In a groundbreaking development, a research team at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee has achieved a significant milestone in the dairy industry by successfully separating milk fat globules based on their size in a single step.
This innovative approach holds immense promise for enhancing the quality and efficiency of milk microfiltration, with potential applications ranging from food fortification to pharmaceuticals.
Milk Microfiltration’s Rising Significance:
Milk microfiltration has emerged as a key technology in the dairy sector due to its unique ability to selectively isolate bioactive components of milk. This capability offers numerous advantages, making it a focal point of research and development.
The study conducted at IIT Roorkee focuses on the selective separation of fat globules from bovine milk based on their size using a cross-flow microfiltration technique. This breakthrough is expected to revolutionize the dairy industry’s processing methods.
Recognition and Prominence:
The research conducted by the IIT Roorkee team has garnered significant recognition. Ayushi Kapoor, a PhD student and the first author of the research, received the International Travel Award from the Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India. Her research paper has been selected for oral presentation at the upcoming Annual Conference of the Membrane Society Australasia conference in Perth, Australia, scheduled for December.
The study has been published in the prestigious Separation and Purification Technology journal, underscoring its significance. Furthermore, IIT Roorkee has filed for a complete Indian patent for the innovative milk fat separation process.
Enhancing Milk Fat Globule Preservation:
The application of milk microfiltration extends to food fortification, with a specific focus on milk fat globules, a bioactive component known for its potential health benefits. The current multi-step separation process for these globules results in structural and functional damage, membrane phospholipids loss, extended processing time, and higher recovery costs.
The IIT Roorkee research team’s breakthrough simplifies this complex process by implementing a one-step separation technique based on the size of milk fat globules. This approach ensures the preservation of their structural and nutritional qualities, eliminating the need for pre-processing and reducing processing time, energy consumption, and costs.
The implications of this research are far-reaching. It not only streamlines milk fat globule separation but also paves the way for diverse applications. The isolated fat globules can be utilized to produce food ingredients, such as infant formula, and serve as raw materials for high-value products in the food and pharmaceutical industries. This breakthrough promises to save time, energy, and resources, making milk products more accessible and beneficial for consumers of all age groups.
The IIT Roorkee research team’s one-step separation of milk fat globules based on size marks a remarkable achievement in the dairy industry. This innovative approach is poised to transform milk microfiltration, offering a more efficient and cost-effective method that preserves the nutritional qualities of milk fat globules. With potential applications in food fortification, pharmaceuticals, and beyond, this breakthrough holds great promise for the future of the dairy and food industries.