Membrane Processing Technology in the Food Industry: Food Processing, Wastewater Treatment, and Effects on Physical, Microbiological, Organoleptic, and Nutritional Properties of Foods
Membrane processing technology (MPT) is increasingly used nowadays in a wide range of applications (demineralization, desalination, stabilization, separation, deacidification, reduction of microbial load, purification, etc.) in food industries. The most frequently applied techniques are electrodialysis (ED), reverse osmosis (RO), nanofiltration (NF), ultrafiltration (UF), and microfiltration (MF). Several membrane characteristics, such as pore size, flow properties, and the applied hydraulic pressure mainly determine membranes' potential uses. In this review paper the basic membrane techniques, their potential applications in a large number of fields and products towards the food industry, the main advantages and disadvantages of these methods, fouling phenomena as well as their effects on the organoleptic, qualitative, and nutritional value of foods are synoptically described. Some representative examples of traditional and modern membrane applications both in tabular and figural form are also provided.
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