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Homogenization equipment and strategies: how to select the best method

Homogenization is a process that’s nearly as old as human civilization. Consider humble bread. It’s hard to imagine societies advancing without the invention of bread, made possible by grinding grain into powdered meal. This example of crude grinding underscores the benefits of homogenization. Nutrients are unlocked from tough seeds, facilitating the chemical transformation of fermentation which follows.

Transformative Process

In the modern world, homogenization remains a key physical transformative process harnessed by numerous industries. In essence, homogenization involves two key processes: size reduction and the uniform blending of disparate constituents. It can be achieved through a variety of techniques, depending on factors such as target particle size, the hardness of the material to be size-reduced, the relative miscibility of the substances to be blended and the delicacy of the materials to be disrupted.

Homogenization can be achieved using any of several fundamental forces, sometimes in combination. Broadly, these include grinding, shearing, beating and shocking. Classic, old-school methods such as the mortar and pestle and various mechanical mills still have their place for relatively simple tasks, such as grinding and blending spices together or size-reducing grains to make meal. 

Even tasks such as cell disruption for extraction of complex molecules may be achieved using bead mills, paddle blenders, low-energy rotor stators or ultrasonic homogenization. But modern industry often makes use of more sophisticated technologies to ensure that complex molecules remain unspoiled. High-pressure homogenizers, specifically Microfluidizer® processors, provide precise shear control and efficient cooling.

High-Pressure Homogenization for High-Stakes Industries

High-pressure homogenizers comprise the most sophisticated machines for this purpose. Modern high shear, high-pressure homogenizers are capable of achieving nano-scale size reductions. The most sophisticated of these machines, such as Microfluidizer® processors from Microfluidics™, consistently deliver remarkably tight particle size reduction curves. That means more particles fall within desired particle size ranges, with fewer outliers, than can be achieved using competing technologies.  

High shear homogenizers excel at creating emulsions, which involve the tricky task of blending otherwise immiscible ingredients. They are key pieces of equipment used by industries ranging from pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and fine chemical to biotechnology and energy. Processes such as tissue homogenization, cell disruption, cellular organelle extraction and other sophisticated procedures are only achievable using the appropriate homogenizer equipment.

Choosing the Right Homogenizer for Your Needs

At Microfluidics™, we have the right Microfluidizer® technology to help you achieve virtually any task, no matter how difficult or delicate. Our unique, proprietary geometric Interaction Chamber™ ensures that your particles will be size reduced rapidly and consistently under high pressure. Cell disruption can be an especially challenging task. Our machines excel at being tough on cells of all types while being gentle with delicate — and valuable — intracellular contents. Our machines enable you to avoid denaturing proteins while maximizing cellular extraction rates.

Our small-footprint, benchtop machines consistently deliver remarkably tight particle size distribution curves, so you experience less waste and expend less time and energy on your carefully designed processes. Our shear rates are demonstrably superior to those achievable by our competitors. We allow you to carefully control shear rates, maximizing outcomes while minimizing undesirable damage to shear-sensitive particles or cells.

The Microfluidics' Customer Care Team stands ready to consult with you to determine the right homogenizer for your homogenization needs. For more information, complete our online Request-a-Quote form. We will respond promptly to your request.

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Posted by Steve Mesite
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