December 11, 1997
Rev. March 2004

In 1994 we were called as a result of an ad we had placed in a food processing journal. The caller wanted to know if we could press foots. We answered positively and then asked what they were.

The caller, West Central Coop, is an Iowa firm that uses Anderson and Dupps screw presses to extract oil from soybeans. This is unusual because the conventional process is to use solvent extraction to pull out the oil because higher yields are achieved. On the other hand, the oil extracted with heavy duty expeller type presses has different characteristics that make it more suitable for specialty markets. That is West Central's niche.

The Anderson and Dupps machines squeeze the beans so hard that some solid fiber material comes through with the oil that is extracted. This press liquor is pumped to a tank where the bean fiber sinks to the bottom. This fiber, which they drag to the top and skim off, is called foots.

We know that a Vincent press will not produce oil by liquefying the solid fat in soybeans or peanuts. However, we were confident of separating foots into oil and press cake fiber. A high yield was not necessary because the fiber (still containing considerable oil) is re-introduced to the expeller presses.

We asked why the foots were not sent directly to the Dupps expellers. It turned out that they would not feed properly. Because of the high oil content, the foots only churned in the inlet hopper.

At the time of the original telephone call the customer decided to make their own foots press. It did not work very well. It was not until late last year that Todd & Sargent, a consulting engineering firm in Ames, called to tell us a plant expansion was underway. Today it contains two Vincent VP-12 presses that are used for pressing foots.

Issue 70