Category Archive: Membrane Filtration

Key Considerations in HTST Pasteurization

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Commonly referred to as the “continuous method” or flash pasteurization, high-temperature short-time (HTST) pasteurization reduces the bacterial content in dairy products and other viscous liquids. This destroys dangerous organisms — such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, molds, and yeasts — that may be present during the production of milk and milk products.

HTST pasteurization provides considerable benefits compared to traditional batch pasteurization. It also paves the way for higher production rates without needing large processing space.

Understanding HTST Pasteurization Systems

The components of an HTST pasteurization system include a plate-and-frame heat exchanger, a stainless steel balancing tank, pumps, holding tubes, valves, pipes, and controls.

The time, temperature, and pressure relationships must always be maintained for the HTST pasteurizer to guarantee that the dairy product is safe. Each milk particle is pasteurized via a method created with hygiene in mind, and cross-contamination of pasteurized products is avoided.

Today, HTST pasteurization is the preferred method for milk production systems due to the following benefits:

  • Produce large volumes in one go
  • Achieve immediate pasteurization through a continuous process
  • Increase energy efficiency
  • Minimize contamination of milk products
  • Ensure 100% effective regeneration
  • Facilitate simplified cleaning and sterilization
  • Reduce risk from thermophiles

Top Considerations in Securing HTST Systems

Pasteurization ensures product purity or lengthens the shelf life. High temperatures change some of the finished product’s properties during this process due to enzymatic modifications or protein denaturation. Beer, canned goods, milk, milk products,, juices, non-alcoholic beverages, syrups, vinegar, water, wines, nuts, and other items can all be pasteurized.

To ensure that your products are pasteurized to the highest level of safety and quality, here are some of the top considerations in acquiring HTST pasteurization systems.

System Capacity

It is critical to determine the capacity requirement of your pasteurization system. This will allow you to arrive at an assembly design ideal for your plant size, layout, and production demands. It will also provide the most efficient overhead and operational cost for your production.

A seasoned HTST pasteurization system supplier can easily help you find the most cost-effective assembly size to fit your needs.

Type of Timing Pump

The timing pump controls flow rates within the HTST pasteurization system. This portion draws the raw substance from the generator and pushes it forward to undergo the process.

A skilled HTST pasteurization system manufacturer can automate this part to set the maximum delivery rate equal to or less than the calculated maximum flow rate to achieve minimum holding time in every batch production.

Heat Exchange Systems

There are two types of heat exchange systems for HTST systems. First, the Plate Heat Exchanger or PHE transfers heat from the pasteurized product to the raw product. The second type is the Tubular Heat Exchanger (THE), with no contact points in the product channel. The PHE type is more efficient than THE HTSTs.

Flow Diversion Device (FDD)

The flow diversion device’s function is to precisely and safely control the flow of raw and pasteurized products. It controls the pump and other valves and lets the product flow forward when the minimum temperature is met.

After-Sales Dependability

To ensure the quality of products produced by HTST pasteurization systems, working with a machine provider with excellent aftersales service is important. Purchasing a system for your production requires regular maintenance. Thus, it would be best to acquire your equipment from companies you can rely on for quality servicing.

Dependable and Quality HTST Systems From Membrane System Specialists Inc.

MSS is a leading supplier of custom-designed, skid-built processing systems, HTST systems, CIP systems, pipework, and process integration. We are dedicated to providing turnkey projects and equipment to our current and future customers in the food and dairy industry!

Contact us to discuss your HTST pasteurization requirements today.

What Are the Advantages of Membrane Filtration?

Membrane filtration is a pressure-driven, physical separation process that uses a membrane system to separate molecules of different sizes and properties. During membrane filtration, a single feed stream is passed through a membrane that acts as a physical barrier, only allowing certain compounds with special characteristics to pass through.

The material that passes through the membrane is determined by the size and filtration media of the membrane. The most common types of membrane filtration include microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF), and reverse osmosis (RO).

Below we’ll go over the primary benefits of membrane filtration systems for various process media.

Benefits of Membrane Filtration Systems

  • High flexibility: Membrane filtration has a wide range of applications, from removing large particulate material to removing dissolved compounds. This means that no matter your separation challenge or application needs, different membrane filtration products are available to address them.
  • Lower production costs: Unlike other technologies, membrane filtration is usually less expensive. This is because of its lower installation costs, lower energy costs, and fewer processing steps. At the same time, it produces a greater degree of purity and higher overall yields. Membrane filters don’t result in a filter cake, effectively eliminating costs due to residue disposal.
  • No need for chemicals: To address the demand for limiting chemical concentrations used in water treatment, membrane filtration is an optimal solution because it doesn’t require any chemical additives. Instead, membrane filtration physically removes pathogens and eliminates the need to add chemicals, such as in chlorination.
  • Removes pathogens: Membrane filtration can remove 90% to 100% of pathogens from the process fluid.
  • Energy efficiency: Membrane filtration has considerably low energy requirements. For example, using ultrafiltration before nanofiltration and reverse osmosis saves energy by 20%.
  • Keeps proteins intact: Membrane filtration is one of the most effective methods of separating proteins without denaturing them. Because it does not introduce chemical reagents or heat input, membrane filtration preserves the integrity of proteins.
  • Ideal for testing: Membrane filtration is an effective method of assessing fluid samples for various types of contamination. By transferring the membrane filter from one medium to another, it can isolate and enumerate various bacterial colonies.
  • Saves time: When obtaining quantitative data, membrane filtration provides quicker results than the MPN (most probable number) method. It only takes 24 hours for membrane filtration to yield results.
  • High-quality end product: Membrane filtration is a clean, green technology that offers reliable, relevant results. The separation process is based only on molecular size, eliminating the need for additives. This results in a high-quality end product, which more easily complies with the high standards of consumers and strict requirements of regulators.

Membrane Filtration Systems From Membrane System Specialists

Membrane filtration is used in a wide range of applications, from dairy processing to wastewater treatment to beer brewing. The separation process offers many benefits, including flexibility, lower energy requirements, reduced production costs, the ability to sterilize heat-sensitive materials, and the removal of up to 100% of pathogens.

At Membrane System Specialists, Inc. (MSS), we provide customized membrane filtration systems that meet your unique application requirements. Contact us or request a quote to get started on your custom solution today.

Advantages of Membrane Filtration

Membrane filtration facilitates a physical separation process by separating molecules of varying sizes and properties. The different pressure levels on either side of the membrane act as the catalyst for the separation process. Membrane technology reduces overall production costs while improving product quality.

The process involves passing one feed stream in a membrane system, which splits it into two streams: permeate and retentate. The membrane that divides them is a highly specialized physical barrier that only allows specific designated elements inside the feed stream to pass through.

Advantages of Membrane Filtration

When used in industry sectors where reliability, consistency, and running costs are critical factors, membrane filtration offers several major advantages, including:

High ‌Flexibility

Membrane filtering is compatible with a variety of feed materials with varying viscosities, including high-viscosity goods that would be difficult to process otherwise. A diverse choice of membrane filtration solutions ensures the best solution for each application is available. This also makes it more energy efficient.

Lower Overall Production Expenses

Due to low installation and energy costs, membrane filtration systems are usually more cost-effective than many other alternatives. Membrane filtration requires fewer processing stages, which reduces labor demands and allows for better ‌purity and higher overall yields.

Because the process does not produce filter cakes, there are no expenditures associated with its removal and disposal.

There Are No Chemical Requirements

Current societal trends have created a focus on reducing or eliminating chemicals from water treatment processes. Membrane filtering can ‌minimize chemical additives, such as chlorination, by physically removing chemicals and other pathogens.

Removes Pathogens

Membrane filtration technology can remove over 90% of pathogens present in a water sample.

Saves Time

When comparing membrane filtering with its alternatives, such as the MPN approach, membrane filtration takes less time, requiring only 24 hours for a result.

Enhanced Energy Efficiency

Compared to other filtration methods, membrane filtration utilizes ultrafiltration before reverse osmosis and nanofiltration, resulting in 20% more energy efficiency.

Preserving Proteins

Membrane filtration technology is a unique non-thermal, environmentally friendly, greener technology with a wide range of future applications that reduces the negative effects of temperature rise, such as phase shifts, protein denaturation, and changes in product sensory qualities.

Suited For Testing

By shifting the disk to another medium, it is possible to isolate and count bacterial colonies.

Exceptional Product Quality

With the ability to remove up to 100% germs and pathogens, this environmentally friendly technology produces accurate and relevant results. It performs separation on the grounds of molecular size, eliminating the need for additives. This produces a high-quality end product and allows for easy compliance with various strict requirements authorized by both consumers and government agencies.

Membrane Filtration Solutions

Low energy usage, flexibility, and environmental friendliness are the key advantages of membrane filtration over alternative separation techniques. Membrane System Specialists offer membrane filtration systems and materials to satisfy your fluid separation requirements while adhering to strict sanitary guidelines.

Our outstanding combination of experts, honesty, experience, technology, and innovative equipment allows us to serve all of our food and dairy customers, both in the present and the future. We are very detailed in every phase of the design process to create the optimal end design based on your individual needs. For many years, we’ve designed and built specialized membrane filtration systems for customers in the dairy and food industries. Contact us today to learn more about our system’s abilities or request a quote to speak with a member of our staff about your system specifications.

How to Calculate Transmembrane Pressure

Many food and beverage products, such as low-fat/no-fat dairy products and whey proteins, are produced by the membrane filtration process. This process feeds a liquid through a membrane system, which divides the feed into two separate streams. The feed that passes through the synthetic membrane in the filtration system is known as the permeate, whereas the retentate is the material that cannot pass through.

Food processors use different types of filtration membranes, with the most appropriate type depending on the density of the liquid being separated. Food production usually employs a process called crossflow filtration, in which the feed is continuously recirculated tangentially to the membrane. Crossflow filtration includes filtration techniques that provide greater separation control over feed molecule density and size, such as:

At Membrane Systems Specialists, we build these systems to assist food processors with developing everyday consumables, such as cheeses, milk, juices and ciders, beer, and wine.

Pressure is a vital component of the membrane filtration process. Here, we’ll review the concept of transmembrane pressure (TMP), the role it plays in the filtration process, and how to calculate it.

What is Transmembrane Pressure?

Transmembrane pressure is the amount of force necessary to push water through a membrane. Each membrane has an ideal TMP based on its material composition. Given that crossflow filtration involves the recirculation of the feed, however, this process is subject to both concentration polarization and membrane fouling.

 

  • Concentration polarization occurs when the feed component concentration increases near or on the membrane’s surface due to TMP but disappears when pressure is removed. Correcting concentration polarization may require adjusting the TMP.
  • Membrane fouling happens when feed components build up on the membrane’s surface and remain after pressure is released. Correcting membrane fouling requires cleaning or replacing the filter.

 

Both of these phenomena affect the membrane’s filtration effectiveness. By design, membrane filtration systems ensure that a membrane’s TMP remains at or within the normal operating range. When operating within the optimal TMP range, the membrane remains clean and retains its filtering capabilities. A high TMP may indicate a dirty filter.

Ensuring membrane filtration effectiveness is critical in the food and beverage industry. These filters contain synthetic microscopic pores, measured in Angstroms—an Angstrom equals one hundred-millionth of a centimeter—designed to separate tiny particles. In practice, these filtration mechanisms are volumetrically controlled, as even a small change in TMP can cause concentration polarization, membrane fouling, or contamination.

How to Calculate Transmembrane Pressure

TMP is calculated by determining the difference from the average feed pressure and the permeate pressure. Here is the equation for calculating transmembrane pressure:

In this equation, PTMP represents the transmembrane pressure, Pf represents the feed stream’s inlet pressure, Pc represents the concentrate stream pressure, and Pp represents the permeate stream pressure. All measurements are in kilopascals (kPa)

 In this equation, PTMP represents the transmembrane pressure, Pf represents the feed stream’s inlet pressure, Pc represents the concentrate stream pressure, and Pp represents the permeate stream pressure. All measurements are in kilopascals (kPa).

TMP may be measured manually by placing a pressure transducer into the feed to obtain the pre-filter pressure, then placing the transducer in the retentate outside the membrane and taking note of the retentate pressure. After averaging the two, the transducer can also be used to measure the filtered fluid inside the membrane.

Filtration systems let food processors monitor transmembrane pressure in real-time, allowing them to optimize pressure and adjust other variables. Real-time monitoring enables processors to rapidly identify polarization, fouling, and contamination problems so they can quickly resolve issues and avoid unexpected downtime. Failing to monitor TMP can result in production loss, damaged equipment, and lost revenue.

Custom Filtration From Membrane Systems Specialists

At Membrane Systems Specialists, our exceptional custom filtration systems can help you achieve the high-volume, high-quality output your business needs. We can design, setup, and install skid-built systems for microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, and pasteurization. We also can also integrate Clean-In-Place (CIP) systems with your existing systems. Our systems enable you to remotely control and optimize your filtration processes, ensure your system is functioning properly through pilot testing. We’re happy to provide extensive training and support for the equipment we install.

To see how our advanced filtration solutions can benefit your operation, please contact us or request a quote today.

Types of Membrane Filtration Materials

Micro Particle Filtration Systems

In the food and beverage industry, membrane filtration is a commonly used process to increase the value of various plant-based and dairy products and facilitate the reuse of water. Many products are produced through the process of membrane filtration, including whey protein concentrate and yogurts. It’s also used to concentrate plant-based proteins and extract water from fruit and milk products for reuse.

There are several types of materials that are used depending on the membrane filtration method. Here we’ll review these materials and their role in the membrane filtration process.

Membrane Filtration Materials

Some of the synthetic materials used in membrane filtration include:

Polyethersulphone (PES)

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PES is an inherently hydrophilic membrane that wets out quickly and completely resulting in fast filtration with superior flow rates and high throughputs. PES membrane is also extremely low protein binding minimizing the likelihood of target analyte binding.

Cellulose Acetate

A cellulose acetate filtration membrane features a particularly low capacity for protein binding. This durable material is used in membrane filters for its strength, heat resistance of up to 180°C, and ability to undergo sterilization via all membrane filtration methods. Its high-strength structure also prevents any loss of integrity when used.

Teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene)

Teflon filters form a 3D shape similar to a spider web that consists of billions of microscopic pores. Because of this porous structure, Teflon is ideal for applications requiring non-stick and water-resistant filters for removing particulate from membrane surfaces. This material can collect some of the smallest particles, and it allows for optimal airflow and water entry for reliable filtration.

Polyamide (Nylon)

Nylon is highly resistant to solvents and hydrophilic, which makes it viable for filtering water along with organic solvents. The material’s larger pores make it useful for isolating single-celled or certain multicellular organisms such as bacteria and roundworms.

Cellulose Nitrate (Collodion)

Cellulose nitrate is often used for quality control in the form of sterile membrane filters. These filters are available in various pore sizes and material blends, with the ability to effectively control microbial growth. Some filters combine cellulose nitrate with cellulose acetate, the latter of which can provide additional thermal stability and higher flow rates. Depending on the color of the filter, it can also provide sufficient contrast to make it easy to identify and qualify microbial colonies.

Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate membrane filters are often used for electron or optical microscopy due to their smooth and transparent surface and defined porous structure. In polycarbonate filters, pores are produced through track-etching, allowing for more accurate separation of particles by size and trapping of microorganisms or particles for easy visualization. Polycarbonate filters are suitable for many applications, including microscopy, air monitoring, chemotaxis, cell migration, and particle or cell size fractionation.

Partner with Membrane System Specialists, Inc.

Membrane System Specialists, Inc. provides membrane filtration systems and materials to meet your fluid separation needs while complying with strict sanitation standards. Our membrane filtration systems are capable of removing particles from less than 0.001 microns up to 10 microns. We construct our equipment using durable materials that are easy to clean and require minimal maintenance.

At Membrane Specialists, Inc., we cover every step of the design process to develop the ideal final product based on your specific requirements. We also provide installation, training, commissioning, and support to ensure you get the most from your equipment.

For more information, or to get started on your membrane filtration solution, contact us or request a quote today.