Impact of feed concentration on milk protein fractionation by hollow fiber microfiltration membranes in diafiltration mode

Roland Schopf, Ulrich Kulozik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microfiltration (0.1 µm) in the diafiltration mode is performed using hollow fiber membranes (HFM) to separate the casein micelles and whey proteins in skim milk at 10 °C. This method of using HFM has not been widely applied in dairy technology. HFM differ from more established module systems such as ceramic tubular membranes (CTM) and spiral-wound membranes (SWM) in their geometry, flow conditions, and propensity to deposit formation. The objective of this study is to investigate the efficiency of fractionation according to the pre-concentration before starting diafiltration when using ultrafiltration permeate as diafiltration medium for transferring the whey proteins into the permeate. The concentration having constant pressure drop is compared with that having constant feed volume flow. The optimal process conditions are determined based on the following criteria: flux, whey protein transmission, whey protein mass flow, and time required for one volume turnover, i.e., diafiltration step. The process is found to be optimum at a transmembrane pressure of 0.5 bar, constant pressure drop of 1.0 bar m−1, and concentration factor (CF) of 2.5. At a CF of 3, 80% whey protein depletion was achieved after 2.5 diafiltration steps. Therefore, HFM are confirmed as effective alternatives to SWM and CTM and are optimized in terms of pre-concentration of the casein fraction before starting diafiltration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119278
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
Volume276
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Deposit layer formation
  • Membrane fouling
  • Purification
  • Separation
  • Whey protein depletion

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