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Mass-produced centrifuged vegetable flavor oils

To make molecular gastronomy faster
  [vote for,

So, recently there's been this molecular gastronomy trend in the foodie world where chefs use crazy laboratory like methods to create food. They'll turn anything into a pasta with gelling agents and cold water, they'll make foams, they'll use these "anti-griddles" that are freezing cold plates to harden things up into wafers, etc.

One thing that they've been doing is extracting the super-flavorful oil out of vegetables. Vegetables like peas or tomatoes aren't traditional sources of oil, however the flesh does contain some tiny amount of oil. For flavorful vegetables, the pure oil will naturally be super-flavorful (the things that produce flavor in foods are typicaly more oil-soluble than water soluble, you see). So they puree english peas or tomatoes and put them in jars and put those in a centrifuge. After 5 minutes, the oil has separated out, and they can decant it from the liquid.

My idea is that someone should do this on an industrial/semi-industrial (you'll never be able to make HUGE amounts nor would you need to) scale and sell the product.

so - the actual plant design: obviously need large cookers and pureeing equipment. Would also need large centrifuge. I looked it up and there are large centrifuges used to handle oil-drilling fluid. Perhaps an old one of these could be purchased and washed thoroughly and used. I know also that they separate cream from milk using centrifuges. The only thing I don't know is whether centrifuges like these, where the separated fluid is continuously piped from the spinning fluid, would cut it, as some of the particulate matter may get mixed in when using a vegetable puree. Then again you could filter the result. Or maybe it is crucial that whole containers of puree be put in a centrifuge for purity.

Then take the oil, bottle it, maybe add BHT or vitamin E (tocopherol) as preservative. Ship to hoighty toighy restaurants and maybe the public as well. Dark glass bottles to keep out the light (to keep oil fresh) and prevent plasticy taste. I'm thinking those bottles with the attached rubber-stopper top that Grolsch beer is sold in because they're air-tight, again, to prevent the oil/fat from rancidizing. Might be worth it to offer to pick the bottles back up from the chefs and re use them.

There would be lots of vegetable matter waste. An easy solution would be to compost it, though I don't know how the state and federal regulations may or may not allow this.

My home state of NJ would actually be perfect for this, having both plenty of vegetable agriculture (especially tomatoes) and industrial areas (and ag/industrial like composting and mulch and other bulk materials) and being very close to NYC (where you have hoighty toighty restaurant chef customers).

EdwinBakery, Mar 28 2011

Oils from vegetables http://www.nature.c...erican0311-23a.html
NOT essential oils [EdwinBakery, Mar 28 2011]

same article but with picture http://culturewav.e...blic_thought/110037
[EdwinBakery, Mar 28 2011]

molecular gastronomy http://www.switched...ve-arnold-and-nils/
[EdwinBakery, Mar 28 2011]

the fat from peas http://jetcitygastr...at-home-pea-butter/
[EdwinBakery, Mar 28 2011]

pea butter again http://www.popsci.c...-emerges-laboratory
[EdwinBakery, Mar 28 2011]


       People have been extracting "essential" oils from things since the dawn of time. There are 5 main methods that are employed, and they are:
and Solvent Extraction

       You can buy them on the internet, although it might be tricky to find pea flavour - a good brand is called Tisserand, they must have over 30 different oils available.
zen_tom, Mar 28 2011

       I think the term was "expeller-pressed", or something like that. <Googles> No, that wasn't centrifugal. "Centrifugal pressed", maybe? <Googles> No, that only leads to juices, and seems unliked.   

       Okay. This idea for an oil-extraction method seems uncommon, but essential vegetable oils are not uncommon (if not cheap). (I once had a bad experience with garlic essential oil and my ear (somebody thought it would be a cure-all (it was quite the opposite)).)
baconbrain, Mar 28 2011

       no, this isn't quite the same thing. "Essential oils" are the flavorful oils of plants that have strong specific smells. This is more akin to oil extraction from oilseeds, only with way less oil per vegetable matter. These oils won't extract through distillation; they're more like oilseed oil than volatile essential oils.
EdwinBakery, Mar 28 2011

       //so - the actual plant design://   

       GM magic?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 28 2011

       the idea isn't centrifugal -expressed oils. Chefs are already doing that. The idea is to do it industrially and sell it to them so they don't have to do it in their kitchens.   

       these aren't essential oils. Essential oils are volatile. These are just whatever tiny amount of oil is in the vegetable, but collected and extracted. They are also very flavorful because they are oil and so have all the flavor compounds, but they're not essential oils.
EdwinBakery, Mar 28 2011

       //They are also very flavorful because they are oil and so have all the flavor compounds, but they're not essential oils.//   

       Wrong. The essential oils ARE most of the flavor compounds. The remaining oils may have some flavor, but they aren't going to resemble the original product at all. The pea butter from the article included the essential oils in with any other fats.
MechE, Mar 28 2011

       yeah, that's essentially what I mean. But I don't think most of the flavor compounds are volatile - if you were to steam distill I don't think you'd get that much.
EdwinBakery, Mar 28 2011

       I can see this working nicely for everything with the possible exceptions of broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 28 2011

       The core tastes are non-volatile. Everything outside of those is scent, and thus by definition volatile.
MechE, Mar 29 2011

       That garlic essential oil that I mentioned reeked of garlic. When I got it on my skin and it absorbed in, I could frikkin' TASTE garlic for hours. I chucked out the rest of the bottle, but I have no doubt that it was pure garlic flavor.   

       Oils and fats carry most of the flavor in many other foods. And smells, too--if I recall correctly, steam-distilled perfumes catch the plant-oil vapors in fats such as pig fat, then render that down to extract the perfume oils (then feed the scraps to other hogs, and get flower-tasting pork).   

       I'd say that most cooking oils on the market have a distinct flavor and scent, and producers have to try very hard to find something to cook with that has no taste at all.
baconbrain, Mar 29 2011

       I'm sure this is some kind of cover for enrichment of nuclear fuels to make weapons.   

       Cuts to shedloads of centrifuges in a camouflaged facility somewhere outside Tehran or Pyon-Yang or Weston-super-mare...."oh no no no, those are just for spice production"
not_morrison_rm, Mar 29 2011

       As if Spice production were an entirely innocent activity ....
mouseposture, Mar 29 2011

       The only tastes that the tongue can taste are sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and apparently Umami, or savory. There are also another 4-5 that may or may not be included. Anything beyond those, however, is detected in the nose rather than the tongue, and is therefore, by definition, volatile. Degree of volatility varies, so some of these will be happy to sit in say a cooking oil for an extended period, but the strongest tastes tend to be the most volatile, and these will get lost if they're mass processed and left to sit.
MechE, Mar 29 2011

       When I was a kid, my family never used olive oil. My siblings and I discovered it later, and most of us use it when we want a good-flavored oil. Some of my sisters even care what kind of olive oil they get. One of them was working in another country, and was given a taste of olive oil straight from the tap of a camel-driven press. She said she just stood there and cried.   

       She filled some bottles and brought them home to us. It was damned good, but she said it wasn't nearly as good as it was fresh.   

       My point is that fresh-made oil may be what the chefs are on about. Not centrifuging, not particular vegetables.   

       Well, competition chefs probably are doing particular vegs just to win their contest. And some folks will buy anything.
baconbrain, Mar 30 2011

       yeah, and until they discovered the umami flavor, salty, sweet, bitter, and sour were the "only" tastes your tongue could taste   

       scientists are too quick to act as though the extent of their knowledge is the actual extent of what exists. To say that those are the only tastes the tongue has just because that's all that we've confirmed is ludicrous.   

       Any chef could have told you that people can taste umami, and also fat. It was recently confirmed in mice that their tongues can sense fat. It's only a matter of time before it's confirmed in people.
EdwinBakery, Mar 30 2011

       Regardless, the vast majority of flavors are still olfactory, not oral. I'm not saying you don't taste some stuff with the tounge, just that most of the delicate and unique flavors aren't among them.
MechE, Mar 30 2011

       Ambrose Bierce, noted American author, wrote, among other things, a short story containing references to flavors and essential oils in the work titled "Oil of Dog". Quite possibly used as a reference by acclaimed chefs.
cudgel, Mar 30 2011

       //scientists are too quick to act as though the extent of their knowledge is the actual extent of what exists.//   

       //It was recently confirmed in mice that their tongues can sense fat.//   

       So, who confirmed it?   

       (Also, an aside - is it taste, touch or thermal gradient that identifies fat on the tongue?)
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 30 2011

       //thermal gradient..on the tongue//   

       So, I should be wary of very small gliders using my tongue as an upward thermal?
not_morrison_rm, Mar 31 2011

       taste - it's an actual chemical, taste receptor - it can chemically sense if there's fats on the tongue   

       it says "French scientists" found it   

       you can see the link on the wikipedia article on "taste" - it's a reference
EdwinBakery, Mar 31 2011

       umami so fat, that that food tastes her...
4whom, Apr 01 2011


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