Separation of milk fat using silicon carbide support ceramic membranes with different pore sizes

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The effect of pore size and type of material on the separation of fat from raw milk using hydrophilic silicon carbide (SiC) support ceramic membranes has not previously been reported in literature. The separation performance of the fat globules (MFGs) showed 98% for SiC 0.5 μm, 92% for SiC 1.4 μm, 90% fat for ZrO2-SiC 0.06 μm, while the permeate had a fat % ranging from 0.1 to 0.6% (w/w). The MFGs were kept highly intact with well distributed proteins and phospholipids in the MFG membrane. The total filtration time at 50 °C to reach maximum VCR was 134 min for ZrO2 (VCR 3), 148 min for SiC 0.5 μm and 16 min for SiC 1.4 μm (VCR4). Further, all membranes showed a fully recoverable water permeability indicating no irreversible fouling. Industrial relevance: Microfiltration may be an alternative process to fat separation from raw milk. In this study, for the first time was demonstrated that effective milk fat separation, and retentate and permeate streams with variable characteristics, in terms of composition and integrity of the milk fat globules can be obtained by using silicon carbide support membranes with different sizes and materials. The results obtained, provide new insights for industrial use of membrane technology to separate milk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103671
JournalInnovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Confocal laser scanning microscopy, Membrane filtration, Membrane pore size, Milk fat globules, Milk fat separation

ID: 390183287