The dairy industry is currently fraught with turmoil over how its milk is prepared; should it be homogenized or is it healthier without this treatment?. Some critics of milk homogenization argue that the small fat particles yielded in the process act as capsules for harmful substances that wouldn’t otherwise bypass the digestive system, and can also contribute to heart disease. Yet proponents of homogenization have demonstrated via multiple research studies that there is no difference in health outcome between people who consumed homogenized vs. unhomogenized milk. (1) With this controversy in mind, here we break down the process of milk homogenization, so that every consumer has a clear notion of what they are actually drinking.
- Particle Size Reduction
Particle size reduction, one of the primary steps of the milk homogenization process, results in the formation of small fat droplets dispersed evenly throughout the mixture. This is typically accomplished with a high pressure homogenizer, which forces the raw milk through a narrow tube while force shears the particles down to a desired size.
- Separation & Dispersion
Simple centrifugation separates the mixture into two separate phases of cream and milk, which can then be used separately or together. For instance, the cream can be used separately as a tasty ingredient in a variety of baked goods and desserts and the skim milk can be used in the production of cottage cheese, yogurt, and mashed potatoes, or simply as a food for your pets/animals. (2)
Assuming that you are uninterested in the separate cream and skim milk components, the final step of milk homogenization requires the two phases to be remixed. The fat content of the desired product (e.g. skim, low-fat, or whole) will dictate the amount of cream added back into the mixture. While skim milk contains only 0.05% fat content, whole milk reintroduces much more cream to bring the fat content up to 3.25%. (3)
Pion: Equipment to Support Dairy Production
As you either embark on, or continue along, the process of manufacturing milk and/or other dairy foods, your product’s success may depend on the equipment used to make it. From producing emulsions to using high pressure pasteurization as a milk preparation method, high pressure homogenizers will suit your needs. Its powerful mixing process and its cost/time effectiveness makes this machine preferable over others on the market. The homogenizer will shear fluid by forcing it through a restrictive valve, forming a an emulsion with decreased particle size.
Pion's BEE brand technology is trusted by lab managers and scientists around the world for their high-pressure homogenizers. We offer homogenizers that are both high-quality and reliable, and which can help your lab produce nano/micro emulsions, dispersions, and suspensions to be incorporated into your pharmaceutical cream.
Contact us to learn more about our products.