The Sunflower Seed Huller and Oil Press

The Sunflower Seed Huller and Oil Press - The Sunflower...

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The Sunflower Seed Huller and Oil Press By Jeff Cox -- from Organic Gardening , April 1979, Rodale Press IN 2,500 SQUARE FEET, a family of four can grow each year enough sunflower seed to produce three gallons of homemade vegetable oil suitable for salads or cooking and 20 pounds of nutritious, dehulled seed -- with enough broken seeds left over to feed a winter's worth of birds. The problem, heretofore, with sunflower seeds was the difficulty of dehulling them at home, and the lack of a device for expressing oil from the seeds. About six months ago, we decided to change all that. The job was to find out who makes a sunflower seed dehuller or to devise one if none were manufactured. And to either locate a home-scale oilseed press or devise one. No mean task. Our researches took us from North Dakota -- hub of commercial sunflower activity in the nation -- to a search of the files in the U.S. Patent Office, with stops in between. We turned up a lot of big machinery, discovered how difficult it is to buy really pure, unrefined vegetable oils, but found no small-scale equipment to dehull sunflowers or press out their oil. A pound of oilseed produced just under three ounces of oil. The key to success, however, was on our desk the whole time. In spring 1977, August Kormier had submitted a free-lance article describing how he used a Corona grain mill to dehull his sunflower seeds, and his vacuum cleaner exhaust hose to blow the hulls off the kernels. A second separation floated off the remaining hulls, leaving a clean product. We'd tried it, but because some kernels were cracked and the process involved drying, we hadn't been satisfied. Now we felt the best approach was to begin again with what we learned from Mr. Kormier and refine it. Staff Editor Diana Branch and Home Workplace Editor Jim Eldon worked with a number of hand- and electric-powered grain mills. While the Corona did a passable job, they got the best results with the C.S. Bell #60 hand mill and the Marathon Uni Mill, which is motor-driven. "I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I tried the Marathon," Diana says. "I opened the stones to
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1/8th inch, and out came a bin full of whole kernels and hulls split right at the seams. What a thrill that was!" She found that by starting at the widest setting,and gradually narrowing the opening, almost every seed was dehulled. The stones crack the hulls open, then rub them to encourage the seed away from the fibrous lining. The Bell hand mill worked almost as well. "As long as the stones open at least as wide as the widest unhulled seed, any mill will work," she says. Because the seed slips through the mill on its flat side, grading is an important step to take before dehulling. We made three sizing boxes. The first is 1/4-inch hardware cloth [wire screen]. The second is two layers of 1/4-inch cloth, moved slightly apart to narrow the opening in one direction, and the third is two layers of screen adjusted to make a still-smaller opening. Since the smallest unhulled seeds are about the size of the largest hulled kernels, the grading step prevents
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course ECON AL101 taught by Professor Grubermcgee during the Spring '11 term at City University of Seattle.

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The Sunflower Seed Huller and Oil Press - The Sunflower...

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