Homogenization is a process that is used in several different industries, where particles are subdivided until they are a uniform size. Homogenization helps to increase the shelf life of some products, improve the safety of others and increase the quality of all of them.
After the homogenization process, particles are typically 0.2 to 2 microns in size, depending on the operating pressure. For many jobs, a high pressure homogenizer is used to get the particles exactly where they need to be.
How High Pressure Homogenizers Work
A high pressure homogenizer forces cell suspensions through a narrow opening while under pressure. In some cases, they might impinge against another stream of cells moving at a high velocity from the opposite direction. A large drop in pressure, strong shearing force and turbulent eddies help to create the disruption in cell walls.
The efficiency of a high pressure homogenizer is largely dependent on five different factors. These are the pressure, the temperature, the number of passes, the valve and impingement design and the flow rate. High pressure homogenizers are used to manufacture scores of everyday products.
It’s no secret that the particle size of pharmaceuticals is of the utmost importance for safety purposes. Pills, tablets, creams, ointments, gels and sprays have to be homogenized to the correct particle size or serious, even fatal consequences may result. If even one batch of a potentially dangerous pharmaceutical got out into the public that wasn’t mixed efficiently, the results for patients and the company could be catastrophic.
Food and Beverage
Safety is also an issue in the food and beverage industry, but more often than not it is the quality that will suffer when the particle size isn’t reduced properly. High pressure homogenizers working efficiently will help control the taste, the texture and the odor of food and beverage items. It can also help reduce the number of additives that are required to make the product complete.
Having a uniform and even particle size is important in the cosmetics industry, too. If make-up, lipstick, creams, lotions and other cosmetic items aren’t homogenized properly, the quality and effectiveness of the finished product will suffer. It’s crucial that cosmetics are of a uniform consistency for even application and the look each customer wants.
Chemicals that are used to make paints and other household items require a uniform particle size for both quality and safety purposes. A paint that hasn’t been mixed effectively isn’t going to coat your walls the way you want, and then it might also be dangerous because of the concentration of chemical elements. This is also true of any household or commercial chemical mixture. A high pressure homogenizer helps to keep the particle size even and at the right consistency so the customer is always safe.
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://depositphotos.com
Frank Malcolms, is a medical researcher and freelance writer with the passion for the sciences. With his free time, he enjoys writing for the masses in topics such particle size reduction, chemcial combustion and many more!