TECHNOLOGIES AND EQUIPMENT
FOR GRAIN PROCESSING

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Переработка семян конопли

Hemp seed porridge was a traditional dish of the ancient Slavs being famous for its health-improving and even healing effects. At the same time, the narcotic properties of the crop plants have brought about a ban on both its cultivation and distribution in most countries of the world. However, agricultural science does not stand still, and a huge proportion of modern hemp varieties practically do not contain tetrahydrocanabiol, which reduces their narcotic effect to zero. The farmers’ successes pave the way for a wide production of industrial hemp and to the use of its seeds for dietary, geriatric and therapeutic nutrition. Hemp seeds are a unique source of deficient nutrients necessary for the human body, such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, many vitamins, glycerides, trace nutrients: zinc, calcium, iron, potassium manganese, phosphorus, sulfur. And rightly so the attention of many farmers, processors and entrepreneurs is directed towards this promising type of crops today. Although hemp products are still quite expensive, they are already getting affordable in many countries, including Ukraine. Not the last place in the cost of hemp seed products is their processing, which in most cases is handcrafted due to the lack of industrial processing technologies, and therefore causes huge losses of valuable raw materials.

Hemp seeds

Fig. 1 Hemp seeds

Whole kernels

Fig. 2 Whole kernels

Fine particles of kernels

Fig. 3 Fine particles of kernels

Hemp seeds (Fig. 1) are surrounded by a strong and hard seed coat that prevents the use of a soft and oily kernel in which all useful substances are concentrated. Therefore, the initial stage of any rational processing of hemp seeds is to free kernels from shells, which do not have either nutritional or feeding value. Taking into account the physical and mechanical properties of hemp seeds, namely at this stage the lion's share of all losses occurs. In most cases, using known hulling methods, it is not possible to obtain the whole kernels (Fig. 2) in significant volumes. At the same time, small particles (fragments) of the kernels formed in large volumes deteriorate quickly as a result of direct contact of fats with air and their intense oxidation. In addition, the formed small particles of kernels and, especially cracked grains (Fig. 3) and hulling bran, cause huge losses of nutrients in the husk as they form difficultly separable mixtures with its particles.

In an attempt to make a contribution and encourage good deeds, OLIS developed and tested industrial technology for processing hemp seeds to maximize their nutritional potential; see Table 1.

Table 1. Product yield in case of industrial process implementation.

Name of Product Yield, %
Whole kernels 50 - 55
Particles of kernels (cracked grains) 5 - 7
Hulling bran 3 - 5
Husks 36 - 40

This method of processing is feasible for production of any capacity starting from 300 kg / h and in each particular case can be performed with varying degrees of development of processes, their mechanization and automation.

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