Application of Membranes and Membrane Processes in the Food Industry

A special issue of Membranes (ISSN 2077-0375). This special issue belongs to the section "Membrane Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2023) | Viewed by 15151

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
LEAF—Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: biodegradable films for food packaging; edible coatings; microencapsulation of bioactive ingredients; rheological characterization of microbial biopolymers; valorization of agro-industrial residues
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aim of this Special Issue is to gather the recent advances regarding the application of membranes in the area of the food industry. The goal is to cover membrane processes used, not only in food processing but also in the valorization of agroindustry residues/co-products under a circular economy approach. These may include concentration, clarification, or fractionation operations, using pressure-driven membrane processes (e.g., microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis) or other (e.g., membrane distillation, osmotic evaporation, dialysis, and pervaporation). It is also envisaged to gather the latest works concerning the development and characterization of films to be used in active and intelligent packages for food products.

Authors are invited to submit their contributions in the form of research articles, technical reports, case studies, and critical reviews. Relevant topics, of membranes and membrane processes applications, include the following:

  • Food processing (e.g., fruit and vegetable juices, dairy products, beer, wine, vegetable oils and sugar industries);
  • Removal of microorganisms;
  • Valorization of food industry wastes (e.g., recovery of aroma compounds, molecules with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, polysaccharides and proteins);
  • Wastewater treatment;
  • Biodegradable films for food packaging;
  • Active and intelligent films for food packaging

Dr. Vitor D. Alves
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • food industry
  • food processing with membranes
  • recovery of added-value compounds with membrane processes
  • pressure-driven membrane processes
  • pervaporation
  • membrane distillation
  • dialysis
  • electrodialysis
  • biodegradable films
  • active and intelligent films
  • food packaging

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 2676 KiB  
Article
Influence of Solid Retention Time on Membrane Fouling and Biogas Recovery in Anerobic Membrane Bioreactor Treating Sugarcane Industry Wastewater in Sahelian Climate
by Abdoul Wahab Nouhou Moussa, Boukary Sawadogo, Yacouba Konate, Brony Thianhoun, Sayon dit Sadio Sidibe and Marc Heran
Membranes 2023, 13(8), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13080710 - 31 Jul 2023
Viewed by 872
Abstract
Sugarcane industries produce wastewater loaded with various pollutants. For reuse of treated wastewater and valorization of biogas in a Sahelian climatic context, the performance of an anaerobic membrane bioreactor was studied for two solid retention times (40 days and infinity). The pilot was [...] Read more.
Sugarcane industries produce wastewater loaded with various pollutants. For reuse of treated wastewater and valorization of biogas in a Sahelian climatic context, the performance of an anaerobic membrane bioreactor was studied for two solid retention times (40 days and infinity). The pilot was fed with real wastewater from a sugarcane operation with an organic load ranging from 15 to 22 gCOD/L/d for 353 days. The temperature in the reactor was maintained at 35 °C. Acclimatization was the first stage during which suspended solids (SS) and volatile suspended solids (VSS) evolved from 9 to 13 g/L and from 5 to 10 g/L respectively, with a VSS/SS ratio of about 80%. While operating the pilot at a solid retention time (SRT) of 40 days, the chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency reached 85%, and the (VSS)/(TSS) ratio was 94% in the reactor. At infinity solid retention time, these values were 96% and 80%, respectively. The 40-day solid retention time resulted in a change in transmembrane pressure (TMP) from 0.0812 to 2.18 bar, with a maximum methane production of 0.21 L/gCOD removed. These values are lower than those observed at an infinite solid retention time, at which the maximum methane production of 0.29 L/gCOD was achieved, with a corresponding transmembrane pressure variation of up to 3.1 bar. At a shorter solid retention time, the fouling seemed to decrease with biogas production. However, we note interesting retention rates of over 95% for turbidity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Membranes and Membrane Processes in the Food Industry)
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15 pages, 3786 KiB  
Article
Red Fruit Juice Concentration by Osmotic Distillation: Optimization of Operating Conditions by Response Surface Methodology
by René Ruby-Figueroa, Rosanna Morelli, Carmela Conidi and Alfredo Cassano
Membranes 2023, 13(5), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13050496 - 08 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1623
Abstract
Osmotic distillation (OD) was implemented at laboratory scale to concentrate a red fruit juice produced from a blend of blood orange, prickly pear, and pomegranate juice. The raw juice was clarified by microfiltration and then concentrated by using an OD plant equipped with [...] Read more.
Osmotic distillation (OD) was implemented at laboratory scale to concentrate a red fruit juice produced from a blend of blood orange, prickly pear, and pomegranate juice. The raw juice was clarified by microfiltration and then concentrated by using an OD plant equipped with a hollow fiber membrane contactor. The clarified juice was recirculated on the shell side of the membrane module, while calcium chloride dehydrate solutions, used as extraction brine, were recirculated on the lumen side in a counter-current mode. The influence of different process parameters, such as brine concentration (20, 40, and 60% w/w), juice flow rate (0.3, 2.0, and 3.7 L min−1), and brine flow rate (0.3, 2.0, and 3.7 L min−1) on the performance of the OD process in terms of evaporation flux and increase in juice concentration, was investigated according to the response surface methodology (RSM). From the regression analysis, the evaporation flux and juice concentration rate were expressed with quadratic equations of juice and brine flow rates, as well as the brine concentration. The desirability function approach was applied to analyse the regression model equations in order to maximize the evaporation flux and juice concentration rate. The optimal operating conditions were found to be 3.32 L min−1 brine flow rate, 3.32 L min−1 juice flow rate, and an initial brine concentration of 60% w/w. Under these conditions, the average evaporation flux and the increase in the soluble solid content of the juice resulted in 0.41 kg m−2 h−1 and 12.0 °Brix, respectively. Experimental data on evaporation flux and juice concentration, obtained in optimized operating conditions, resulted in good agreement with the predicted values of the regression model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Membranes and Membrane Processes in the Food Industry)
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20 pages, 3961 KiB  
Article
Influence of Pomelo (Citrus maxima) Pericarp Essential Oil on the Physicochemical Properties of HomChaiya Rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. HomChaiya) Flour-Derived Edible Films
by Karthikeyan Venkatachalam and Narin Charoenphun
Membranes 2023, 13(4), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13040435 - 15 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1746
Abstract
The food industry is increasingly interested in using active edible packaging to address environmental problems caused by conventional synthetic polymers, such as pollution and degradation. The present study took advantage of this opportunity to develop active edible packaging using Hom-Chaiya rice flour (RF), [...] Read more.
The food industry is increasingly interested in using active edible packaging to address environmental problems caused by conventional synthetic polymers, such as pollution and degradation. The present study took advantage of this opportunity to develop active edible packaging using Hom-Chaiya rice flour (RF), incorporating pomelo pericarp essential oil (PEO) at varying concentrations (1–3%). Films without PEO were used as controls. Various physicochemical parameters, structural and morphological observations were examined in the tested films. Overall, the results showed that the addition of PEO at varying concentrations significantly improved the qualities of the RF edible films, particularly the film’s yellowness (b*) and total color. Furthermore, RF-PEO films with increased concentrations significantly reduced the film’s roughness and relative crystallinity, while increasing opacity. The total moisture content in the films did not differ, but water activity was significantly reduced in the RF-PEO films. Water vapor barrier properties also improved in the RF-PEO films. In addition, textural properties, including tensile strength and elongation at break, were better in the RF-PEO films compared with the control. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) revealed strong bonding between the PEO and RF in the film. Morphological studies showed that the addition of PEO smoothed the film’s surface, and this effect increased with concentration. Overall, the biodegradability of the tested films was effective, despite variations; however, a slight advancement in degradation was found in the control film. Lastly, the antimicrobial properties of the RF-PEO films exhibited excellent inhibitory effects against various pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes), Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Salmonella typhimurium (S. typhimurium). This study demonstrated that RF and PEO could be an effective combination for developing active edible packaging that delivers desirable functional properties and excellent biodegradability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Membranes and Membrane Processes in the Food Industry)
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19 pages, 4214 KiB  
Article
Recovery and Purification of Cutin from Tomato By-Products for Application in Hydrophobic Films
by Andreia Simões, Isabel M. Coelhoso, Vítor D. Alves and Carla Brazinha
Membranes 2023, 13(3), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13030261 - 23 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2224
Abstract
Tomato pomace is a low-cost, renewable resource that has been studied for the extraction of the biopolyester cutin, which is mainly composed of long-chain hydroxy fatty acids. These are excellent building blocks to produce new hydrophobic biopolymers. In this work, the monomers of [...] Read more.
Tomato pomace is a low-cost, renewable resource that has been studied for the extraction of the biopolyester cutin, which is mainly composed of long-chain hydroxy fatty acids. These are excellent building blocks to produce new hydrophobic biopolymers. In this work, the monomers of cutin were extracted and isolated from tomato pomace and utilized to produce cutin-based films. Several strategies for the depolymerization and isolation of monomeric cutin were explored. Strategies differed in the state of the raw material at the beginning of the extraction process, the existence of a tomato peel dewaxing step, the type of solvent used, the type of alkaline hydrolysis, and the isolation method of cutin monomers. These strategies enabled the production of extracts enriched in fatty acids (16-hydroxyhexadecanoic, hexadecanedioic, stearic, and linoleic, among others). Cutin and chitosan-based films were successfully cast from cutin extracts and commercial chitosan. Films were characterized regarding their thickness (0.103 ± 0.004 mm and 0.106 ± 0.005 mm), color, surface morphology, water contact angle (93.37 ± 0.31° and 95.15 ± 0.53°), and water vapor permeability ((3.84 ± 0.39) × 10−11 mol·m/m2·s·Pa and (4.91 ± 1.33) × 10−11 mol·m/m2·s·Pa). Cutin and chitosan-based films showed great potential to be used in food packaging and provide an application for tomato processing waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Membranes and Membrane Processes in the Food Industry)
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23 pages, 2745 KiB  
Article
Physicochemical and Antimicrobial Characterization of Chitosan and Native Glutinous Rice Starch-Based Composite Edible Films: Influence of Different Essential Oils Incorporation
by Karthikeyan Venkatachalam, Natthida Rakkapao and Somwang Lekjing
Membranes 2023, 13(2), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13020161 - 27 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2199
Abstract
Biopolymer-based edible packaging is an effective way of preserving food while protecting the environment. This study developed an edible composite film using chitosan and native glutinous rice starch (NGRS) and incorporated essential oils (EOs) such as garlic, galangal, turmeric, and kaffir lime at [...] Read more.
Biopolymer-based edible packaging is an effective way of preserving food while protecting the environment. This study developed an edible composite film using chitosan and native glutinous rice starch (NGRS) and incorporated essential oils (EOs) such as garlic, galangal, turmeric, and kaffir lime at fixed concentrations (0.312 mg/mL) to test its physicochemical and antimicrobial properties. The EO-added films were found to significantly improve the overall color characteristics (lightness, redness, and yellowness) as compared to the control film. The control films had higher opacity, while the EO-added films had slightly reduced levels of opacity and produced clearer films. The tensile strength and elongation at break values of the films varied among the samples. The control samples had the highest tensile strength, followed by the turmeric EO-added samples. However, the highest elongation at break value was found in the galangal and garlic EO-added films. The Young’s modulus results showed that garlic EO and kaffir lime EO had the lowest stiffness values. The total moisture content and water vapor permeability were very low in the garlic EO-added films. Despite the differences in EOs, the Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) patterns of the tested films were similar among each other. Microstructural observation of the surface and cross-section of the tested edible film exhibited smooth and fissureless patterns, especially in the EO-added films, particularly in the galangal and kaffir lime EO-added films. The antimicrobial activity of the EO-added films was highly efficient against various gram-positive and gram-negative pathogens. Among the EO-added films, the garlic and galangal EO-added films exhibited superior inhibitory activity against Escherichia coli, Salmonella Typhimurium, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas fluorescence, and turmeric and kaffir lime EO-added films showed potential antimicrobial activity against Lactobacillus plantarum and L. monocytogenes. Overall, this study concludes that the addition of EOs significantly improved the physicochemical and antimicrobial properties of the CH-NGRS-based edible films, making them highly suitable for food applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Membranes and Membrane Processes in the Food Industry)
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23 pages, 5072 KiB  
Article
Influence of Molasses Residue on Treatment of Cow Manure in an Anaerobic Filter with Perforated Weed Membrane and a Conventional Reactor: Variations of Organic Loading and a Machine Learning Application
by Khairina Jaman, Syazwani Idrus, Abdul Malek Abdul Wahab, Razif Harun, Nik Norsyahariati Nik Daud, Amimul Ahsan, Shahriar Shams and Md. Alhaz Uddin
Membranes 2023, 13(2), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13020159 - 27 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1740
Abstract
This study highlighted the influence of molasses residue (MR) on the anaerobic treatment of cow manure (CM) at various organic loading and mixing ratios of these two substrates. Further investigation was conducted on a model-fitting comparison between a kinetic study and an artificial [...] Read more.
This study highlighted the influence of molasses residue (MR) on the anaerobic treatment of cow manure (CM) at various organic loading and mixing ratios of these two substrates. Further investigation was conducted on a model-fitting comparison between a kinetic study and an artificial neural network (ANN) using biomethane potential (BMP) test data. A continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) and an anaerobic filter with a perforated membrane (AF) were fed with similar substrate at the organic loading rates of (OLR) 1 to OLR 7 g/L/day. Following the inhibition signs at OLR 7 (50:50 mixing ratio), 30:70 and 70:30 ratios were applied. Both the CSTR and the AF with the co-digestion substrate (CM + MR) successfully enhanced the performance, where the CSTR resulted in higher biogas production (29 L/d), SMP (1.24 LCH4/gVSadded), and VS removal (>80%) at the optimum OLR 5 g/L/day. Likewise, the AF showed an increment of 69% for biogas production at OLR 4 g/L/day. The modified Gompertz (MG), logistic (LG), and first order (FO) were the applied kinetic models. Meanwhile, two sets of ANN models were developed, using feedforward back propagation. The FO model provided the best fit with Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) (57.204) and correlation coefficient (R2) 0.94035. Moreover, implementing the ANN algorithms resulted in 0.164 and 0.97164 for RMSE and R2, respectively. This reveals that the ANN model exhibited higher predictive accuracy, and was proven as a more robust system to control the performance and to function as a precursor in commercial applications as compared to the kinetic models. The highest projection electrical energy produced from the on-farm scale (OFS) for the AF and the CSTR was 101 kWh and 425 kWh, respectively. This investigation indicates the high potential of MR as the most suitable co-substrate in CM treatment for the enhancement of energy production and the betterment of waste management in a large-scale application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Membranes and Membrane Processes in the Food Industry)
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16 pages, 5388 KiB  
Article
Ultrafiltration of Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) and Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) Protein Concentrates to Enhance Emulsifying and Foaming Properties
by Madushika K. Ranasinghe, Aurélie Ballon, Sílvia de Lamo-Castellví, Montserrat Ferrando and Carme Güell
Membranes 2023, 13(2), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13020137 - 20 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1820
Abstract
Mealworm, TM (Tenebrio molitor), and black soldier fly, BSF (Hermetia illucens) are of special interest for food and feed applications due to their environmental benefits such as low water and land requirements, low greenhouse gas emissions, and high feed-conversion [...] Read more.
Mealworm, TM (Tenebrio molitor), and black soldier fly, BSF (Hermetia illucens) are of special interest for food and feed applications due to their environmental benefits such as low water and land requirements, low greenhouse gas emissions, and high feed-conversion efficiency. This study assesses the use of ultrafiltration (UF) to fractionate protein concentrates from TM and BSF (TMPC, BSFPC) in order to enhance emulsifying and foaming properties. A 30 kDa regenerated cellulose acetate membrane enabled the separation of concentrate and permeate fractions for both insect proteins from two different initial feed concentrations (10 and 7.5 g/L). Permeate flux and protein transmission behave differently depending on the insect type and the initial concentration; while for TMPC permeate flux increases with a decrease in the initial protein concentration, it is not affected for BSFPC. The existing membrane cleaning protocols are suitable for recovering water flux after UF of insect proteins, enabling membrane re-use. Emulsifying activity is maintained for all the TMPC fractions, but it is significantly lower for the permeate fractions of BSFPC. Foaming properties are maintained for all the UF fractions of BSFPC and the ones from 7.5 g/L TMPC. Acidic solubilization leads to a fraction with enhanced emulsifying capacity and one with higher foaming capacity than the original for BSFPC. This study opens the door to membrane technology for insect protein fractionation, which has not been studied so far and has already provided useful solutions for other animal and plant proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Membranes and Membrane Processes in the Food Industry)
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Review

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26 pages, 1174 KiB  
Review
Critical State of the Art of Sugarcane Industry Wastewater Treatment Technologies and Perspectives for Sustainability
by Abdoul Wahab Nouhou Moussa, Boukary Sawadogo, Yacouba Konate, Sayon dit Sadio Sidibe and Marc Heran
Membranes 2023, 13(8), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13080709 - 31 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1867
Abstract
The worldwide pressure on water resources is aggravated by rapid industrialization, with the food industry, particularly sugar factories, being the foremost contributor. Sugarcane, a primary source of sugar production, requires vast amounts of water, over half of which is discharged as wastewater, often [...] Read more.
The worldwide pressure on water resources is aggravated by rapid industrialization, with the food industry, particularly sugar factories, being the foremost contributor. Sugarcane, a primary source of sugar production, requires vast amounts of water, over half of which is discharged as wastewater, often mixed with several byproducts. The discharge of untreated wastewater can have detrimental effects on the environment, making the treatment and reuse of effluents crucial. However, conventional treatment systems may not be adequate for sugarcane industry effluent treatment due to the high organic load and variable chemical and mineral pollution. It is essential to explore pollution-remediating technologies that can achieve a nexus (water, energy, and food) approach and contribute to sustainable development. Based on the extensive literature, membrane technologies such as the membrane bioreactor have shown promising results in treating sugarcane industry wastewater, producing treated water of higher quality, and the possibility of biogas recovery. The byproducts generated from this treatment can also be recovered and used in agriculture for food security. To date, membrane technologies have demonstrated successful results in treating industrial wastewater. This critical review aims to evaluate the performance of traditional and conventional processes in order to propose sustainable perspectives. It also serves to emphasize the need for further research on operating conditions related to membrane bioreactors for valuing sugarcane effluent, to establish it as a sustainable treatment system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Membranes and Membrane Processes in the Food Industry)
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