Flocculating agents used in Cheese industry
Flocculation(produced by flocculants), in the field of chemistry, is a process by which colloidal particles come out of suspension to sediment under the form of floc or flake, either spontaneously or due to the addition of a clarifying agent. The action differs from precipitation in that, prior to flocculation, colloids are merely suspended, under the form of a stable dispersion, in a liquid and are not truly dissolved in solution.
Coagulation and flocculation are important processes in water treatment with coagulation aimed to destabilize and aggregate particles through chemical interactions between the coagulant and colloids, and flocculation to sediment the destabilized particles by causing their aggregation into floc.
According to the IUPAC definition, flocculation is "a process of contact and adhesion whereby the particles of a dispersion form larger-size clusters". Flocculation is synonymous with agglomeration and coagulation / coalescence.
Basically, coagulation is a process of addition of coagulant to destabilize a stabilized charged particle. Meanwhile, flocculation is a mixing technique that promotes agglomeration and assists in the settling of particles.
During flocculation, gentle mixing accelerates the rate of particle collision, and the destabilized particles are further aggregated and enmeshed into larger precipitates. Flocculation is affected by several parameters, including mixing speeds, mixing intensity, and mixing time. The product of the mixing intensity and mixing time is used to describe flocculation processes.
Applications in Cheese industry
Flocculation is widely employed to measure the progress of curd formation in the initial stages of cheese making to determine how long the curds must set.The reaction involving the rennet micelles are modeled by Smoluchowski kinetics. During the renneting of milk the micelles can approach one another and flocculate, a process that involves hydrolysis of molecules and macropeptides.
Flocculation is also used during cheese wastewater treatment. Three different coagulants are mainly used:
FeSO4 (Iron(II) sulfate)
Al2(SO4)3 (Aluminium sulfate)
FeCl3 (Iron(III) chloride)17:48:22
Flocculats have a range of applications in many industry, or some other field you'd never think about it, but in fact you are benefiting from.
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