Fractionation of sunflower seed
The process developed by the Fraunhofer IVV for fractionating sunflower seeds involves removing the hulls prior to de-oiling. This reduces the fiber content of the press-cake and increases the protein fraction. As such, this allows direct utilization of the product as high-quality, protein-rich animal feed or usage in acidic foods without further processing steps. The hull fraction can easily be energetically recycled and used as a solid fuel.
The use of the press-cakes in alkaline foods or for protein extraction is not possible due to the oxidation of polyphenols and the resulting green coloration.
The polyphenols can be removed in a press-cake extraction process downstream of the oil recovery step. This polyphenol fraction has a wide range of applications as an antioxidant. The value of the protein-rich press-residue also increases.
The process will be further developed and scaled up beyond pilot scale in collaboration with ITAL, companies in the Brazilian plant oil, animal feed and food industries, and German plant construction companies. The application of the ingredient fractions will be tested and optimized in premium, high-quality, bioactive foods and will also be tested as a replacement for animal-based proteins.