Homogenization is the process by which a sample is broken into identical parts so that removing one portion of it does not disrupt and still accurately reflects the remaining sample’s molecular composition. In many instances, it is also used to thoroughly mix together naturally immiscible substances; when a sample is reduced to tiny, uniform pieces, it is easier for manufacturers and scientists to combine it with another sample, creating many of the products used across a wide variety of industries.
Here’s a brief overview of the purpose of homogenization:
To Reduce Particle Size
First and foremost, the purpose of homogenization is to reduce the size of the particles making up a sample. In simple terms, it’s a bit like taking a boulder and smashing it into gravel, except, in this case, the gravel pieces would be all the same size and shape. During homogenization, many samples can be reduced to nanometer-sized particles. This makes it easier for manufacturers to produce things like adhesives, resins, paints and creams/lotions and guarantee that they work.
To Lyse Cells
For the molecular and cellular biology fields, one of the most common purposes of homogenization is to breach the cell wall and/or membrane and expose the intracellular contents of cells. This is necessary when scientists need to make biological samples for further study, experimentation and research.
To Kill Pathogens
One the the added benefits of many homogenization techniques is the destruction of pathogens within a sample. There are several kinds of homogenizers (mechanical, high pressure and ultrasonic), each using one or more specific types of force. As a by-product of the processing method each force facilitates, many homogenizers render samples with varying levels of sterility. For instance, high pressure homogenizers can effectively kill microorganisms in food samples. Other homogenizers that produce high levels of heat (most mechanical homogenizers) can kill various pathogens, as well, but the accompanying heat frequently degrades the overall sample. Thus, it’s important to pick the right kind of homogenizing equipment if product sterility is a requisite goal.
To Facilitate Stable Emulsions and Dispersions
Finally, the purpose of most homogenizers is to mix substances well. Reducing the size of the particles in a substance allows it to more readily and easily combine with the particles of another substance. It also allows all of the particles to remain mixed for a longer period of time. This is especially important for products that need to be consistent in appearance, taste, texture, viscosity and/or nutritional value for the length of their shelf lives, like cosmetics, food and beverage items and pharmaceuticals.
The BEE International Advantage
Homogenization offers a host of benefits, and we here at BEE International believe our high pressure homogenizers are the best choice, offering advantages that would otherwise necessitate the purchase of multiple types of equipment instead of just one! Our patented Emulsifying Cell (EC) technology, along with our proprietary combination of multiple homogenizing forces, mean our homogenizers have the ability to create more stable products with longer shelf lives in shorter amounts of time with fewer passes than our competition. Please contact us to capitalize on all the purposes of homogenization or if you're interested in the particle size reduction side of homogenization, download our free eBook now: