Microbubble findings could reduce chemical, water use in food processing

phys.org | 1/11/2020 | Staff
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Cleaning and sanitizing food processing equipment requires using chemicals and copious amounts of water for rinsing those chemicals away. It's possible—if it can be done correctly—that creating microscopic bubbles in water could reduce or eliminate the need for those chemicals.

A Purdue University study may hold the key to accurately and consistently producing microbubbles that could be used for cleaning, as well as foams used in foods, rapid DNA and protein assessments, destroying dangerous bacteria and more. In the journal Scientific Reports, Carlos Corvalan, an associate professor of food science, and Jiakai Lu, a former postdoctoral researcher in Corvalan's lab, describe the speeds at which pores made in films close, which is comparable to similar processes when bubbles are formed.

Air - Neck - Keeps - Forms - Lu

"When injecting air from a needle into a bubble, the bubble neck keeps thinning and the bubble forms," said Lu, who is now an assistant professor of food science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. "Understanding the collapse of a pore is going to help us understand the pinch-off point of bubble generation."

When a pore or hole is formed in a fluid, it has two options and will trend toward the one that uses the least amount of energy. If the hole is large, it continues to expand. Smaller holes collapse, closing themselves up.

Speed - Pores

Understanding the speed at which those pores close has...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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