Stainless steel mixers and tanks are used in many different industries, including those of food production, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics/skincare. Within those three manufacturing businesses, the terms of “dispersion” and “homogenization” are commonly used during mixing processes and for blending applications.
Dispersion is simply described as the blending of two or more substances which may be immiscible. What this means is that by the way of dispersion, an ingredient (which can be any of the three states of matter -gas, liquid or solid) is transferred into an incompatible, encompassing substance (conventionally a liquid.)
It is only through dispersion that a blended fluid can be homogenized with no significant differentiation between the individual substances. In the industries of food production, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics/skincare, this homogenization effect on blended substances is called a mono-dispersion fluid. To obtain complete homogenization the items being mixed must be colloidal, which means the components must blend into individual dimensions of less than a micrometer.
Equipment to Obtain Colloidal Substances
It is through the use of high shear mixers in the dispersion process that mixtures and unique ingredients can become colloidal and experience complete homogenization. This is done by using high shear mixers offering a concentrated input of energy that result in immense dispersion of items. Faster than conventional blending methods, the use of high shear mixers produce homogenized products quickly and efficiently.
Applications in the Cosmetic and Skin Care Industries
Dispersing and homogenization applications particularly apply to the industry of cosmetics and skin care. With a variety of creams, lotions, ointments and powders manufactured and featuring several traditionally immiscible substances (thickeners, perfumes, color additives and medicinal powders,) it means the processes of dispersion through a high shear mixer must create homogenization for fluid, consistent and complete products.
Applications in the Food Manufacturing Industry
The food mixing industries are similar to the cosmetic business in that they each have to disperse incompatible ingredients through a high shear mixing process. Some products that undergo the dispersion process for homogenization are:
- Cheese Spreads
Cheese spreads are a combination of normal dairy cheese and other ingredients such as food coloring, salt, and additional flavoring. These items may not always blend together perfectly for a colloidal substance, meaning that the Dispersion and homogenization processes is needed.
- Salad and Pasta Dressings
A common form of dispersion and homogenization in dressings is in vinaigrettes. The blend of oil with other ingredients can cause separation but through these processes, it can create one fluid and consistent food product.
Applications in the Pharmaceutical Industry
In pharmaceutics, it requires similar textures for substances as those in the skincare industry. Items may need to be in powdered form or used as a topical gel, meaning that the applications of dispersion and homogenization are often implemented during the mixing and batching processes.
In the industries of food production, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics/skincare we often see the application of dispersion and homogenization used to manufacture a complete and functional product. It is through these processes that food, medicine and skincare products remain consistent in texture, quality, color and in some cases, taste.