Oil extraction


Amaranth oil is a new product, which means that the technology to make it available has to be developed. At harvest, Amaranth grains are still containing up to 30% of humidity. If they would be pressed in this stage, they would clog the machines and also be prone to fungal contamination. So, in a first step, the seeds have to be dried, until their moisture is as low as 12%. To preserve the precious components, the oil has to be extracted in a way that oxidation is prevented. Oils rich in unsaturated fatty acids tend to form epoxide compounds that later decay, partially also to free fatty acids. This will not only cause a bad, rancy, taste. It will also destroy the biological activity of these oils. In addition to cold pressing, we will also test modern extraction strategies, such as supercritical fluid extraction, or extraction by pulsed electrical fields. Alternatively, the oil can be doped with natural anti-oxidants, such as Oregano or Rosmary but also traditional Peruvian crops, such as Muña (Minthostachys mollis) or Cañihua (Chenopodium pallidicatule).