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Homogenization or homogenisation is any of several processes used to make a mixture of two mutually non-soluble liquids the same throughout. This is achieved by turning one of the liquids into a state consisting of extremely small particles distributed uniformly throughout the other liquid. A typical example is the homogenization of milk, where the milk fat globules are reduced in size and dispersed uniformly through the rest of the milk.
Homogenization (from "homogeneous;" Greek, homogenes: homos, same + genos, kind)is the process of converting two immiscible liquids (i.e. liquids that are not soluble, in all proportions, one in another) into an emulsion (Mixture of two or more liquids that are generally immiscible). Sometimes two types of homogenization are distinguished: primary homogenization, when the emulsion is created directly from separate liquids; and secondary homogenization, when the emulsion is created by the reduction in size of droplets in an existing emulsion. Homogenization is achieved by a mechanical device called a homogenizer.
One of the oldest applications of homogenization is in milk processing. It is normally preceded by "standardization" (the mixing of milk from several different herds or dairies to produce a more consistent raw milk prior to processing). The fat in milk normally separates from the water and collects at the top. Homogenization breaks the fat into smaller sizes so it no longer separates, allowing the sale of non-separating milk at any fat specification.
Milk homogenization is accomplished by mixing large amounts of harvested milk, then forcing the milk at high pressure through small holes. Yet another method of homogenization uses extruders, hammermills, or colloid mills to mill (grind) solids. Milk homogenization is an essential tool of the milk food industry to prevent creating various levels of flavor and fat concentration.
Another application of homogenization is in soft drinks like cola products. The reactant mixture is rendered to intense homogenization, to as much as 35,000 psi, so that various constituents do not separate out during storage or distribution.
An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible owing to liquid-liquid phase separation. Emulsions are part of a more general class of two-phase systems of matter called colloids. Although the terms colloid and emulsion are sometimes used interchangeably, emulsion should be used when both phases, dispersed and continuous, are liquids. In an emulsion, one liquid is dispersed in the other. Examples of emulsions include vinaigrettes, homogenized milk, liquid biomolecular condensates, and some cutting fluids for metal working.
In the physical sciences, a phase is a region of space, throughout which all physical properties of a material are essentially uniform. Examples of physical properties include density, index of refraction, magnetization and chemical composition. A simple description is that a phase is a region of material that is chemically uniform, physically distinct, and (often) mechanically separable. In a system consisting of ice and water in a glass jar, the ice cubes are one phase, the water is a second phase, and the humid air is a third phase over the ice and water. The glass of the jar is another separate phase.
In chemistry, a solution is a special type of homogeneous mixture composed of two or more substances. In such a mixture, a solute is a substance dissolved in another substance, known as a solvent. The mixing process of a solution happens at a scale where the effects of chemical polarity are involved, resulting in interactions that are specific to solvation. The solution usually has the state of the solvent when the solvent is the larger fraction of the mixture, as is commonly the case. One important parameter of a solution is the concentration, which is a measure of the amount of solute in a given amount of solution or solvent. The term "aqueous solution" is used when one of the solvents is water.
Spray drying is a method of producing a dry powder from a liquid or slurry by rapidly drying with a hot gas. This is the preferred method of drying of many thermally-sensitive materials such as foods and pharmaceuticals. A consistent particle size distribution is a reason for spray drying some industrial products such as catalysts. Air is the heated drying medium; however, if the liquid is a flammable solvent such as ethanol or the product is oxygen-sensitive then nitrogen is used.
Decantation is a process for the separation of mixtures of immiscible liquids or of a liquid and a solid mixture such as a suspension. The layer closer to the top of the container—the less dense of the two liquids, or the liquid from which the precipitate or sediment has settled out—is poured off, leaving the other component or the more dense liquid of the mixture behind. An incomplete separation is witnessed during the separation of two immiscible liquids.
In industrial process engineering, mixing is a unit operation that involves manipulation of a heterogeneous physical system with the intent to make it more homogeneous. Familiar examples include pumping of the water in a swimming pool to homogenize the water temperature, and the stirring of pancake batter to eliminate lumps (deagglomeration).
Therapeutic foods are foods designed for specific, usually nutritional, therapeutic purposes as a form of dietary supplement. The primary examples of therapeutic foods are used for emergency feeding of malnourished children or to supplement the diets of persons with special nutrition requirements, such as the elderly. For liquid nutrition products fed via tube feeding see Medical foods.
Microencapsulation is a process in which tiny particles or droplets are surrounded by a coating to give small capsules, of many useful properties. In general, it is used to incorporate food ingredients, enzymes, cells or other materials on a micro metric scale. Microencapsulation can also be used to enclose solids, liquids, or gases inside a micrometric wall made of hard or soft soluble filmme, in order to reduce dosing frequency and prevent the degradation of pharmaceuticals. In a relatively simple form, a microcapsule is a small sphere with a uniform wall around it. The material inside the microcapsule is referred to as the core, internal phase, or fill, whereas the wall is sometimes called a shell, coating, or membrane. Some materials like lipids and polymers, such as alginate, may be used as a mixture to trap the material of interest inside. Most microcapsules have pores with diameters between a few micrometers and a few millimeters. The coating materials generally used for coating are:
Whey protein is a mixture of proteins isolated from whey, the liquid material created as a by-product of cheese production. The proteins consist of α-lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin, serum albumin and immunoglobulins. Whey protein is commonly marketed as a dietary supplement, and various health claims have been attributed to it. A review published in 2010 in the European Food Safety Authority Journal concluded that the provided literature did not adequately support the proposed claims. For muscle growth, whey protein has been shown to be slightly better compared to other types of protein, such as casein or soy.
A separatory funnel, also known as a separation funnel, separating funnel, or colloquially sep funnel, is a piece of laboratory glassware used in liquid-liquid extractions to separate (partition) the components of a mixture into two immiscible solvent phases of different densities. Typically, one of the phases will be aqueous, and the other a lipophilic organic solvent such as ether, MTBE, dichloromethane, chloroform, or ethyl acetate. All of these solvents form a clear delineation between the two liquids. The more dense liquid, typically the aqueous phase unless the organic phase is halogenated, sinks and can be drained out through a valve away from the less dense liquid, which remains in the separatory funnel.
Easy Cheese is the trademark for a processed cheese spread product distributed by Mondelēz International. It is also referred to as aerosol cheese, spray cheese or simply cheese in a can, and is similar to squeeze cheese. Easy Cheese is packaged in a metal can filled with air covered with a plastic cap that reveals a straight, flexible nozzle where the cheese is extruded.
Microemulsions are clear, thermodynamically stable, isotropic liquid mixtures of oil, water and surfactant, frequently in combination with a cosurfactant. The aqueous phase may contain salt(s) and/or other ingredients, and the "oil" may actually be a complex mixture of different hydrocarbons and olefins. In contrast to ordinary emulsions, microemulsions form upon simple mixing of the components and do not require the high shear conditions generally used in the formation of ordinary emulsions. The three basic types of microemulsions are direct, reversed and bicontinuous.
Churning is the process of shaking up cream or whole milk to make butter, usually using a butter churn. In Europe from the Middle Ages until the Industrial Revolution, a churn was usually as simple as a barrel with a plunger in it, moved by hand. These have mostly been replaced by mechanical churns.
A dispersion is a system in which distributed particles of one material are dispersed in a continuous phase of another material. The two phases may be in the same or different states of matter.
Oat milk is a plant milk derived from whole oat grains by extracting the plant material with water. Oat milk has a creamy texture and oatmeal-like flavor, and is manufactured in various flavors, such as sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla or chocolate.
A high-shear mixer disperses, or transports, one phase or ingredient into a main continuous phase (liquid), with which it would normally be immiscible. A rotor or impeller, together with a stationary component known as a stator, or an array of rotors and stators, is used either in a tank containing the solution to be mixed, or in a pipe through which the solution passes, to create shear. A high-shear mixer can be used to create emulsions, suspensions, lyosols, and granular products. It is used in the adhesives, chemical, cosmetic, food, pharmaceutical, and plastics industries for emulsification, homogenization, particle size reduction, and dispersion.
Miscibility is the property of two substances to mix in all proportions, forming a homogeneous solution. The term is most often applied to liquids but also applies to solids and gases. For example, water and ethanol are miscible because they mix in all proportions.
Macroemulsions are homogenous transparent thermodynamically unstable systems with particle sizes ranging from 5-140 nm, which form spontaneously when mixed in the correct ratio. Macroemulsions scatter light effectively and therefore appear milky, because their droplets are greater than a wavelength of light. They are part of a larger family of emulsions along with microemulsions. As with all emulsions, one phase serves as the dispersing agent. It is often called the continuous or outer phase. The remaining phase(s) are disperse or inner phase(s), because the liquid droplets are finely distributed amongst the larger continuous phase droplets. This type of emulsion is thermodynamically unstable, but can be stabilized for a period of time with applications of kinetic energy. Surfactants (emulsifiers) are used to reduce the interfacial tension between the two layers, and induce macroemulsion stability for a useful amount of time.
A nanocapsule is a nanoscale shell made from a nontoxic polymer. They are vesicular systems made of a polymeric membrane which encapsulates an inner liquid core at the nanoscale. Nanocapsules have many uses, including promising medical applications for drug delivery, food enhancement, nutraceuticals, and for self-healing materials. The benefits of encapsulation methods are for protection of these substances to protect in the adverse environment, for controlled release, and for precision targeting. Nanocapsules can potentially be used as MRI-guided nanorobots or nanobots, although challenges remain.
Agglomerated food powder is a unit operation during which native particles are assembled to form bigger agglomerates, in which the original particle can still be distinguished. Agglomeration can be achieved through processes that use liquid as a binder or methods that do not involve any binder.