Neem Oil Extraction Plant

Neem oil is generally red as blood, bitter and has a rather strong odour that is said to combine the odours of peanut and garlic. It comprises mainly triglycerides and large amounts of triterpenoid compounds, which are responsible for the bitter taste. It is hydrophobic in nature and in order to emulsify it in water for application purposes, it must be formulated with appropriate surfactants.

Neem seed oil can also be obtained by solvent extraction of the neem seed, fruit, oil, cake or kernel. A large industry in India extracts the oil remaining in the seed cake using hexane. This solvent-extracted oil is of a lower quality as compared to the cold pressed oil and is mostly used for soap manufacturing. Neem cake is a by-product obtained in the solvent extraction process for neem oil.

Neem Oil Extraction Plant

Neem Oil Plant

In the neem oil extraction plant, some processing method are frequently used in the plant.

Mechanical Press: This method is one of the oldest methods of processing oil. Seeds are placed in a tub or container and a form of press or screw is used to squeeze the seeds until the oil is pressed out and collected.

Steam and High Pressure: This method makes use of high pressure extraction method to squeeze out oil from seeds. Seeds are heated in steam and under high pressure enabling maximum extraction of oil. This method is not very good as most of the active ingredients and compounds are destroyed by high temperature.

Solvent Extraction: One of the most used methods of extracting neem oil, it uses a solvent, preferably an petroleum solvent/alcohol solvent for processing oil. It ensures maximum extraction of oil.

Cold Pressed: This method of extracting oil is the most used by leading manufacturers though it is more expensive than the other methods.