Homogenization: Uses & Limitations for Food Production

Posted by David Shechter on Jun 27, 2016 12:30:00 PM

homogenizationIf you were to ask a scientist/researcher to identify a single factor that keeps his/her lab running, odds are most would choose monetary funding. Which explains why techniques must be carefully chosen and reagents must be carefully handled. Using the wrong technique to manufacture a product can sink unnecessary amounts of money and time, while being informed enough to use the correct technique can increase efficiency in both arenas. Homogenization, intensive mixing by use of multiple mechanical forces, is a popular method due to its highly effective outcome, yet does not work on every type of solid and/or liquid product. Keep reading to gain a better understanding of the uses and limitations for homogenization, so as to maximize the technique’s use.

Uses

Homogenization is an ideal method for producing emulsions, suspensions, and other products that require a liquid suspended in another liquid (e.g. water-in-oil or oil-in-water), or which require a small particle size. For this reason, the food and beverage industries frequent this technique for manufacture of dairy products, mayonnaise, ice cream, cream liqueurs, salad dressings, and more. Not only does homogenization create a single homogenous mixture, but it also stabilizes emulsions and allows for consistency in particle size and texture. Other applications include production of pharmaceutical treatments like tablets, syrups, cancer treatments. (1)

Limitations

With the variety of applications for homogenization, there is also a laundry list of products that this method would NOT be appropriately paired with. Because the homogenization process causes a reduction of particle size in liquids, it would not effectively produce solid foods or those comprised of large particles. Additionally, because it uses force as opposed to thermal action, homogenization does not sterilize foods or beverages, so this must be done through a separate process. And finally, homogenization has a low energy efficiency, meaning that nearly half the energy is lost as heat in some emulsion/dispersion formulations. (2)

BEE International: The Homogenizer Advantage

As you work to determine which homogenizer brand and model will be best suited for your laboratory, begin your search with BEE International Technology. We are globally recognized among laboratory managers and researchers across the food and beverage, chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries. Particle size reduction and emulsification are just two of a variety of applications for BEEI homogenizers; cell lysis, lipids, suspensions, and dispersions are also easily achievable.

Importantly, BEEI’s homogenizers can achieve consistent particle sizes at or below 100 nm, a key benefit for products that require smaller droplet sizes. Additionally, the homogenizer processes can be controlled to suit your product, which will allow you to customize to your cell type. And finally, the equipment is easy to use, produces higher yield in less time, and achieves results that are reproducible and scalable.

Learn more about how BEE homogenizers can improve your experimentation by contacting us today. For more information about particle size reduction and how to get efficient and consistent results, download our FREE eBook: 

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