I have been able fractionate palm oil and extract palm stearin using the following method:
- Melt the palm oil (over 80 °C)
- Keep the melted oil at 33.5 °C for 24 hours (using an immersion circulated water bath)
- At this point I was able observe crystals being formed. I assume they were palm stearin crystals.
- Centrifuge to separate the crystals to obtain palm stearin.
- I was able fractionate almost 30 % crystals by weight.
However the same process did not really hold true while processing the shea butter to fractionate shea stearin. After Step 2, it was still in liquid form and there was no visible crystal formation. I'm further considering seeding (with crystals) or playing with the time and temperature variations.
How can I modify my approach to promote stearin crystal formation in shea butter?