How do they extract kernels from sunflower seeds in mass production?


Sunflower Seeds and Seed Kernels

Every time I seed a gunny sack of sunflower seed kernels in a supermarket, I wonder how they are extracted from their seeds. It is very difficult to extract even one of them by hand without smashing its kernels, I really wonder the process that extracts mass of them.

How do they do it? Is there a documentary or Youtube video about it?

One Response to “How do they extract kernels from sunflower seeds in mass production?”

  1. rumtscho says:

    By using a dehuller machine. See:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hegzzj9Rzk
    or
    http://www.buhlergroup.com/global/en/products/dehuller-dgba.htm

    How does a dehuller work? I don’t know, but it seems that Google does:

    The most popular decorticator for sunflower is proposed by the Bühler
    Cie. It consists in a rotating blade that propels the seeds by
    centrifuge force against a wall. It functions on one impact. It is
    designed for partial removal of hulls because due to its principle, it
    is not able to carry out a good dehulling without increasing the force
    of the impact. The kernel oil content is so high in sunflower that
    under the violence of he chock, some oil can be transferred to the
    hulls and is lost. Moreover, increasing the rotating speed of such
    dehuller drives to increase the production of fines that are difficult
    to separates from hulls. Another mono-chock kind of dehuller is
    air-jet impact where the propelling of the seeds is done by a strong
    current of air. Multi-chocks dehullers like the Ripple mill improve
    the dehulling quality because they carry out several impacts on the
    achene with milder violence and enable en enhanced separation of hulls
    without generating an excess of fines.

    See: http://www.creol.fr/CTMSite/creol/us/travaux/img/dehulling_3.pdf

    See also: http://www.buhlergroup.com/northamerica/downloads/DGBA_Sunflower_Dehuller.pdf for some schematics of the inside of the machine and some insights about the way it works.

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