Homogenization is the process of reducing the particle size of fluid products such as juices nectar, under conditions of extreme pressure, sheer, turbulence, acceleration and impact, to make them more stable and have a better texture. The effect is achieved by forcing the product through a special homogenizing valve at a very high pressure. Particles enter the homogenizer with sizes ranging typically from 0.2 -20 microns. Large particles are dispersed to produce a product with particles ranging typically from 0.4 to 1 micron depending on the application.
- Less sedimentation and separation
You could argue that one of the main reasons for homogenization is to make the big particles small and the small particles even smaller. The main benefit from that is less sedimentation and separation.
- Improved flavour
Many flavours are contained in the plant cells, meaning that they, too, can be released and made useful – this is especially true in vegetable juices.
- Higher viscosity
Some fruits and vegetables – like oranges and tomatoes – contain the natural stabilizer pectin. When homogenized, the plant cells rupture and release the pectin into the juice, which increases its viscosity and stability.
- Improved colour
Colour is basically a visual perception of bouncing light. Smaller particles scatter light differently than larger ones. Therefore a homogenized beverage appears to be more colourful than an unhomogenized one.
- Better Brix
The sugar content in juices is measured in degrees Brix. Homogenization can help a low-Brix product “become” a high-Brix product by increasing the number of intermolecular bonding between particles. In effect, this will increase the producer’s profit margin since less raw material can be used to achieve the same result.
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