Effect Of Fermentation Time On The Physicochemical Properties Of Palm Oil
This study evaluated the effect of fermentation time on the physicochemical characteristics of palm oil. The palm fruits samples used were divided into two with each group being divided into four portions. One group was boiled during processing while the other group was not boiled. The two groups were evaluated and processed in batches separately, for three days, six days, twelve days and fourteen days of fermentation using traditional method of processing. A comprehensive range of physicochemical properties namely: free fatty acid, moisture content, peroxide value, saponification value, iodine value, refractive index, freezing point, flash point, smoke point and specific gravity were determined. The coefficient correlation of the effect of fermentation showed that there were significant differences (P < 0.05) in the FFA, Iodine Value, Moisture Content, Saponification Value, Smoke point and freezing Point, but no significant difference (P > 0.05) in peroxide value, flash point and unboiled samples for specific gravity and refractive index. Three days and six days of fermentation were seen to be ideal for the processing of palm oil as the values obtained gave the best product characteristics that are acceptable for international quality standards for palm oil. There is the need to avoid storing palm fruits beyond 6 days of fermentation before processing in order to produce high quality palm oil.