Great Opportunities for Vegetable Oils Down Under

Hennie Pieterse, hp dezign & Dr Sanjeev Agarwal, Technochem International Inc

We have the resources

Australia and other countries in the South East Asia Region are rich in vegetable oilseeds and therefore have great potential producing a range of refined vegetable oils.

Palm oil and palm kernel oil is in abundance all over Indonesia and Malaysia.  Australia is a prominent producer of canola oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil and soybean oil.  These sources of oil are available from both chemical and mechanical processing operations and find the following general applications in the food, feed and fuel industries:

  1. Animal Feed – some crude oil and refining byproducts go directly to the animal feed industry as energy source in compound feeds.
  2. Culinary Applications – for human food consumption either as salad dressing or as cooking oil.
  3. Industrial Use – for production of soaps, candles, perfumes, cosmetic products, paints and other industrial and neutraceutical products.
  4. Bio-Fuel – for production of biodiesel, which could be used like conventional diesel in engines.

Only a handful of crude vegetable oil producers add further value to it and normally just supply it  to other Oil Processors or sell it directly into the animal feed industry.  Many of these oil producers will be surprised to learn that it is not that difficult adding more value to crude vegetable oil.  Doing so can greatly expand their profitability.

Oil Refining Plant

Let’s add value to it

We need to refine vegetable oils and animal fats and oils before we can use them for cooking and frying purposes.  Vegetable oils, whether chemically extracted or mechanically pressed, contain impurities we have to deal with through “refining” before we can use it for application possibilities such as the ones outlined above.  Some of these impurities include Moisture, Solids (Insolubles), Gums (Lecithins), Free-Fatty Acids (FFA), Waxes, and Compounds of Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, and other metals.

Other characteristics of oils (such as colour, odour, and taste) are also considered impurities by modern consumers. These impurities are removed in a series of steps such as degumming (to remove gums), neutralizing (to remove FFA), bleaching (to remove color), deodorizing (to remove odor and taste), and de-waxing or winterization (to remove waxes).  Refined Oils are in general referred to as RBD (Refined, Bleached and Deodorized) Oil.  However, specific market or processing requirements may call for additional and very specific processing steps.  Some of the more vital oil processing steps could be described as follows:

Degumming – remove the gums present in crude oil.  Oils contain both hydratable and non-hydratable gums:

    1. Water Degumming.  Water is used to separate gums form the oil.  These gums could be dried and further processed to produce lecithin.
    2. Acid Degumming.  In this case, acids are used to separate the gums from oil.

Neutralizing – remove the FFA’s (Free Fatty Acids) from the oil.

    1. Physical Refining.  the FFA’s are evaporated from the oil under high temperature and vacuum.
    2. Chemical Refining.  This is the more traditional method using caustic soda (NaOH) in a process that removes the FFA’s.  This reaction produces soaps.  These soaps are separated from the oil but trace amounts still stays behind with the oil.  The oil is normally water washed or treated with silica to separate these trace amounts of soaps from the oil.

The Physical Refining Process is preferred because of the following reasons:

    1. it does not produce any soaps
    2. it recovers fatty acids in a more cost-effective way
    3. no chemicals are used

Bleaching – Vegetable oils contain colour pigments.  In many cases there are objections against the colour in some oils and bleaching becomes necessary to soften the colour.

Deodorizing – Vegetable oils also contain odours that may cause objection from the market.  Deodorizing is a steam distillation process that assists in stripping the oil from these unwanted odours.

Several other oil processing steps and techniques exist to address very specific requirements.

Biodiesel – Vegetable oils and animal fats are excellent raw materials for making biodiesel.  We will cover this very important topic in a separate blog.

Many opportunities exist for processing the range of vegetable oils we have available in our region.  We look forward to hearing what you think you can do with opportunities you have.  There are great opportunities for vegetable oils down under.  Please contact us should you like to discuss options in more detail.



Press Release : Technochem joins hp dezign Network as Supplier

The hp dezign Network of Suppliers expands further with the addition of Technochem International, INC.   Technochem is a specialist Engineering Company focussing on the design and supply of complete plants for Vegetable Oil Refining and Biodiesel Manufacturing.  Technochem has a 40 year history of supplying Oil Processing Solutions to customers world-wide.


 Hennie Pieterse from hp dezign says : “ I know and worked with Dr Sanjeev Agarwal for 12 years and I am excited representing Technochem and helping customers in Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia finding Oil Processing Solutions that can add value to their businesses”.

Understanding Customer Needs

Technochem’s approach to customer satisfaction is centered around the needs of Customers when establishing Oil Processing Solutions and include:

  1. Education
  2. Customized Design Solutions
  3. Capital and Operating Cost optimization
  4. Technical Advice
  5. Installation Supervision
  6. Commissioning and Training of Personnel
  7. After-Sales Support

hp dezign will play a key role in defining specific Customer Requirements and communicating potential solutions from the Technochem Team.

Typical Design and Equipment Supply Solutions

Careful assessment of the Project Scope leads to optimized design and equipment solutions for:

  1. Vegetable Oil Refining Plants
  2. Degumming Plants
  3. Bleaching Plants
  4. Deodorizing Plants
  5. De-waxing Plants
  6. Biodiesel Plants
  7. Esterification Plants
  8. Trans-Esterification Plants
  9. Methanol Rectification Plants
  10. Biodiesel Distillation Plants

Opportunities Down Under!

Australia, New Zealand and South-East Pacific produce vast quantities of Vegetable Oil ranging from Canola to Soy and Palm.  There are great opportunities for adding value to Vegetable Oils serving the Human Food, Animal Feed and Industrial Sectors.  Please visit the Technochem International, INC website or contact hp dezign to discuss your specific requirements.

Ottevanger exhibits at Grain Tech India 2013


Grain Tech India 2013 Invitation

Ottevanger will be present at yet another high profile Exhibition in Asia.  Please stop by to discuss your requirements or to learn how our Feed Milling experience of more than 100 years can benefit your company.  Detailed information about our Equipment and Feed Mill Design and Construction Services are available on our website at

Loosing Process Moisture = Loosing Money!

Author : Hennie Pieterse

Prevention of unnecessary Moisture Loss during processing can save you THOUSANDS……and depending on your specific process, even HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Dollars per year.

We all understand the pain and cost of buying a certain tonnage of Raw Materials just to sell less Final Product as a result of Processing Losses.  One such processing loss (and arguably one of the biggest contributors to Processing Losses) is MOISTURE LOSS!  Depending on your process, Process Moisture Loss may start taking place from the moment Raw Materials enter the Plant until the Final Product is bagged and stored.  We discussed the effect of unnecessary Moisture Loss in one of our previous Blog Posts:

  1. Operational Effect
  2. Nutritional Effect
  3. Economic Effect

We also discussed how proper Online Moisture Control Technology can help to combat this problem.

In today’s discussion, we want to briefly look at the potential Economic Effect of Moisture Loss.  Selling food and feed products at moisture content lower than what is necessary means the Processor is losing income as a result of unnecessary weight (moisture) loss.  This loss can very quickly & easily run into THOUSANDS and even HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Dollars per year.

A Real Life Example

Let’s look at a real-life example to better understand the economic effect of Moisture Loss.  The following study shows the effect of several Operational and Commercial conditions on the Feasibility of a Typical Pellet Press Plant in Australia.  Assumptions are:

  1. Feed Mill Capacity [ton/year]                                   :              10,000 to 100,000
  2. Desired Target Moisture Content [%]                     :               10
  3. Moisture Addition required to reach 10% [%]       :               1 / 2 / 3
  4. Sales Price of Pelleted Animal Feed [$/ton]            :              240 / 260 / 280

Figures 1, 2 and 3 show the effect of the above assumptions on Payback Period** of the Investment required to install Moisture Control Technology.

Fig 1 : The effect of Plant Size & Moisture Addition on Payback Period**Fig 1 : The Effect of Plant Size & Moisture Addition on Payback Period

Fig 2 : The effect of Plant Size & Moisture Addition on Payback Period**Fig 2 : The effect of Plant Size & Moisture Addition on Payback Period

Fig 3 : The effect of Plant Size & Moisture Addition on Payback Period**Fig 3 : The effect of Plant Size & Moisture Addition on Payback Period

** Payback Period : Every company or business will have a minimum acceptable Payback Period. Payback Period gives a good indication of risk exposure. The longer a company must wait to recover its invested money, the greater the possibility of a calamity, and vice versa. The shorter the Payback Period, the lower the company’s exposure to such risk.

Logical Conclusions:

  1. For a 100,000 ton/year Feed Plant, producing Feed Pellets at moisture content just 1% below the ideal or Target Moisture Content (meaning 1% Moisture Addition in Fig 1, 2 & 3), results in Financial losses ranging from $240,000/year to $280,000/year.  These figures skyrocket to a maximum of $840,000/year when you produce Pelleted Feeds 3% below the Target Moisture Content.
  2. Larger Processing Plants will benefit the most from proper Process Moisture Management.  However, even smaller Plants show above average performance yielding Payback Periods ranging from 3 to 10 months.
  3. The benefit of proper Process Moisture Management is independent of Sales Price of Final Pelleted Feeds.
  4. There are some advantages not reflected in Figures 1, 2 & 3.  They are more difficult to quantify but include advantages such as optimized Final Product Quality and increased Plant Capacity.  These advantages are key to Market Expansion and Business Growth.

Process Moisture Auditing 

As we explained above, it is important to understand the Moisture Profile of a Food or Feed Process if we are interested in optimizing Operational, Nutritional and Economic Performance of a Processing Plant.  We do that by physically measuring the moisture content at critical points throughout the Process.  Once we have that in hand, we can compare it with the Target or Ideal Moisture Profile required throughout the process.  This information helps us to design a Moisture Control and Management System that will minimize Capital Investment while ensuring the Processor has no Processing Losses as a result of Moisture Loss.

Fig 4 : Typical example of a Process Moisture Audit MapFig 4 : Typical example of Process Moisture Audit Map

hp dezign supplies a turn-key service as well as all the equipment you need to start taking control of Moisture Management in your Plant.  Contact us today to get more detailed information about the study above.  We are also available to assist you in conducting a Moisture Audit of your Food or Feed Processing Plant.


PTN joins successful Triott Group

Press Release

PTN joins successful Triott Group 

…………..All disciplines for the mixed-food industry now under one umbrella

3 December 2012, Schijndel, The Netherlands.  On 1 January 2013 the Triott Group – well known as the parent company of Ottevanger Milling Industry, Wynveen International, Inteqnion and TSC – will acquire a majority share in PTN in Schijndel (The Netherlands). Ernst Jan Ottevanger, director of the Triott Group: “This will make the Triott Group broader and more complete than ever.” 


The new collaboration with PTN is also attractive to customers of Ottevanger Milling Industry, Wynveen International, Inteqnion and TSC. Willem de Vaan, director of Wynveen International: “If you buy machinery from other companies, you have little influence over this. But by using the in-house expertise of each of our companies we can now modify the main machines for complete production lines. We have no doubt that this will shortly result in highly innovative projects,” says De Vaan.


Ernst Jan Ottevanger also believes that the collaboration will have major advantages on the international market. “This makes turnkey production, which is very popular abroad, increasingly easier. We now have everything we need in house,” says Ottevanger. PTN too can take on larger (turnkey) projects thanks to the collaboration. “In the past we restricted ourselves to just machinery sales and had to turn down requests for more wide-ranging jobs. But now we can take them on unhesitatingly,” says Van Benthum.

Doing business with trusted contacts

The Triott Group will consist of five equal subsidiaries. Each of the associated companies will retain its own identity, but at an international level they can call on support from each other. Marty van Benthum, director of PTN: “This structure, with equal companies together making up the Triott Group, is ideal. Our customers will continue to do business with their trusted contacts, while at the same time PTN – thanks to the support of the other companies – will be able to take on projects that were previously outside its scope, while retaining its own DNA.”


Since 1974 Pelleting Technology Nederland (PTN) has been a global player in the development, engineering, production, sale and servicing of pelleting presses and related machinery for the mixed-food, recycling and biomass industries. PTN is an expert in the conditioning, pressing and crumbling of feed. None of the other Triott Group subsidiaries has any in-house expertise in the production of the main machinery needed for this. This makes PTN a very valuable addition to the Group.

The Triott Group

The Triott Group specialises in the design and construction of machinery and installations for the cereal-processing and mixed-food industries. Over the last few decades the Triott Group has carried out a great many international projects : machinery and installations for mixed feeds, premixes, additives, fish food, pet food, flour mills and the processing of cereals and seeds. Ongoing research, active development and shrewd innovation ensure that the company retains its leading position in the international market.

Contact us today to find out how we can utilise the expertise & experience of the Ottevanger Group of Companies to find highly professional and cost effective solutions for your Food and Feed Processing requirements.

A Good Design?

Author : Hennie Pieterse

The question came up : What do we define as a good design?

Think of Structures, Devices, Machines, Facilities and other Engineered Products or Facilities found in Intensive Agriculture and Food Production.  For any of these to be of “Good Design” there are at least the following Design Goals that should be met:

Ottevanger Type 1200-1250 Hammermill

A good example of a very well designed Hammer Mill by Ottevanger. It is equipped with Automatic Screen Changing Device and is a good example of a “Good Design” meeting all the Design Goals discussed in this Blog

This is arguably the most important design goal any design should meet.  Especially if you want to call it a “Good Design”.  Any Engineered Product has a function to fulfill, and it is very important that the Designers and Suppliers of such products, machines or facilities understand those functional requirements very well.  Failure to create a design that meets functional requirements may make it useless.  Even if the cost of such a design is low.  And let’s face it : even a relatively “cheap” product could turn out to be “expensive” if it fails to do the job!

Engineering Integrity

The man on the street may associate this with “quality”.  In Engineering Terms it means a Design that meets the Design Criteria for Structural Strength, Durability and the choice of Materials that will optimize Wear and other Operational Characteristics.  Good Engineering Integrity is a reflection of the Professionalism of the Supplier who designed and built the Equipment or other engineered product


And of course a Cost as low as possible is important – but not at the expense of the other Design Goals in this Blog.  Don’t be mislead by not understanding the full Cost implications, as it involves more than just the initial Capital Investment.  Proper evaluation of

  • Capital Cost,
  • Operational Cost,
  • and the Hidden Cost of After Sales Support (for example : downtime when you cannot get Spare Parts in time)

all adds up to give a true reflection of the real Cost!


Whether Equipment, Machinery, or a complete Processing Plant, people will be involved in it.  There will be Operators and Workers executing everyday tasks.  People you rely on.  People whose performance and commitment depend on the immediate environment they find themselves in.  It is therefore important to work with Designers and Suppliers who ensure that the Equipment, Facilities, Processing Facilities and Spaces they design are Ergonomically acceptable, safe, user-friendly and pleasant.

After all, you need happy and motivated people to get the most out of your investment


Engineering Design is a beautiful thing….and a good design looks good!  While investing the money achieving the Design Goals above, we may just as well make it look good.  Architects and Automotive  Designers are very good at that.  There is no reason why Engineered Goods should be different.

So what is a “Good Design” then?…….a balanced blend of all the Design Goals mentioned above!

Contact us today to discuss your Design and Equipment needs.  We Represent World-Class Equipment Suppliers and have a Team of Professionals that can help you maximizing your chances of being Commercially Successful.