Desmet ©
Desmet ©

Global engineering and processing plant supplier Desmet's new Oils & Derivatives Innovation Center Asia in Malaysia opens today.

The facility – a first in Southeast Asia – would allow Desmet’s clients to test their products and customise the company’s technologies – Desmet said on 24 May, the facility's opening day.

In addition, collaboration projects with local universities would allow improved access to industrial research and feedback, while helping to develop R&D, the company, previously known as the Desmet Ballestra Group, said.

In its first phase, Desmet said the facility would feature pilot scale models of the company’s patented oils & fats modification technologies.

The company’s technologies include Mobulizer Crystallizer, the improved Tirtiaux Crystallizer and Statopress, which is a hybrid design of Desmet’s patented Statolizer Crystallizer and a filter press in a pilot scale unit for both static crystallisation and high-pressure filtration.

Mobulizer Crystallizer is a continuous crystalliser, featuring a cooling integrated agitation system, while the improved Tirtiaux Crystallizer is typically used for large batch operating palm oil fractionation plants.

Designed for processing plant-based oils, Desmet said its Statolizer Fractionation technology was a dry fractionation technology offering higher yields and lower steam and electricity consumption compared with more conventional process such as panning and pressing.

A range of analytical equipment would also be available at the facility to measure primary quality parameters such as FFA, glyceride and FA composition, IV, SFC, melting and cloud point analysis, the company said.

Scheduled to open on 24 May, Desmet said pilot equipment would be added regularly and the facility’s analytical capabilities would be increased .

Taken together with Desmet’s existing Innovation Centers in Belgium and France, the company’s total capacity of innovation facilities reached close to 2,000m².

The Belgium facility’s focus is on oils and derivatives, while the French facility in France is focused on oilseeds and grains.

Desmet said the services offered by the Oils & Derivatives Innovation Center Asia would be extended to include refining in 2024/25 and oleochemical processing in 2025/26.

Globally edible oil consumption has increased globally over the past decade and now represented more than 200M tonnes/year.

The plant-based oils in Southeast Asia represented 45% of the global edible oil market and delivered a high oil yield per hectare, the company said.