato di logiche
automatiche di intervento in caso di disfunzioni.

Ingombri limitati
Le linee VOMM richiedono superfici e volumi
estremamente ridotti con grandi benefici sia dal punto
di vista dell’investimento come di gestione.

Figura 2 - Un esempio di impianto di essiccazione Vomm