February 12, 2023

High-pressure homogenization

In food industries high-pressure homogenization is used for the preparation or stabilization of emulsions and suspensions, or for creating physical changes, such as viscosity changes, in products.

Homogenization involves pushing materials through a shaft to create smaller particles; this is especially important in the world of dissolution, where smaller and finer particles facilitate easier dissolution.

The final particle size achieved by a homogenizer is important because it determines the stability, appearance, texture, and bioavailability of the final product. It is therefore important to establish the major factors that impact that particle size produced by different types of homogenizers. One of the notable benefits of high-pressure homogenization is the elimination of harmful bacteria from food products. High pressure homogenization is becoming an increasingly popular way of eliminating pathogens from food without interfering with taste or quality.

Effective high-pressure homogenization often results in a reduced need for processing chemicals and thermal processing, and can also decrease the potential costs of product recalls.

The high-pressure homogenization treatment is reported to act on food constituents, especially proteins and enzymes, modifying their functional properties and activities. It is reported to improve food microstructure, rheology and availability of food bioactive compounds.

Fine emulsions can be produced using microfluidization by passing a coarse emulsion through an interaction chamber using a high-pressure pumping device. High-pressure homogenization is applied to liquid foods by devices that consist of a positive displacement pump and one or more restrictions to flow created by valves or nozzles.

High-pressure homogenization functions at an elevated pressure of more than 100 MPa. The main components of high-pressure homogenization consist of a homogenization valve and a high-pressure pump. A pressure of 34 MPa was considered as high-pressure homogenization in the early days; but 300 MPa or more can be achieved.

High-pressure homogenization has been proposed with several roles in the functional food sector, for the production of probiotic dairy products with improved sensory or functional properties, such as probiotic strain viability over refrigerated storage and accelerated fermentation kinetics with less environmental impact with respect to the traditional heat treatment.
High-pressure homogenization

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