Effect of membrane length, membrane resistance, and filtration conditions on the fractionation of milk proteins by microfiltration

Technische Universität München, Weihenstephaner Berg 1, 85354 Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany.
Journal of Dairy Science (Impact Factor: 2.55). 04/2012; 95(4):1590-602. DOI: 10.3168/jds.2011-4292
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We investigated the fractionation of casein micelles and the whey protein β-lactoglobulin (β-LG) of skim milk by crossflow microfiltration (0.1 μm) for the first time by a novel approach as a function of membrane length and membrane resistance. A special module was constructed with 4 sections and used to assess the effects of membrane length by measuring flux and β-LG permeation (or transmission) as a function of transmembrane pressure and membrane length. Depending on the position, the membranes were partly controlled by a deposit layer. A maximum for β-LG mass flow through the various membrane sections was found, depending on the position along the membrane. To study the effect of convective flow toward the membrane, membranes with 4 different intrinsic permeation resistances were assessed in terms of the permeation and fouling effects along the flow channel. From these findings, we derived a ratio between transmembrane pressure and membrane resistance, which was useful in reducing the effect of deposit formation and, thus, to optimize the protein permeation. In addition, the fouling effect was investigated in terms of reversible and irreversible fouling and, in addition, by differentiation between pressure-induced fouling and adsorption-induced (pressure-independent) fouling, again as a function of membrane length.

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