Centrifugation – Separating Cream from Milkcentrifugation - Separating Cream from Milk

  • Rui Costa
  • David Gomes
Part of the Integrating Safety and Environmental Knowledge Into Food Studies towards European Sustainable Development book series (ISEKI-Food, volume 5)

Objectives and Learning Outcomes

  1. 1.

    Recognize the fundamentals of centrifugation and review the importance of milk composition on milk centrifugation.

  2. 2.

    Operate a centrifuge at a pilot scale that is used for the production of cream and skim milk.

  3. 3.

    Calculate the critical diameter for separation.

  4. 4.

    Compare the values obtained for critical diameter with given distributions of milk fat globules.



Centrifugation is a separation operation used in the food industry for the treatment of milk, principallymilk for the standardization of milk and milk products, and in the production of cream and/or skim milk. This operation is a separation process that uses centrifugal force to separate two mixed liquids or insoluble solids from liquids (suspension). In this case, the fat globules separate from the rest of the milk suspension. The original milk feed (3.7% fat) is separated into a cream portion (higher than 30% fat) and a skim milk portion (around 0.05% fat). The milk...


Skim Milk Light Phase Terminal Velocity Critical Diameter Phase Viscosity 
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  1. Foust, A. S., Wenzel, L. A., Clump, C. W., Maus, L., Andersen, L. B., 1990, Principles of Unit Operations. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester.Google Scholar
  2. Walstra, P., Geurts, T. J., Noomen, A., Jellema, A., van Boekel, M. A. J. S., 1999, Dairy Technology: Principles of Milk milk Properties and Processes. Marcel Dekker, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rui Costa
    • 1
  • David Gomes
    • 1
  1. 1.Escola Superior Agrária de CoimbraInstituto Politécnico de Coimbra, college of AgriculturePortugal

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