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Journal of Applied Biotechnology & BioengineeringResearch ArticleOpen AccessReview on membrane technology applications infood and dairy processingAbstractVolume 3 Issue 5 - 2017The use of membrane technology as a processing and separation method in foodindustry is gaining wide application. Membrane separations can be used either asalternatives to conventional techniques or as novel technology for processing newingredients and foods. Membrane separations are considered green technologies.In many cases, membrane processes are more advantageous than traditionaltechnologies. For example, using cold pasteurization and sterilization with suitablemembranes instead of high temperature treatment for the removal of microorganismsis more economical in terms of energy consumption. Using membrane filtration toremove microorganisms for shelf-life extension of foods instead of using additivesand preservatives also create a green image for the processed foods as well as forthe processing procedure. Concentration by membrane filtration instead of thermalevaporation does not employ severe heating and that it preserves the natural taste offood products and the nutritional value of heat-sensitive components. The recoveryof valuable components in diluted effluents and wastewater treatment applicationsare among the most useful and currently active aspects of membrane technology.Pressure-driven membrane processes, namely MF, UF, NF and RO facilitateseparation of components with a large range of particle sizes. It is for this reasonthat they find wide range of applications in food processing industry. The first partof this manuscript is to give introduction about very basic knowledge in membraneseparation technology. More importantly, this review presents up-to-date commercialand potential applications of pressure-driven membrane separation processes in dairyprocessing industry.Dhineshkumar V, Ramasamy DDepartment of Food Science and Technology, College of Foodand Dairy Technology, IndiaCorrespondence: Dhineshkumar V, Ph D Scholar, FoodTechnology, College of Food and Dairy Technology, TANUVAS.Chennai, India, Email dhineshfpe@gmail.comReceived: October 21, 2016 Published: July 28, 2017Keywords: membrane separations, filtration, dairy, milk, cheese, wheyAbbreviations:MFm, Micro Filtration; UF, ultra filtration;NF, nano filtration; RO, reverse osmosis; TMP, transmembrane pressure; CF, cross flow; DF, diafiltration; UTMP, uniform transmembrane pressure; NPN, non-protein nitrogenous; WPC, whey protein concentrate; WPI, whey proteins isolate; ED, electro-dialysis; MFGM,milk fat globule membrane; LAB, lactic acid bacteriaIntroductionTheory of membrane separationsPressure-driven membrane processes: The pressure-driven membrane processes include microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF),nanofiltration (NF), and reverse osmosis (RO). When a feed is introduced to a membrane separation system it is separated into retentate(sometimes called concentrate), the fraction that is retained by themembrane, and permeate (also called filtrate), the fraction that passesthrough the membrane. The products of interest can either be in the retentate or in permeate or in both streams. The word ‘pressure-driven’means that the main driving force for separation of these processesis transmembrane pressure (TMP), which is the pressure discrepancybetween retentate sides and permeate side. Generally speaking, thepore sizes (or MWCO-molecular weight cut-off in cases of NF andRO) of membranes decrease in the order from MF to RO (Figure 1).However, the separation principle is not based on the pore sizes alone.Especially in UF and NF the charge of the molecules/solutes and theiraffinity for the filtering membrane are also important.1 MF is normallyused for separation of suspended particles and microorganisms fromSubmit Manuscript http://medcraveonline.comJ Appl Biotechnol Bioeng. 2017;3(5):399‒407.soluble components in feed. UF can be applied to separate soluble macromolecules such as proteins and peptides. NF is applied for partialdemineralization and, at the same time, concentration. Basically, NFallows monovalent salts to pass through while it retains multivalentsalts. Operational TMP values increase from MF to RO. For example, in MF applications the applied TMP is rarely higher than 3 bar.While those for UF are normally in range of 3-7 bar and for NF 10-30bar. RO membranes, theoretically, allow only water to permeate. Thismeans that RO processes works against chemical potential difference, namely osmotic pressure. For this reason, the operational TMPapplied in RO is normally much higher (e.g., 10-75bar) than in otherpressure-driven separation processes. RO membranes, generally, reject 95% NaCl.Definitions and terms: To be easier to follow the following parts ofthis manuscript, several common definitions and terms are given here.In dead-end filtration, which is normally applied in laboratory sample preparation, both pressure vector and feed flow are normal to themembrane while in crossflow (CF) or also called tangential filtration,the feed is pumped parallelly with the membrane and it is possible torecirculate the retentate back to the feed flow (Figure 2). Comparedto dead-end filtration, CF filtration is, due to the tangential movementof the feed, characterized with lower extent of concentration polarization and membrane fouling. These two phenomena are two majorobstacles causing reduction in membrane separation performance.Concentration polarization expresses the raise-up in concentration ofa macromolecular solute (retained by the membrane) at the surface ofthe membrane compared to that in the bulk phase. Membrane fouling399 2017 Dhineshkumar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.

Copyright: 2017 Dhineshkumar et al.Review on membrane technology applications in food and dairy processingjected components (retentate components) and DF can be performedeither in batch or in continuous manner.indicates the deposition of solutes/particles on the surface (externalfouling) and/or into the membrane pores (internal fouling).3,4 Thecomponents causing membrane fouling are called foulants. Diafiltration (DF) is carried out by diluting the retentate with a pure solvent,usually water or a buffer, and re-concentrating the diluted retentate.The main purpose of DF is to increase the purity of the membrane-re-Membrane separation parameters: A schematic diagram of a membrane separation unit with key parameters is illustrated in Figure 2.Other definitions along with the calculation formulas are given in Table 1.Table 1 Common definitions/parameters of membrane separation processesVolume concentration ratio (VCR)VPermeate fluxQJ p ( L / m2 h or m3.m 2 .s 1 ) .(1)AeAe is effective surface area of the membraneVCRPF PRP .(3)2 pVF,iV V .(2)F , i p, tV- Feed volume at the beginning of operationV- The retentate volume at time t andF,iVTMPVF,iR, tR, tAverage trans-membrane pressure (TMP)p, t- Permeate volume at time tTransmission of component i ,Tri (%)Ci, pX 100 .(4)Ci,RP , P and Pp are pressures at the feed inlet, retentate outlet,Cand permeate outlet, respectively.and at the outlet of the membrane pores, respectively.FRApparent rejection which represents separationefficiencyRi (%)1Ci, pX 100 (5)Ci,R400i, Rand Ci, pare the concentration of component i in the retentateSelectivity of the membrane between two components i andjTriTr .(6)jFigure 1 Approximate particle sizes and pressure-driven separation processes.2Citation: Dhineshkumar V, Ramasamy D. Review on membrane technology applications in food and dairy processing. J Appl Biotechnol Bioeng.2017;3(5):399‒407. DOI: 10.15406/jabb.2017.03.00077

Copyright: 2017 Dhineshkumar et al.Review on membrane technology applications in food and dairy processingFigure 2 Schematic of a crossflow membrane separation unit with keyparameters.DiscussionMembrane characteristics and membrane modulesMembrane characteristics: Selection of a suitable membrane is veryimportant determining the success of that specific application. Filtering membranes can be made from organic polymeric or inorganicmaterials. Organic membranes are generally available in a wide rangeof pore sizes, cheaper and normally have a high packing density (highmembrane surface area/a unit of space volume). Among the disadvantages is that organic membranes, depending on materials, can onlywork in certain ranges of temperatures, pH, and TMP. Organic membranes are also more sensitive to washing chemicals too.5 In opposite,inorganic membranes (mostly made of ceramic material) can be operated in more extreme conditions, have longer service life. However,they are more expensive and the packing capacity is low. Ceramicmembranes are normally fabricated into tubular modules and, so far,available for MF and UF. Membrane materials can be divided intotwo groups, hydrophilic and hydrophobic membranes. Depending onproperties of the feed, a suitable membrane should be selected. Forexample to filter an aqueous solution of proteins at neutral pH, hydrophilic membranes are considered to be more advantageous overhydrophobic ones since negatively charged proteins are more repulsive against hydrophilic membranes resulting in less occurrence/lowerextent of membrane fouling. Concerning structure, most of membranes are asymmetric. For instance, membranes are fabricated into twolayers, a thin active layer being responsible for membrane selectivityand a thicker and more porous layer for physical support.Membrane modules: The word ‘module’ expresses how membranesare arranged or packed. There are several types of membrane modules, namely plate-and-frame, tubular, spiral-wound, hollow-fiber,and membrane cassette. Different types of modules are different inpacking density, possible applications, and price. The hollow-fiberand spiral-wound modules provide the largest packed membrane areaper unit volume. While plate-and-frame and tubular modules have thelowest packing density, which means highest investment for a unit ofmembrane surface area. Tubular modules (ceramic membranes) areused widely in MF of skim milk. With this type of module, the feedchannel is wide (e.g., from below 1cm to 3cm in diameter) so thefeed can be pumped with high CF velocities, which help minimizethe formation of concentration polarization and external membranefouling and hence improve permeate flux and allow the retentate tobe concentrated to a high level (higher VCR). Spiral-wound modules(diameters in range of 0.1 to 2mm) are the most common design forRO and UF membranes.6Enhancement of membrane separation performanceFouling can, in many cases especially in MF and UF of polydispersed feeds like milk, develop very quickly after the start of401filtration, leading to a drop in permeate flux. A typical permeateflux evolution during CF filtration of a constant-concentration feed(e.g. both permeate and retentate are completely circulated back tothe feed tank) is shown in Figure 3. Both the internal and surfacefoulants act as additional layers of resistance to the transmission ofsolutes through the membrane. Because of that, the selectivity of themembrane is modified. The occurrence and extent of concentrationpolarization and fouling depend on many factors including feedproperties (Figure 4), membrane materials and structure, membranemodules, and operational parameters (Figure 4) such as temperatures,TMP values, and CF velocities.7–10 There are several techniques whichcan be applied to increase the membrane separation performance(improve permeate flux or prevent fast drop of permeate flux andmaintain membrane selectivity). First, operational conditions shouldbe optimized. It is not always true that increasing TMP results inincreased permeate flux (Figure 4). The ‘best’ filtering conditions arethe settings at which all sections (along the length) of the membranework at the critical flux (Figure 4), the flux at which fouling starts tooccur. The uniform transmembrane pressure (UTMP) configurationfor tubular modules, patented by Alfa-Laval AB in Sweden,11 is a‘breakthrough’ in development of membrane separation technology(Figure 5).Figure 3 Typical flux evolution during CF membrane filtration of a constantconcentration feed.i. Linear and fast drop of flux from that of pure waterii. Gradual flux declination, andiii. Time-independent steady-state permeate flux. Flux of the third stage ismainly controlled by foulants and gradually decreases during the concentration process.In a conventional tubular module, fouling occurs with higherextent at the feed-in end of the membrane and selectivity is not thesame along the membrane. In UTMP, co-current flow of permeate isapplied to create pressure in the permeate side (Figure 5). Therefore,TMP can be adjusted independently with CF velocity and that thewhole system is easy to set under optimal conditions, e.g. low UTP athigh CF velocities, which lead to less compact fouling and variationof selectivity along the membrane tube. Membralox GP, which iscommercialized by PALL Corp. (NewYork, USA) and Isoflux by Tami Industries (Nyons, France) for MF applications are calledceramic graded permeability modules which are tagged as ‘thirdgeneration’ membranes. In these tubular systems, the ‘constant’permeate rate along the membrane obtained by changes in thestructure of the membranes, either by increasing the porosity of thesupport layer as in Membralox12 or decreasing the thickness of theselective layer along the membrane tubes.Citation: Dhineshkumar V, Ramasamy D. Review on membrane technology applications in food and dairy processing. J Appl Biotechnol Bioeng.2017;3(5):399‒407. DOI: 10.15406/jabb.2017.03.00077

Copyright: 2017 Dhineshkumar et al.Review on membrane technology applications in food and dairy processing402Figure 4 Profiles of permeate flux during filtration (e.g., MF and UF) of poly-dispersed solutions.A. Permeate flux vs. TMP in membrane filtration of feeds causing non-compressible (solid line) or compressible (slashed line) surface fouling.B. Permeate flux behaviors to operational conditions.7Figure 5 Module design and pressure profiles of TMP (left) and UTMP (right)filtration configuration.15Permeate backflow techniques include backwashing,3,13backflushing,14,15 backpulsing,16 and backshock (backpulse with areverse asymmetric membrane).17,18 An extra pump (hence requireextra energy, more complicate control system) in the permeate pipe isneeded to convert the TMP periodically during the operation and bythat the backflow of the permeate lifts up the foulants which are thenswept away by the crossflow of the retentate. The main differencesof these methods are the applied frequency (e.g., backflow isapplied periodically after a set time period during filtering), pressurediscrepancy, and length of time for the permeate backflow. Backwashinginvolves using a third solution (e.g., water) as a backflow while othersuse the filtrate of the process. The backflow techniques help lengthenthe filtration time before the permeate flux decreases to an unacceptedlevel and as such they reduce the frequency of chemical washings.Use of dynamic membranes19 or application of external forces likeelectric field and ultrasound, application of Gas/air sparging20 are othertechniques for enhancement of membrane separation performance.The use of spacers (in organic polymeric membranes) and turbulencepromoters (in tubular ceramic membranes to create turbulent flow atthe surface of the membrane or to increase shear) also prove theirefficiency in improvement of membrane separation performance inmany cases.21–26 However, the introduction of spacer and turbulencepromoters increase the drop of TMP along the membrane and in somecases the washing of the system after use becomes more challenging.Many of the enhancement techniques are industrially applicablewhile other are still under research and development phase. Moreinformation can be found in review papers.7,27,28dispersed system with suspended particles and soluble moleculeshaving different charges and being in a wide range of sizes. The largestnatural particles of milk are fat globules (1-15μm, with an average ofaround 3.5μm) and the following are casein micelles with averagediameter of 0.4μm.2 Milk contains many more other components suchas whey proteins, non-protein nitrogenous (NPN) compounds, lactose,minerals. As such, the use of any membrane types for processing ofmilk or dairy processing-derived streams becomes possible. This alsomeans that the process performance is highly dependent on membranematerials, pH, temperatures and other operational parameters. Manydiscoveries on applications of membrane processing in food industrycome from the dairy industry.29 The application trend went fromthe use of a membrane process in a single and separated processingstep to the use of several membrane processes/types in severalsteps and in integrated production lines. Membrane processes canreplace conventional processing methods. They can be implementedas innovative methods for the production of tailored-functionalityingredients in the development of new food products or improvementof existing food products.2 A downstream processing line of milk andthe corresponding membrane processes involved at each level areshown in Figure 6. In the following subsections, the main applicationsof membrane processing in dairy industry and their advantagescompared to corresponding conventional technologies are presented.The readers can refer to other reviews for more information.27,28Membrane processes in dairy industryMilk, by nature, is a complicated and poly-dispersed system withsuspended particles and soluble molecules having different chargesand being in wide Milk, by nature, is a complicated and poly-Figure 6 Membrane processes involved in the processing of milk to itspurified groups.7Citation: Dhineshkumar V, Ramasamy D. Review on membrane technology applications in food and dairy processing. J Appl Biotechnol Bioeng.2017;3(5):399‒407. DOI: 10.15406/jabb.2017.03.00077

Review on membrane technology applications in food and dairy processingSeparation and fractionation of milk fat globulesAs mentioned earlier, fat in milk occurs in form of globules. Forstandardization of fat content in dairy processing, fat globules areseparated from whole milk based on the difference in density betweenthe two phases using a cream separator (a centrifuge). Technically, itis possible to use MF to separate fat globules from whole milk insteadof using a cream separator.11 However according to our knowledge,there seems to be no industrial application of MF for this purpose yet.Several studies have been carried out to use MF of 5μm to fractionatemilk fat globules based on their diameters.30 Yogurt and cheesemade with smaller fat globules may have finer structure and otheradvantageous properties.30 Fat globules in milk are surrounded by athin film, which is called milk fat globule membrane or MFGM, andthis film is sensitive to mechanical impact and oxidation due to highconcentration of phospholipids which are rich in unsaturated fattyacid.31 Therefore, application of MF to separate or fractionate milk fatglobules need to take into consideration of those factors.Copyright: 2017 Dhineshkumar et al.403the Bactocatch process (Figure 7). Actually, MF with smaller poresizes can remove pathogens more efficiently however the permeateflux and transmission of milk components is below the acceptedlevels. Bactocatch or MF, in general, can be applied in productionof consumption (market) milk,17,34 preparation of milk for cheeseproduction35,38 and in removal of bacteria for production of low-heattreated milk powders. In production of semi hard and hard cheeseslike Gouda and Emmental, the incidence of ‘late-blowing’ defect (e.g.,irregular eyes, slits, an

evie on membrane ecnolo applicaions in ood and dair processin 400 opri: 2017 inesumar e al Citation: Dhineshkumar V, Ramasamy D. Review on membrane technology applications in food and dairy processing.J Appl Biotechnol Bioeng. 2017;3(5):399‒407.

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