High Pressure Processing Equipment 101: What You Need to Know

Posted by Jen Hug on May 16, 2019 12:01:21 PM

High Pressure Processing EquipmentHigh pressure processing (HPP) is a pasteurization method by which parasitic and microbial contaminants (such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.) are deactivated with pressure rather than heat. Also known as pascalization, HPP provides many benefits over traditional pasteurization techniques. It not only effectively pasteurizes food samples while preserving their nutritional quality, flavor and texture (elements often diminished or otherwise negatively affected when exposed to high temperatures), but it can lyse cells and reduce the particle size of substances, as well, making it especially valuable for industries beyond the food and beverage one. Here’s a quick run-down of what you need to know about high pressure processing equipment:


HPP Equipment Applications

As mentioned, high pressure processing equipment can be (and is!) used for more than pasteurizing food items. In addition to extending the shelf life, quality and appearance of food products for the food and beverage industry, HPP equipment also helps the chemical, biotech and pharmaceutical industries (among others) process and maintain their own samples with maximum results.


HPP Equipment Benefits by Industry

High pressure processing equipment (or “homogenizers,” for short) allow different industries different advantages:


Food and Beverage Industry

For the food and beverage industry, HPP equipment permits simultaneous pasteurization and homogenization, breaking apart and thoroughly mixing a sample while at the same time destroying all of its pathogens so that final food products last longer, taste better and have more nutrients than those processed via other means.


Chemical Industry

In chemical applications, HPP equipment helps to create more stable emulsions and dispersions by effectuating a tighter distribution of smaller-sized particles, increasing the surface area of a sample’s particles so that improved chemical reactions can occur more quickly and without the disruption of existing particle morphologies or the need for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Specifically, HPP equipment can aid in the manufacture of acrylic and solvent-based polymers, adhesives and pastes, carbon nanotubes and more. 


Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry uses HPP equipment in order to tailor the mixing process across all stages of a drug’s development: R&D, clinical trials, FDA approval and manufacturing. With BEE International homogenizers, specifically, researchers and manufacturers alike can vary the forces applied to each product formulation, ensuring micro and nano emulsions and dispersions that guarantee longer shelf life, better bioavailability and increased digestibility (where indicated). Our high pressure processing equipment also includes proprietary software and customizable features, making it easier for our customers to modify their research and production procedures no matter the sample size, and ensuring reliable and consistent results in fewer passes that always scale up when necessary.


Biotech Industry

And because the biotech industry uses living organisms to make products, biotech companies often need high pressure processing equipment to help them rupture cell membranes without compromising cell contents. Too often, chemical or other mechanical cell lysis methods (like freezing or autoclaving), can either destroy essential cell components and/or be too time consuming to be beneficial in any way. High pressure homogenizers allow them to work with microorganisms, as well as plant and animal tissues, effectively breaking down cellular walls and reducing particle size so that the integrity of the cells is always maintained.


The Bottom Line

High pressure processing equipment can save companies valuable time and countless resources, advantages that also save them money! At BEE International, our proprietary homogenizing systems have the added benefit of being fully customizable, further compounding their efficiency and making them compatible with any industry needing to break apart and/or mix substances. Contact our team to learn more.

You might also wish to download our free eBook, “7 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cell Lysis Method,” for additional tips on matching your needs with the right high pressure processing equipment.

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Particle Size Reduction Equipment: Why Homogenizers Stand Out

Posted by David Shechter on Feb 9, 2019 10:00:00 AM

particle size reduction equipmentReducing large materials into smaller ones is a common and often necessary occurrence in the natural world. From the earth itself eroding to food being digested to rocks being broken into tools, the physical process of reducing something into smaller bits frequently permits advantages (or wonders!) that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Take, for instance, the splendor of the Grand Canyon or the awe-inspiring fact that our bodies can break apart food and air and water into life sustaining nutrients or the many ways humans have made valuable tools from rocks and wood and other resources. Indeed, the world’s very first tool — the hammerstone — was made by ancient hominids and served a purpose not unlike today’s own particle size reduction equipment: to turn something bigger into something smaller.

Modern particle size reduction equipment is categorized according to four basic types:

  • Crushers - which break apart large particles into smaller ones
  • Grinders - which further crumble crushed particles into powder
  • Ultrafine Grinders - which pulverize ground powder into pieces 1-50 micrometers in size
  • Cutters - which yield particles of a specific shape and size

Considering product hardness, consistency and volume (many machines are better suited for certain capacities), companies may use one or more of the equipment types. Many pharmaceutical companies, for instance, opt for ultrafine grinders that can reduce active pharmaceutical ingredients into superfine particles to increase bioavailability. Baby food and soup manufacturers, on the other hand, might need cutting capabilities to ensure that all food pieces in their products are similarly sized. Some manufacturers might use crushing techniques followed by grinding ones or run their products through one system multiple times. It really just depends on the overall purpose of the product being manufactured, the initial ingredient composition and how much money a company has to spend.

With all this in mind, savvy manufacturers started considering the use of high pressure homogenizers as a fifth alternative for businesses in need of particle size reduction equipment. Homogenizers effectively mix together two normally immiscible substances using high pressure. A happy result of the process: homogenizers also reduce particle size! For manufacturers looking to make an equipment investment that not only works, but works across numerous applications, a high pressure homogenizer has become a solid choice. Unlike traditional particle size reduction equipment that only makes use of one type of mechanical force, a high pressure homogenizer utilizes several different ones. And at BEE International, our proprietary system not only uses turbulence, cavitation, high shear and impact to break apart product, it also has modular components that can be customized for specific purposes. Turbulence and cavitation treatments can be altered, shear times can be reduced or lengthened and impact and intensity can be tweaked. So, just want does all this mean? 

The Benefits of Using High Pressure Homogenizers (HPHs) as Particle Size Reducers:

  1. HPHs produce tighter distribution of smaller particles.

  2. HPHs achieve better particle reduction in fewer passes.

  3. HPHs increase manufacturing efficiency.

  4. HPHs reduce manufacturing costs.

  5. HPHs help create products with longer shelf lives, increased bioavailability and improved sensorial and biophysical properties. 

Want to Learn More?

Homogenizers can be used for a lot more than milk production and laboratory tests. Manufacturers in nearly every industry can use them to accurately reduce product particle size with a flexibility unmatched by other equipment types. Contact our team at BEE International for additional information on the ways a high pressure homogenizer can streamline your manufacturing process, improve your product integrity and benefit your bottom line.

Please feel free to also download our free eBook, "How to Achieve Efficient & Consistent Particle Size Reduction,” for more tips.

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2 Types of High Pressure Pasteurization Equipment

Posted by David Shechter on Jan 17, 2019 7:06:25 PM

two types of high pressure pasteurization equipmentIn the mid 19th century, Louis Pasteur helped France safeguard its beer and wine industries by establishing a manufacturing process that preserved and protected alcoholic products from spoilage during export. The principles of that system, eventually known as pasteurization, were based on his observations not only that microorganisms could change the molecular makeup of substances, but that they could be killed when exposed to high temperatures. Coupled with the scientific significance of French chef Nicolas Appert’s previous research on sterilization and canning techniques, thermal pasteurization quickly became the de facto approach for food manufacturers wanting to guarantee the safety and preserve the quality of their liquid and some semi-solid products.

The only problem: exposure to extreme temperatures often changes the way a food tastes, as well as its nutritional value. Believing that neither should have to be sacrificed because of safety and preservation concerns and buoyed by additional scientific advances, as well as increasing public interest in clean eating, more and more manufacturers are starting to use a high pressure processing system (HPP or pascalization) instead of heat to pasteurize their products. HPP effectively removes most pathogens and other harmful microorganisms and extends shelf life, but does not alter a food’s nutritional content, its color or its flavor. Take a look at the two most common types of high pressure pasteurization equipment: 

Water Tanks for Prepackaged Food Pasteurization

Certain prepackaged liquid and solid food items can be pasteurized using a large steel tank filled with a liquid (usually water). After the packaged food is loaded in to the tank, pumps apply pressure that changes the food’s cell structure, effectively inhibiting cell division and killing most microorganisms. According to food science research at Rutgers University, “vegetable and fruit products such as juices, salsa, dressing and guacamole; meat products such as ready-to-eat deli meats and poultry; and seafood such as shellfish and fish products” can all be processed using a high pressure pasteurization technique. The tank method is capable of processing a lot of food at one time, making it a good choice for manufacturers with high volume productions.

Homogenizers for Liquids and Semi-Solid Pasteurization

Liquids and some semi-solid products can also be pasteurized with high pressure homogenizers that push them through a series of tubes using a hydraulic pumping system that creates pressure and sterilizes them. The homogenizer then expels the product through a small opening with a drop in pressure that forces cell rupture, breaking the product apart into equally sized pieces that can be easily and uniformly mixed. Combining the pasteurization and homogenization process allows manufacturers to more efficiently manage their time, reducing their energy use and waste, and serves as a viable alternative to thermal pasteurization in the milk and juice industries especially. 

Want to Learn More?

High pressure pasteurization equipment improves the shelf life of products and maintains food flavor and nutritional value. At BEE International, our high pressure homogenizers also provide the added benefit of completely dispersing the particles of your products, allowing for uniform texture in addition to taste. This means you can use our homogenizers to enhance more than just food products. Our high pressure pasteurization equipment improves pharmaceutical, chemical, biofuel and cosmetic manufacturing and aids in RNA extraction and oil emulsification processes. Contact us to learn how it can help you, too.

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How the Nano DeBEE Homogenizer Can Save You Money

Posted by Deb Shechter on Jul 5, 2016 12:30:00 PM

Nano DeBEEDoes your lab need to incorporate cell disruption? Particle size reduction? Creation of emulsions or dispersions? Using a homogenizer will be the best bet for each, and with good reason, as the machines can be incredibly effective in their intended uses. Moreover, potential consumers may find themselves wooed by the multiple cost-saving avenues offered by some homogenizer models. For example, the Nano DeBEE is a laboratory homogenizer manufactured by BEE International, and has both benefits for laboratory applications as well as significant cost-saving opportunities. Keep reading to learn more about how the Nano DeBEE can save you money!

Decreased Number of Passes

The Nano DeBEE is a mechanical homogenizer, meaning that it achieves its intended function by use of mechanical force as opposed to thermal or other means. Distinguishing this model from others, in particular, is its use of multiple forces like pressure, turbulence, cavitation, and flow, which enhance its effect. This means that a sample requires fewer passes to achieve the same effect; while many other models require more than 4 passes, the Nano DeBEE may need only 1-2, saving both money on reagents and expensive equipment, as well as utility costs.

Easy Cleaning & Maintenance

Research equipment that is cleaned and maintained on a regular basis benefits in two major fashions: 1) Its function is efficient, meaning that the researcher won’t find himself/herself burning through reagents and materials in an inefficient process, and 2) The likelihood for breakdown is much lower than it would otherwise be, allowing experiments to run on schedule. The Nano DeBEE is easy to clean and maintain, and BEE also offers unmatched customer support for those times when it doesn’t feel so easy.

Scalable to Manufacturing

The Nano DeBEE is ideal for small sample sizes, as it is intended for laboratory and R&D use. Yet particularly relevant for researchers in the product development industry is a homogenizer’s scalability. If the machine is scalable to manufacturing, the process should not have to be optimized when tried and tested on larger machines. This can, across the multiple years oftentimes needed for a product to make it to consumer cabinets, save an immense amount of money that would otherwise need to be used for optimization.

BEE International: The Homogenizer Advantage

On determining which homogenizer will be right for your lab, begin your search with BEE International Technology. They are globally recognized among laboratory managers and researchers for their high quality products and excellent customer support. Cell lysis and particle size reduction are two of a variety of applications for BEE homogenizers; nano/micro emulsions, lipids, suspensions, and dispersions are also easily achievable. 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 achieve efficient and consistent results, download our FREE eBook: 

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3 Reasons Your Cell Lysis Equipment Should Be Flexible

Posted by Deb Shechter on Dec 10, 2015 12:30:00 PM

3-reasons-your-cell-lysis-equipment-should-be-flexible.jpgWhen your professional work can change on a daily basis, how do you keep yourself afloat without succumbing to this dynamic nature? The only thing you can do, really, is learn to be flexible as well. In the research industry, this translates to two key things: mindset and equipment.

Those of you who have been doing research for many years understand the mindset needed to even consider entering this industry. But equipment- what does that mean?

In today’s article, we focus on cell lysis and what it means to have flexible equipment, specifically addressing the following question: Why should my cell lysis equipment be flexible?

  • Accommodates for multiple cell types. All cells are built differently, and therefore may confer distinct lysis mechanisms. For example, bacterial, plant, and yeast/fungal cells are surrounded by tough cell walls that require high force to disrupt. In contrast, mammalian cells with only a cell membrane separating their intracellular contents from the extracellular environment require a more gentle method of disruption. Ability to adjust the pressure on your equipment will allow for complete disruption and maintenance of intracellular contents with any cell type.
  • Adjusts for sample size. If you work in the drug development industry, this point is particularly relevant for you. When conducting R&D, scientists typically work with small sample sizes. But if/when a product progresses to clinical trials and then manufacturing, the equipment must be scalable. Thus, a procedure that was optimized for a small sample size in R&D will still be optimized during mass production in manufacturing.
  • Forces can be fine-tuned for unique applications. Examples of forces include cavitation, shear, process intensity, and turbulence. Use of equipment that is intended to allow for flexibility will give you the autonomy to alter each of these until you have an optimized lysis for your cell type and application. (1)

BEE International: Quality Cell Lysis Equipment

Use of flexible cell lysis equipment will provide numerous benefits for both production laboratories and consumers alike. And there are plenty of companies on the market to select your equipment from. However, the lysate can be of higher quality and more even consistency when run through top-shelf equipment, most frequently in the form of a homogenizer.

BEE International Technologies is trusted by researchers around the world for both their laboratory homogenizers and their associated customer support. Cell lysis is just one of a variety of applications for BEEI homogenizers; nano/micro emulsions, lipids, suspensions, and dispersions are also easily achievable. 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 about how to make your cell lysis protocol more effective by looking at our laboratory high pressure homogenizers. Or if you're interested in how to choose the best cell lysis method for your application, download our FREE eBook "7 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing A Cell Lysis Method" now:

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Pharmaceutical Processing Equipment: What Your R&D Lab Needs

Posted by Deb Shechter on Nov 3, 2015 11:30:00 AM

pharmaceutical-processing-equipment-what-your-rd-lab-needsAre you a pharmaceutical R&D manager trying to manage multiple projects? If so, you’re not alone. Yet you’re likely in the tricky position of distributing a wide variety of projects (many of which will not see the consumer cabinet) among scarce resources, which include funding, lab space, personnel, and importantly, equipment. That's why we've put together this blog to identify equipment that is critical to the pharmaceutical R&D process, and which by purchasing, will aid in cost efficiency and product processing times. Although it is by no means exclusive or exhaustive, this list may serve as a starting point, particularly for laboratories that are new to R&D. (1)

  1. Coating Pan

Tablet coating is an intricate process that confers various coating types and ingredient ratios. A coating pan will assist the process of tablet synthesis by applying a coating of choice to the tablet core. Two major types of coating pans exist; these are conventional and perforated. Before purchasing this equipment, it is advisable to research the different types so that you pick the best fit for your laboratory purposes. (2)

  1. Batch Reactor

A wide variety of vessels are available for pharmaceutical use, and ‘batch reactor’ is a generic term that encompasses the different vessel types. Serving as a controlled environment for chemical reactions to take place, batch reactors are well-suited for the small sample sizes frequently used in the R&D stage of drug development. (3)

  1. High Pressure Homogenizer

One of the higher cost commitments of this list, homogenizers produce products that have a diverse range of applications. Homogenization involves forcing a fluid through a narrow field at high pressures to reduce particle size. The process can yield such products as emulsions, suspensions, dispersions, and lipids, which can be used for synthesis of pharmaceuticals such as vaccines, antibiotics, steroids, inhalants, and more. (4)

  1. Microfluidizer

Ideally suited for cell rupture, microfluidizers are forceful enough to rupture tough cell walls yet gentle enough to keep intracellular proteins intact; bacteria, yeast, and plant cells are well-matched to the equipment capabilities. Although some homogenizers may also achieve cell disruption, microfluidizers generate a more robust product with more desirable processing times. Having both a microfluidizer and a high pressure homogenizer in your lab will expand your procedure repertoire while also decreasing processing times.

  1. Vessel, e.g. batch reactor

A wide variety of vessels are available for pharmaceutical use, and batch reactor is a generic term that encompasses the different vessel types. Serving as a controlled environment for chemical reactions to take place, batch reactors are well-suited for the small sample sizes conferred by the R&D stage of drug development. (5)

BEE International: Reliable Pharmaceutical Processing Equipment

As you begin your search for some of the above-listed items, you will be bombarded with corporations selling the equipment you want. To ensure that you select high-quality and reliable products, begin your search at www.beei.com. BEE International products have innovative technology that offers unique benefits for producing nano/micro emulsions and dispersions, lipids and suspensions for vaccines, targeted drug delivery, inhalants, time release, anesthetics and antibiotics.

BEEI’s pharmaceutical process equipment produces unprecedented results by allowing the formulations expert to optimize the mixing process, which allows for better-suited product characteristics. We are also familiar with the long road traveled by pharmaceutical companies, from an idea to R&D, clinical trials, FDA approval and manufacturing.

Learn more about BEEI and the processing equipment we offer here! Or if you're looking for more information on our high pressure homogenizers and how they can optimize your particle size reduction application, download our FREE eBook here:

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The ABCs of Local VS Systemic Steroids

Posted by Jen Hug on Oct 20, 2015 12:30:00 PM

the-abcs-of-local-vs-systemic-steroidsFor many Americans, the term ‘steroid’ brings to mind famous athletes who were disciplined for its use – Alex Rodriguez, Marion Jones, Lance Armstrong, to name a few. Yet the anabolic steroids used by these individuals are distinct from corticosteroids, which are critical to treatment of a plethora of ailments. Following are the primary modes of corticosteroid delivery and key points about their synthesis. 

Local Delivery

Dermatologic conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and vitiligo are typically treated with topical corticosteroids (TCS), which work to reduce inflammation in affected skin areas. TCS are intended to affect only the area of application and not the entire system, hence their classification as local and not systemic corticosteroids. TCS are widely used, effective, and easy to apply; the biochemical structure was modeled after naturally-occurring corticosteroids produced in the adrenal gland. (1)

Semisolid preparations, such as topical ointments, oils, and lotions are frequently prepared using mechanical mixers. This mixing action facilitates dispersion, which forms a nice single-phase ointment. From there, homogenization helps to achieve smaller particle size and uniform distribution. (2) Key to this process is use of a high quality homogenizer, such as those produced by BEE International Technologies. For example, their laboratory homogenizers can achieve particle sizes below 100 nm in just one pass.

Systemic Delivery

In contrast to TCS, oral and injectable steroids have the ability to affect all areas of the body, thus their classification as systemic steroids. Yet similar to TCS, systemic steroids are also revered for their anti-inflammatory properties, which can help treat conditions like arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, and colitis. (3) In determining which is a better option- injectable or oral steroid delivery- it may depend on the specific medication in question. However, various misconceptions exist about the ineffectiveness of oral medications, when in fact they can be a more sterile route than injectables; particularly in third-world countries or areas that are unsanitary, injectables carry a higher risk of disease transmission.

Regardless of the delivery method, whether oral or injectable, specific methods must be undertaken to synthesize high quality products. Oral medications in the form of tablets can contain sugar, film, enteric, or compression coatings, which inform the overall tablet composition. As with TCS, oral steroid production requires a homogenizer to achieve the vigorous mixing and granular dissolving required of a high quality product. Use of a high quality homogenizer, such as those from BEEI, can improve attractiveness, ease the swallowing process, and allow for appropropriate internal release. Injectable corticosteroids, distinct from oral delivery, require uniform distribution and small particle size, which can again be achieved via use of a high quality homogenizer.

No matter the delivery method, corticosteroids should be produced with high quality equipment to achieve a consistent and effective product. Homogenization is a key component of the synthesis process; thus, it is in every laboratory’s interest to invest in a high quality homogenizer. BEEI’s laboratory homogenizers can make products such as emulsions, dispersions, lipids, and suspensions, many of which can be used during corticosteroid synthesis.

You can learn more about BEEI’s products here or if you're interested in more information about the particle size reduction process in terms of steroids, download our FREE eBook below:

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2 Ways High Pressure Pasteurization is Utilized in the Food Industry

Posted by Jen Hug on Dec 21, 2013 8:58:00 AM

describe the image2 Ways High Pressure Pasteurization is Utilized in the Food Industry

The food industry has struggled with one question for years, “How do you remove harmful bacteria from food without sacrificing taste and quality?” High pressure pasteurization (or processing; HPP) is becoming a popular choice amongst food manufacturers, due to the fact that it does not expose food to detrimental processing.  Heat, which is a popular choice, could potentially change the flavor and nutritional content of a product. This happens when organic matter has been burnt off while neutralizing bacteria and must be supplemented, resulting in obvious changes in composition.  New ways to pasteurize with high pressure are likely being developed, but at this time there are only two popular methods of production.

Pasteurization using large tanks is fairly common and simple. Prepackaged food is placed into a tank filled with water. That water is then pressurized, meaning that high pressure is equally distributed throughout the tank, neutralizing the bacteria. The food is unchanged because the pressure is equally distributed throughout the food. The advantage of the tank method is that it can pasteurize large amounts of solid food at one time. One downside is getting the food in and out of the tanks takes time and involves manual labor.

The other form of high pressure pasteurization involves using a high pressure homogenizer to pasteurize liquids or semi-solid products. The product is fed directly into the device and then pushed through a system of tubes and nozzles using the intensified pressure generated by a hydraulic pumping system. The advantage to this form of high pressure pasteurization is that it also allows the product to be emulsified or even broken down while being pasteurized. This removes a step for those products that benefit from the combination of cell rupture and organic matter size reduction. While heat could be a factor during HPP (since it is released when pressure is heightened), heat exchangers and chillers can be used to keep product temperatures low, eliminating any harmful side effects from the processing.

Overall, high pressure pasteurization is a profitable option for the food industry. It neutralizes bacteria while leaving taste behind. The option that any manufacturer chooses is going to be based on their needs. For liquid and semi-solid products, using a high pressure homogenizer is both cost effective and recommended. Product can be both processed and pasteurized simultaneously, meaning that much of the labor used during manufacturing can be applied elsewhere and workflow can be streamlined. For solid products, and those that would not benefit from homogenization or mixing, the tank option is perfect. Large amounts of food can be pasteurized at once, after it has been processed, meaning that quality and taste is retained and any harmful bacteria neutralized. No matter which method is appropriate for a product, you cannot go wrong with high pressure. 

photo credit: fotoliene via photopin cc