Sunflower oil has multiple applications, such as in the food industry, in medicine, in cosmetics, as lubricants. Besides,it is a source for bioenergy production. Oilseeds from plants are an attractive source of vegetable oil because they have a high mass content of oil (up to 60 w%). Sunflower represents the fourth largest agricultural productivity designed for use as oil source and has some advantages that include the high amount of linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fatty acid) and the presence of nutraceutical compounds, both related to benefits in human nutrition. The crude sunflower oil must be chemically refined to remove acidity and minor compounds to become edible. Basically, the chemical refining consists of four steps: degumming, deacidification, bleaching and deodorization. The deodorization step removes odoriferous compounds formed by oil oxidation, also contaminants as pesticides, by steam stripping under high temperatures (up to 265°C) and high vacuum. These extreme conditions degradate the oil and volatilize nutraceutical compounds (mainly, antioxidants), and also promote oxidation and cis-trans isomerization reactions of polyunsaturated fatty acids. In this context, this project has the aim for determining liquid-liquid equilibrium experimental data for model systems containing sunflower oil + aldehydes + anhydrous ethanol at 25°C, and correlating data by appropriate thermodynamic models. This alternative of processing will is suggested as a pre-treatment for the bleached sunflower oil, in order to permit a subsequent milder deodorization, working with lower temperatures, avoiding undesirable consequences in the quality of the final product (loss of nutraceuticals compounds, degradation and cis-trans isomerization reaction).
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