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Recent research has shown that high frequency ultrasound (0.4-3 MHz), can enhance milkfat separation in small scale systems able to treat only a few milliliters of sample. In this work, the effect of ultrasonic standing waves on milkfat creaming was studied in a 6L reactor and the influence of different frequencies and transducer configurations in direct contact with the fluid was investigated. A recombined coarse milk emulsion with fat globules stained with oil-red-O dye was selected for the separation trials. Runs were performed with one or two transducers placed in vertical (parallel or perpendicular) and horizontal positions (at the reactor base) at 0.4, 1 and/or 2 MHz (specific energy 8.5 ± 0.6 kJ/kg per transducer). Creaming behavior was assessed by measuring the thickness of the separated cream layer. Other methods supporting this assessment included the measurement of fat content, backscattering, particle size distribution, and microscopy of samples taken at the bottom and top of the reactor. Most efficient creaming was found after treatment at 0.4 MHz in single and double vertical transducer configurations. Among these configurations, a higher separation rate was obtained when sonicating at 0.4 MHz in a vertical perpendicular double transducer setup. The horizontal transducer configuration promoted creaming at 2 MHz only. Fat globule size increase was observed when creaming occurred. This research highlights the potential for enhanced separation of milkfat in larger scale systems from selected transducer configurations in contact with a dairy emulsion, or emulsion splitting in general. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Pablo Juliano, Sandra Temmel, Manoj Rout, Piotr Swiergon, Raymond Mawson, Kai Knoerzer. Creaming enhancement in a liter scale ultrasonic reactor at selected transducer configurations and frequencies. Ultrasonics sonochemistry. 2013 Jan;20(1):52-62

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PMID: 22929928

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