Using and choosing a laboratory centrifuge for the food industry

Using and choosing a laboratory centrifuge for the food industry

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centrifuge for food industry

People can use centrifuges in a variety of different settings including those who use a laboratory centrifuge for the food industry. In this month’s blog we will focus on how a laboratory centrifuge can be used in the food industry. This is in contrast to an industrial centrifuge which can be used in the mass production of foodstuffs. Let’s take a closer look:

Why do you use a laboratory centrifuge for the food industry?

Laboratory centrifuges play a crucial role in the food industry for a variety of purposes, contributing to both quality control and research and development efforts. Here are some reasons why centrifuges are extensively used in the food industry:

  • Separation of phases: Centrifuges are used to separate different phases in food products, such as solids, liquids, and fats. This separation is crucial for obtaining clear extracts, clarifying juices, and isolating specific components.
  • Clarification of liquids: Laboratory centrifuges help remove solid particles and impurities from liquid food products, resulting in clarified liquids with improved quality and appearance.
  • Determination of fat content: Centrifuges are employed to determine the fat content in food products, particularly in dairy industry applications. For example, the Gerber method uses centrifugation to separate fat from milk.
  • Concentration of components: Centrifuges concentrate specific components in food samples, making it easier to analyse and detect particular compounds or contaminants.
  • Particle size analysis: Centrifuges are used to analyse and control the particle size distribution in food products. This is crucial for products such as suspensions, emulsions, and beverages.
  • Yeast and cell separation: Centrifuges are employed to separate and concentrate yeast cells or other microorganisms in the brewing, fermentation, and biotechnology industries.
  • Extraction of flavors and bioactive compounds: Centrifuges are used in the extraction of flavors, oils, and bioactive compounds from various food materials, contributing to the development of food products with desirable sensory characteristics.
  • Enzyme activity studies: Centrifugation is employed in enzyme activity studies, helping researchers understand the kinetics and stability of enzymes used in food processing or involved in the natural processes of food products.
  • Quality Control and Assurance: Centrifuges are utilized for routine quality control to monitor the composition, stability, and consistency of food products over time.
  • DNA, RNA, and protein isolation: In molecular biology applications, centrifuges are used to isolate and purify nucleic acids (DNA, RNA) or proteins from food samples, supporting genetic and biotechnological analyses.
  • Hydration of ingredients: Centrifuges can be used to control the hydration of ingredients in the production of certain food products, ensuring uniformity and consistency.
  • Waste reduction and byproduct recovery: Centrifuges can be employed to recover valuable byproducts or reduce waste in food processing, contributing to sustainability efforts and cost-effectiveness.

Overall, the versatility of centrifuges makes them indispensable in the food industry for various applications. These range from from routine quality control, to more advanced research and development activities. Laboratory centrifuges enable food scientists and manufacturers to achieve consistent product quality. They also can improve processing efficiency and help users comply with industry standards.

Types of laboratory centrifuges used for the food industry

Before deciding on a make or model of laboratory centrifuge for the food industry, it is crucial to choose the appropriate rotor, bucket and adaptor combination for your needs. It is also important to make sure that the laboratory centrifuge specifications match the unique requirements of the analysis. Additionally, adherence to safety and hygiene protocols is essential to prevent cross-contamination and ensure accurate results.

A standard benchtop centrifuge is usually suitable, either in a refrigerated or non-refrigerated version. These come in a variety of different capacities. We often speak of the centrifuge capacity in terms of the number of buckets multiplied by the capacity of that bucket. So a 3 litre laboratory centrifuge is usually described as 4 x 750ml. You will need to be sure of exactly what and how you want to spin your sample. For example, you might choose to spin your sample in a 200ml polypropylene bottle and you want to spin a total of 4 per run.

Once you have narrowed down your exact requirements, it will be easier to choose a suitable centrifuge. Laboratory centrifuges from Hettich like the refrigerated Universal 320R or the non refrigerated Rotofix 32A are popular choices for use in the food industry. Their EBA 200 can also be used for much smaller sample size analysis.

How Henderson Biomedical can help you

We are a UK supplier of laboratory centrifuges and have been specialising in these products since 1987. As such, our team have a wide knowledge of different centrifuge brands and applications. We are also now the ‘Preferred Partner’ of Hettich, the world’s leading centrifuge manufacturer. As such, we are able to offer extremely competitive prices on their range of equipment. Furthermore, our engineers are factory trained by Hettich in Germany, meaning you will benefit from a superior after-sales service for many years to come.

For more information on how we can help you choose the right laboratory centrifuge for the food industry, please contact us on 020 8663 4610 or you can use our online form.

Image by zirconicusso on Freepik.

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