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Ability of ceramic membranes to reject lipids of dairy products

Authors: O. Surel and M.H. Famelart


Sweet buttermilk, skim milk and sweet whey were microfiltered on ceramic membranes to remove the residual fat. Pore diameters of membranes were 1.4, 0.8, 0.5, 0.2 and 0.1 Μm. The results exhibited a size-exclusion mechanism, approximately according to Ferry's law. There was a strong correlation between lipid and protein retentions. The correlation made possible a selective removal of lipids from sweet whey (86%) without a too high retention of protein (29%) using a 0.2 Μm membrane. Buttermilk ans skim milk contained casein and lipid particles with a diameter around 200 nm; therefore, a size-exclusion mechanism was unable to achieve selective separation of lipids. Chemical modification (pH adjustment, calcium and citrate addition) of buttermilk had little effect on lipid retention.

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