An assessment of oil processing methods and technology in Taraba State, Nigeria
Objective: The study assessed the various methods and technology of vegetable oil processing in Taraba State.
Methods: A total of 250 questionnaires were administered to vegetable oil processors with indepth interview of 28 respondents who were randomly selected based on a preliminary study in six (6) Local Government Areas in the State. Information obtained from the questionnaire were bio-data, oil bearing seeds materials, processing methods and technology, scale of operation, packaging and maintenance of the machine. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: The study shows that oil processing was carried out in all the LGAs. About 73.92% of the processors were within the age range of 18 to 50 years,with females making up 46.58%. Majority of the respondents (82.7%) were micro oil processors while only 14.7% were small scale oil processors. Most (67.8%) of the microprocessor had no processing equipment of their own, but depended on custom millers for some unit operations. Jalingo LGA had the highest number of processors using 2- 3tonne/day imported screw presses which constitutes (2.9%) of the total processors in the State. The oil-bearing materials used in Taraba were groundnut (66.5%), palm fruits/palm kernel (27.8%). Oil was generally packaged in polyethylene (plastics) containers. Most processors were not knowledgeable about oil quality parameters and did not have any equipment for measuring oil quality.
Conclusion: Awareness creation and training are needed to improve production in the area of utilization of other oil bearing materials like sesame seeds, and soybeans, and roselle seeds.
Keywords: Technology assessment, Oil bearing materials and processing methods