keywords: Bleaching, β-carotene, pulverized, refining, refractive index
The bleaching performance of crude palm oil (CPO) using pulverized acid activated banana and plantain stems as bleaching agent was the main goal of this research. The best bleaching performance was obtained from banana stem (X2/1.00M) with percentage colour removal (%CR) of 98% at 80oC for 30 min and a sample to oil ratio of 0.20. The least %CR was obtained from plantain stem (X1/0.50M) with a value of 1.5% at 80oC for 30 min and sample to oil ratio of 0.04. The highest refractive index (RI) value of 1.3985 was obtained at a bleaching time of 30 min, temperature of 100ºC while the lowest RI value of 1.3341 was obtained by plantain stem (X1/100M) at bleaching time of 30 min at a temperature of 80ºC and sample to oil ratio of 0.2. Lorentz-Lorentz transformed linear equation showed graphically that for every 35 ml of treated palm oil (TPO) used for bleaching, 8.0 ml was left unbleached. This equation is a resourceful mathematical tool for predicting the economy of CPO refining.