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Hielscher Ultrasonics’ range of ultrasonic devices — such as the UIP1000hd and UIP2000hd — can be used in the processing of honey, to remove unwanted components such as crystals and yeast cells.

Microorganisms such as temperature-resistant yeast can destroy honey during storage. Yeast activity can be slowed down through a reduction in liquid content, however this increases the probability of crystallisation.

Honey crystallises naturally to form a liquid phase above a crystalline phase, which poses issues for the marketing of the product.

These unwanted constituents can be destroyed using thermal treatment — in which honey is heated to liquefy the crystals, destroy the yeast and reduce the water content — but this can cause browning and the reduction of enzyme activity, which reduces the quality of the product. It also increases the hydroxylmethylfurfural (HMF) content, of which the maximum value allowed is 40mg/kg.

However, according to the company ultrasound can destroy these components while retaining product quality due to a minimum amount of heating used.

Key information

  • The company says that ultra-sound treated honey remained stable for around 350 days
  • Samples showed only a low HMF increase and a low decrease in diastase activity
  • Different types of honey need specific times and intensities of sonication
  • Trials using a bench-top size sonication system are recommended
  • Initial tests should be conducted in batch mode
  • Further trials will require a flow cell for pressurised recirculation or in-line testing
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Hielscher Ultrasonics is worldwide known as top supplier for innovative ultrasonic devices from lab homogenizers to industrial processing reactors. Typical applications include, mixing and homogenizing, grinding, dispersing & emulsifying, extraction, lysis & disintegration as well as sonochemistry.

Covering this wide range of applications, Hielscher’s ultrasonic devices are successfully used in almost every liquid processing industry: Dispersing and wet-milling of particles in the ink, paint and coating sector; processing of nanomaterials, i.e. to precipitate or functionalize nano-size particles; ultrasonic mixing for the biodiesel production; sonochemistry and sonocatalysis to improve chemical reactions; lysis, fermentation and digestion for biological applications; homogenizing, extracting and pasteurization for food processing; or ultrasonic cleaning for endless materials, such as wire, cable, rods, tapes or tubes. Ultrasonic devices made by Hielscher are used for lab samples, pilot scale processing, process optimization and full scale production.

This includes ultrasonic devices for the ultrasonication of any liquid volume, from several microliters through hundreds of cubicmeters per hour. For more information, please visit Hielscher’s website: www.hielscher.com  

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