12 January - 20 June 2016

The effects of membrane composition and morphology on the rotating membrane emulsification technique for food grade emulsions

2 December 2015

In a study published in the Journal of Membrane Science by workers at Birmingham University, different membranes and emulsification techniques were studied to compare their effectiveness.

Both cross-flow and rotational membrane techniques were tested using a sunflower oil/water/surfactant mix, using a variety of different membrane types, including laser drilled stainless steel and ceramic membranes. Rotating membrane emulsification was seen to be comparable to cross-flow emulsification in terms of producing similar mean droplet size, but the rotating membrane gave a larger droplet size distribution. This means that this could be an applicable technology for the food industry where a narrow range of droplet size is less important.

The different types of membrane showed similar behaviour in both systems with the laser cut membrane giving the narrowest distribution of droplet sizes.

One of the advantages of rotational membranes is that the shear forces are lower, which may be useful for ingredients used in reduced salt or lower calorie products which may give unfavourable flavours and taints when exposed to high shear forces.

Our team of scientists offer a broad range of analytical techniques and expertise to characterise the physical and structural features of food products and ingredients.

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