Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 15, 2003
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Lesquerella fendleri, a winter annual oilseed crop native to the desert southwestern United States, is currently being developed for commercial industrial applications. The seed contains 25-30% oil, of which 55-60% is lesquerolic acid, a hydroxy fatty acid (HFA) analogous to ricinoleic acid from castor oil. The current source of HFA is ricinoleic acid, which is used in the manufacture of lubricants, plastics, coatings and cosmetics, and imported primarily from Brazil and India. The seed coat contains a unique gum, which will be potentially useful as coating, binder and thickener. Mechanical extraction of oil followed by solvent extraction of the press cake will provide a solvent-free oil preferred by the cosmetic industry and the solvent-extracted oil for other applications. Large quantities of Lesquerella seeds are now available for pilot-scale processing and product development and testing. We are currently evaluating seed conditioning and screw press parameters to determine the conditions for optimum oil yield and quality. The effects of the seed moisture content, heating/cooking temperature, heating/cooking time, pressing temperature, pressing rate and press discharge back pressure on oil yield and quality and screw press efficiency are being investigated and will be presented.