Food Processing by Membrane Operations
Food processing consists of transformation of raw ingredients into food, or food itself into other forms. Food processing typically starts with clean, harvested crops or butchered animal products and uses them to produce safe and attractive products – along the food chain, down to the consumer at home (Marsh and Angold 2004). Various unit operations are part of the current practice, which rely on either thermal processing or mechanical work: the former are less appropriate to heat-labile items and are also characterized by poor thermodynamic efficiency. Mechanical work is, to advantage, applied in membrane-based processes: they take advantage of a physical barrier (i.e., a porous membrane or filter) to separate particles from a fluid based on their size and shape and resort to high pressure and tailor-made membranes with specific pore sizes. The pore size distribution allows indeed different possibilities in terms of separation to be attained – via microfiltration, ultrafiltration,...
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