WO2010106296A2 - Method for reducing protein fouling on equipment for processing a protein fluid derived from milk - Google Patents

Method for reducing protein fouling on equipment for processing a protein fluid derived from milk Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2010106296A2
WO2010106296A2 PCT/FR2010/050493 FR2010050493W WO2010106296A2 WO 2010106296 A2 WO2010106296 A2 WO 2010106296A2 FR 2010050493 W FR2010050493 W FR 2010050493W WO 2010106296 A2 WO2010106296 A2 WO 2010106296A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
protein
milk
fluid
fouling
variable
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PCT/FR2010/050493
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French (fr)
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WO2010106296A3 (en
Inventor
Romuald Guerin
Gilles Ronse
Pascal Debreyne
Guillaume Delaplace
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Institut National De La Recherche Agronomique - Inra
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Priority to FR0951803 priority Critical
Priority to FR0951803A priority patent/FR2943220B1/en
Application filed by Institut National De La Recherche Agronomique - Inra filed Critical Institut National De La Recherche Agronomique - Inra
Publication of WO2010106296A2 publication Critical patent/WO2010106296A2/en
Publication of WO2010106296A3 publication Critical patent/WO2010106296A3/en

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23CDAIRY PRODUCTS, e.g. MILK, BUTTER, CHEESE; MILK OR CHEESE SUBSTITUTES; MAKING THEREOF
    • A23C3/00Preservation of milk or milk preparations
    • A23C3/02Preservation of milk or milk preparations by heating
    • A23C3/03Preservation of milk or milk preparations by heating the materials being loose unpacked
    • A23C3/033Preservation of milk or milk preparations by heating the materials being loose unpacked and progressively transported through the apparatus
    • A23C3/0332Preservation of milk or milk preparations by heating the materials being loose unpacked and progressively transported through the apparatus in contact with multiple heating plates
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F28HEAT EXCHANGE IN GENERAL
    • F28FDETAILS OF HEAT-EXCHANGE AND HEAT-TRANSFER APPARATUS, OF GENERAL APPLICATION
    • F28F19/00Preventing the formation of deposits or corrosion, e.g. by using filters or scrapers
    • F28F19/004Preventing the formation of deposits or corrosion, e.g. by using filters or scrapers by using protective electric currents, voltages, cathodes, anodes, electric short-circuits

Abstract

The present invention relates to a method for reducing protein fouling in equipment for processing a protein fluid derived from milk. The method according to the invention includes the step of subjecting said protein fluid to a variable low-frequency electromagnetic field on at least one section of a fluid circulation channel of said processing equipment.

Description

METHOD FOR REDUCING CLOGGING PROTEIN OF A TREATMENT FACILITY OF FLUID MILK PROTEIN DERIVATIVE

Technical Field of the Invention

The invention relates to the field of fouling facilities used for the treatment of proteinaceous fluid.

State of the Art The formation of protein deposits is the main cause of contamination of milk processing plants and milk derivatives. This protein fouling decreases performance, including performance, processes, affects the quality of end products and requires regular cleaning operations facilities requiring total shutdown of production. Moreover, it can be a favorable environment for bacterial growth thereby compromising the sterility and safety of end products.

The protein contamination is generally caused by thermal denaturation and aggregation of proteins in the treated fluid. It is mainly observed in heat exchangers. As regards the treatment of cow's milk and its derivatives fluids, it has been shown that the protein fouling results in thermal denaturation phenomena of aggregation and adhesion of proteins, mainly of the β-lactoglobulin. Under the effect of an elevated temperature - typically greater than 7O 0 C - the β-lactoglobulin undergoes a conformational change allowing exposure of sulfhydryl groups (Visser and Jeurnink, 1997, Experimental Thermal and FIuId Science, 14, 407- 424). These sulfhydryl groups, highly reactive, generate inter-protein disulphide bonds resulting in the formation of protein aggregates. These aggregates consist of several types of milk proteins, in particular, by proteins belonging to the families of lactoglobulins, lactalbumins and caseins. However, initiating clogging phenomenon has not been clearly established. This would be the formation of an initial layer of denatured proteins is that of protein aggregates on the surface of the pipes. (Aim and Jeurnink, 1997, Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, 14, 407-424; Bansal et al, 2006, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 5, 27-33.).

It has been shown that the protein fouling deposit formed on heating the milk to a temperature of between 7O 0 C and 1 10 0 C comprises from 50% to 70% by weight of protein, 30% to 40% by weight minerals and 4% to 8% by weight of fat, the weight percentages being based on the dry weight of said deposit (Bansal et al., 2006, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 5, 27-33) the factors allowing the formation and stabilization of protein deposition have not been clearly established. Some authors have shown that this deposit is stabilized by the presence of ions that would strengthen the adhesion forces between aggregates of proteins (Daufin et al. 1987 Milk, 67, 339-364). In contrast, other authors have shown that a high concentration of ions, to reduce protein fouling in heat exchangers used during the pasteurization operations or upérisation high temperature (UHT) milk ( Christian fl al., 2002, Trans IchemE, 80, 231 -239).

Given the health and economic impacts of protein fouling facilities, several ways of reducing protein fouling have been considered. Yoon and Lund (1994, Journal of Food Science, 59, 964-969) proposed a process of subjecting the milk to a magnetic field of 1,500 Gauss before it enters a heat exchanger But they found that this method is ineffective prevent fouling of the heat exchanger.

More generally, the protein fouling reduction methods mentioned in the prior art are based on the use of chemicals.

Thus, Hoffmann and Van Mil (1997, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 45, 2942- 2948) showed that the addition of an agent capable of blocking the thiol groups such as N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) limits forming covalent protein aggregates into a β-lactoglobulin solution brought to a high temperature. International patent application WO 2006102051 describes the use of fouling inhibitors selected from the group of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose and methylhydroxypropylcellulose.

WO 2004104271 discloses a method for reducing protein fouling of forming a coating of silicate on the surfaces of the fixture which contact the fluid milk derivative.

However, although these methods can be effective, the use of such chemicals in or on contact with fluid milk derivatives for the food industry may not meet the regulations on food safety. Currently, there exists a need for methods for reducing protein fouling in the treatment fluids from milk that are alternatives to the processes described in the prior art.

Summary of the Invention The present invention relates to a method for reducing protein fouling of an installation for treating a milk-derived protein fluid.

In a preferred embodiment, the method according to the invention comprises the step of subjecting said protein to a fluid of low frequency variable electromagnetic field on at least one section of a pipe from fluid flowing said processing facility.

In a preferred embodiment, the variable magnetic field applied to the fluid protein according to the present invention is characterized in that it has: (i) a frequency of from about 0.5 to 100 kHz and

(Ii) a magnetic component of low intensity

In a particular embodiment, said electromagnetic field of low frequency is variable electromagnetic field to discontinuous variations.

In a preferred embodiment, said variable electromagnetic field is generated by an electrical device comprising (i) a variable voltage generator device and (ii) at least one electrical coil wrapped around a fluid circulation conduit section of the treatment plant.

Another object of the present invention is the use of an electrical device that generates an electromagnetic field variable low frequency to reduce protein fouling of an installation for treating a milk-derived protein fluid.

A further object of the invention is a treatment installation of a fluid derived from milk protein fouling reduced.

Figures Figure 1 shows an example processing system of a fluid protein derived from milk according to the invention. This installation comprises, from upstream to downstream, a vessel (1), a first heating heat exchanger (preheater) (2), a plate heat exchanger (V7 driver) (3) and a tubular exchanger cooling (cooler) (4). The different units of the system are connected by fluid circulation conduits. The power generating apparatus of the variable electromagnetic field (device) (5) is positioned on the section of pipe which connects the tank to the first heat exchanger. It comprises four induction coils capacitive each connected by one of their ends to the voltage generator.

Figure 2a is a histogram showing the fouling deposit mass measured for each plate of the heat exchanger (V7 driver) of the installation of Figure 1 while processing a WPC solution when the method of the invention is applied (with electrical appliance, light bars) and when it is not applied (without electrical appliance, dark bars). Abscissa: license plate number of the heat exchanger V7. Ordinate: Filing Mass fouling in grams.

Figure 2b is a histogram showing the mass fouling deposit measured for each plate of the heat exchanger (V7 driver) of the installation of Figure 1 while processing a milk increased when the method according to the invention is applied (with electrical appliance, light bars) and when it is not applied (without electrical appliance, dark bars). Abscissa: license plate number of the heat exchanger V7. Ordinate: Filing Mass fouling in grams.

Figure 3 shows resistance curves to fouling of the plant 1 as a function of time during the processing of raw milk (squares) and a WPC solution (round) when the process according to the invention is applied (with electric apparatus, round and dark squares) and where it is not applied (without electrical appliance, round and open squares).

Abscissa: time in minutes, Ordinate: fouling resistance in m 2 .K / W.

Figure 4a is a photograph obtained by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) (magnification x 400) of a protein fragment fouling deposit collected at the V7 heat exchanger resulting from treatment of a WPC solution in the plant of Figure 1 when the process of the invention is not applied.

Figure 4b is a photograph obtained by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) (magnification x 400) of a protein fragment fouling deposit collected at the V7 heat exchanger resulting from treatment of a WPC solution in the plant of Figure 1 when the process according to the invention is applied.

Figure 5a is a histogram showing the mass of residual fouling deposit for each plate of the heat exchanger (3) after cleaning with sodium hydroxide (2% - 80 0 C - 40 min) and nitric acid (1, 5% .- 80 0 C - 30 min) in the case where the WPC solution was treated in the presence of the process according to the invention (with electric apparatus, light bars) or absence of the process according to the invention (without electrical appliance , dark bars). Abscissa: license plate number of the heat exchanger V7. Ordinate: Filing Mass fouling in grams.

Figure 5b is a histogram showing the deposition mass of residual fouling for each plate of the heat exchanger V7 after cleaning with sodium hydroxide (2% - 80 0 C - 40 min) and nitric acid (1, 5% .- 8O 0 C - 30 min) in the case where the raw milk was treated in the presence of the process according to the invention (with electric apparatus, light bars) or absence of the process according to the invention (without electrical generator device, dark bars). Abscissa: license plate number of the heat exchanger V7. Ordinate: fouling deposit mass measured after cleaning in grams.

Detailed Description of the Invention

The present invention relates to a method for reducing protein fouling of a processing system of a milk-derived protein fluid.

The method according to the invention is of simple implementation and applicable to any treatment facility. It does not require specific adaptation of the facility. It has the advantage of not requiring the addition, in the fluid, a chemical that might not meet the regulations on food safety. The method according to the invention is based on the application of an electromagnetic field of low frequency variable protein fluid milk derivative on at least one fluid circulation duct section of the treatment plant.

Surprisingly, Applicants have shown that subjecting a low-frequency fluid milk derivative to a variable electromagnetic field to at least one fluid circulation duct section of the treatment plant can significantly reduce the mass of the fouling deposit downstream of the section where the electromagnetic field is generated. In addition, applicants have also shown that the deposition of residual contamination present a very characteristic structure. When the fluid is subjected to a variable electromagnetic field, the fouling deposit has a more porous structure with a large pore size. Accordingly, it is easier to remove during cleaning operations fouling deposit formed in the absence of the variable electromagnetic field, regardless of the used cleaning process.

An "easier to eliminate" the fact that the installation cleaning step is faster and / or requires a smaller volume of cleaning solution.

Without being bound by any theory, applicants believe that the application of a low frequency variable electromagnetic field perturbs the intermolecular interactions involved in the formation and adhesion of protein aggregates. The variable electromagnetic field thus have the impact to disrupt the formation and growth of fouling deposit by reducing the intermolecular bonding forces.

In a preferred embodiment, the method for reducing the protein fouling of a processing system of a fluid protein derived from milk, comprising a step of subjecting said protein to a fluid low frequency electromagnetic field of variable at least a section of a fluid flow conduit of said processing facility.

Within the meaning of the invention, the expression "method for the reduction of protein fouling" a method for reducing the total mass of the fouling deposit and / or modify the fouling deposit structure on at least one part of the plant downstream of the section where there is applied the variable electromagnetic field. Reducing fouling obtained by the method according to the invention is illustrated in the examples of the present application by comparing (i) the properties of the fouling deposit obtained during the processing of a protein fluid when the process according to the invention is applied with (ii) the properties of the fouling deposit obtained in the same treatment fluid of a protein but without application of the method according to the invention. To determine if there is reduction of protein fouling may for example compare the total mass of deposits of protein fouling (i) and (ii) on a characteristic area of ​​the installation. If the mass of protein fouling deposit (i) is less than 95% of the mass of the fouling deposit (ii) then it is considered that there is reduction in fouling. fouling deposits of the masses can be measured for example to a plate heat exchanger situated downstream of the section where the variable is to be generated electromagnetic field by weighing of the plates before and after soiling. This method is illustrated in Example 1 of this application. It is also possible to compare the fouling deposits of structures (i) and (ii), for example, by scanning electron microscopy as illustrated in Example 3. It is considered that there is reduction in fouling if fouling deposit (i) has a less compact and more porous structure than that observed for the fouling deposit (ii). The term "treatment facility" means any facility for treating a milk-derived protein fluid. This installation can be a facility used for experiments in the laboratory, pilot plant or an industrial facility. The sense treatment installation of the invention comprises at least one conduit of fluid circulation and, preferably, at least one heat exchanger. The term "heat exchanger" a flow field defined by walls equipment where the fluid undergoes heat exchange.

The term "treatment" any physicochemical operation leading to a change in the initial condition of the fluid milk derivative. Treatment term is taken in its broadest sense. By way of illustration and non-limiting physicochemical operation may be a heating operation, sterilization, pasteurization, filtration, skimming, drying, cooking, texturing or addition of one or more compounds chemical.

The term "fluid milk protein derivative" means any fluid comprising one or more proteins derived from milk. By way of illustration and not limiting, it can be cited as serum proteins from milk proteins such as casein, lactalbumin and lactoglobulin them. These proteins may be recombinant or non-recombinant. And milk-derived protein fluids include whole milk, partially or completely defatted milk, whey powder, concentrated solutions of milk proteins such as WPC solutions, dietary infant formula, the list not being limiting.

The term "electromagnetic field" field resulting from the combination of an electric field and a magnetic field. The electromagnetic field also includes the meaning of the invention the electric fields and magnetic fields.

The term "variable electromagnetic field" a field that is not constant over time, that is to say the intensity and / or direction varies with time. The term "low frequency" a frequency less than 5.10 2 kHz. The variable electromagnetic field can be generated by any suitable device known to those skilled in the art. According to the invention, said device must be able to generate a variable electromagnetic field within the fluid protein derived from milk through the wall of the circulating line without affecting the operation and installation environment In general, a electromagnetic field of low intensity that is to say in which the magnetic component is of the order of 10 -4 to 10 -1 tesla is sufficient to reduce protein fouling. The maximum value for the intensity of the electromagnetic field generating means according to the invention has not been determined but it goes without saying that it is preferable to generate an electromagnetic field sufficiently low mean intensity not to disturb the environment and be neutral vis-à-vis operators.

However, it is necessary that the frequency of variation of the electromagnetic field is sufficiently high to disrupt intermolecular interactions and thus reduce protein fouling. However, a frequency of the order of 10 2 kHz is usually sufficient.

In some embodiments, the method according to the invention, the frequency of the electromagnetic field is at least about 0.5 kHz and at most about 100 kHz. Is meant a frequency of at least about 0.5 kHz at least about 0.5 kHz, 10 kHz, 15 kHz, 20 kHz, 25 kHz, 30 kHz, 35 kHz, 40 kHz, 45 kHz. Mean frequency exceeding 100 kHz, a frequency of up to about 50 kHz, 55 kHz, 60 kHz, 65 kHz, 70 kHz, 75 kHz, 80 kHz, 90 kHz, 10O kHz.

Within the meaning of the invention, the term "about" defines a range of ± 10% around a given value. So when one mentions a frequency of about 40 kHz this means that the frequency belongs to the range of 36 kHz to 44 kHz. Thus, in a preferred embodiment, the variable electromagnetic field applied to the fluid protein according to the present invention is characterized in that it has:

(I) a frequency of from about 0.5 to about 100 kHz and

(Ii) a magnetic component of low intensity

Without being bound by theory, applicants believe that electromagnetic fields to disrupt discontinuous variations stronger intermolecular interactions than do electromagnetic fields whose intensity and / or orientation varies continuously over time.

Thus, in a particular embodiment, said electromagnetic field of low frequency is variable electromagnetic field to discontinuous variations. The term "electromagnetic field discontinuous changes" a varying electromagnetic field whose strength and / or direction changes very abruptly (ie almost instantly said) over time. For example, the pulsed electromagnetic fields (or pulse) are fields with discontinuous changes since their intensities almost instantly vary from zero to a maximum value. The occurrence of the pulses is determined by the frequency of the electromagnetic field.

The variable electromagnetic field can be generated by an electrical appliance. Preferably, this electrical device generates a variable electromagnetic field according to one of electromagnetic induction principles well known in the art. (G. BRUHAT Chapter XXXII during Electricity 8th overall physical edition Masson et Cie Editors). The apparatus may include (i) a variable voltage generator device and (ii) one or more inductors. The inductors may be comprised of son, rods or conductors that are available around plates, or both sides, with a fluid circulation pipe section of the treatment plant. The inductors are electrically insulated from the pipe on which they are arranged and are each connected by at least one end of the variable voltage generator.

The inductors are isolated, and are applied to the outside of the pipe. The drivers do not behave as electrodes. The variable voltage generator device is in the sense of the invention an electrical or electronic circuit delivering a variable voltage. It can have multiple outputs based on the number of inductors connected to it. The electrical device may be a variable voltage generator or comprise a plurality of voltage generators, the essential being that the variable voltage generating means supplies the one or more inductors with a voltage capable of generating the desired electromagnetic field. Indeed, the nature of the variable voltage supplying the drivers condition the nature of the generated variable electromagnetic field.

The variable voltage may correspond to an AC or DC variable. by variable direct current means a constant sign variable current.

The voltage signal from the current supplied may be any shape eg square, pulse, triangular or sinusoidal. The skilled person, of his general knowledge, will determine the characteristics of the variable voltage generator device capable of inducing the desired electromagnetic field.

By way of illustration and not limiting, a pulsed electromagnetic field with a frequency of 20 kHz can be generated by a pulse generator supplying a pulse voltage of 20 kHz

As indicated above, it may be advantageous that the electromagnetic field to be discontinuous variations to strongly disrupt intermolecular interactions. Such an electromagnetic field within the meaning of the invention can be generated, inter alia, if the inductors of the electrical apparatus are powered by a voltage to discontinuous variations such as voltages bearings or pulse voltages.

Thus in some embodiments of the method, the electrical device according to the invention comprises a variable voltage generator supplying the inductor with a voltage selected from the voltages to levels and pulse voltages

Within the meaning of the invention, a stepped voltage is a voltage whose value almost instantaneously varies between different levels. The bearings may be of the same sign or of opposite signs. As an example of voltage levels include the square-shaped voltages which are worth a constant value (i) during a first portion of the period and a value (ii) different from the constant value (i) during the second part of the period. Modulating the frequency of the supplied signal can increase disrupting intermolecular interactions.

Thus in some embodiments of the method, the variable voltage supplying the inductors is frequency modulated. According to the inductors used, a pulse voltage or a square having a peak-to-peak from about 1 V to about 60 V and a frequency of between 0.5 kHz and 100 kHz is likely to generate a variable electromagnetic field capable effectively reduce protein fouling.

In a preferred embodiment, an inductor is an electric wire that can be wound without overlapping around the pipe so as to form an electrical coil.

Thus, in a preferred embodiment of the method, said variable electromagnetic field is generated by an electrical device comprising (i) a variable voltage generator device and (ii) at least one electric coil wound around a circulation duct section fluidic installing treatment. When the apparatus comprises a plurality of electrical coils, it is preferable that the coils do not touch. It is therefore necessary to leave a space of at least one centimeter between said coils when they are disposed on the driving fluid circulation.

In some of the method embodiments, the electrical apparatus comprises one or more coils each connected at both ends to the variable voltage generator device.

These coils correspond to inductor coils (or magnetic induction). The electrical device can comprise from 1 to 10 coil, of preferably 1 to the 4 coils. The induction coils can be powered by the same voltage signal or by different voltage signals. They can operate in phase or out of phase. The skilled person may use, for example, a commercial aircraft of ScaleBlaster® range marketed by Clearwater Enviro Technologies. Depending on the dimensions of the processing facility, the skilled artisan will determine the proper device from the available devices. For example, it can also be cited application EP0357102 which discloses a device suitable for implementing the method according to the invention.

In other embodiments, the electrical device comprises at least two electric coils which are connected to variable voltage generation means each by one of their two ends. Said coils then correspond to capacitive induction coils. The electrical device can comprise from 2 to 10 coil, preferably two or four coils.

The spacing between two coils capacitive induction can vary from a few centimeters to tens of centimeters. A larger spacing may affect the generation of variable electromagnetic field. Illustrative and non-limiting, FR 2643651 and FR 2607574 patents describe a suitable electrical device the method according to the invention and comprising coils said capacitive induction. Furthermore, the skilled person may use a marketed device such as device kaik Max® IT2 of MAXX Tech company or D-CALC® company Gottschalk Industries NV devices. Depending on the size of the treatment plant, the skilled artisan will determine the appropriate device from the available devices. It should be noted that the inductors of kaik Max® IT2 device are powered by a square wave voltage.

In some embodiments, the electrical device comprises both at least one induction coil and at least two coils capacitive induction. Although in some cases it is possible to arrange the coils on a metal pipe such as a pipe section galvanized, galvanized, copper, stainless steel, it is preferable to have the coils on a pipe insulating material such as PVC.

As illustrated above, the skilled person may either (i) use an electrical device suitable commercially available or (ii) developing an appropriate electrical device the method according to the invention based e.g. the teaching of patent documents mentioned above and using the general knowledge in electromagnetism.

In a preferred embodiment of the method, the electrical device according to the invention comprises:

(I) a variable voltage generator delivering a voltage to discontinuous variations, optionally frequency-modulated, and

(Ii) at least two electric coils each connected by one of their ends to the variable voltage generator.

The protein fouling occurs mainly in areas of the facility where the milk derived protein fluid is carried or circulated at a high temperature. Within the meaning of the invention, an elevated temperature is a temperature capable of inducing protein denaturation of a protein fluid. As regards the milk protein, an elevated temperature is a temperature above about 7O 0 C.

Accordingly, the method according to the invention is mainly adapted to reduce protein fouling of a processing system of a milk-derived fluid comprising at least one heating heat exchanger.

Thus in a preferred embodiment, said plant comprises at least one heating heat exchanger.

by heating heat exchanger is meant a heat exchanger capable of increasing the temperature of the fluid derived from milk under certain conditions. By way of illustration and not limiting, of heating heat exchangers that may be mentioned tubular heat exchangers and plate heat exchangers. In some embodiments, said plant comprises at least one plate heat exchanger. It should be noted that the reducing effect of protein fouling generated by the method according to the invention is detectable downstream of the duct section on which is disposed the power generating apparatus of the variable electromagnetic field, at the areas of installation where the fluid is heated or flows at an elevated temperature. By way of illustration and not limitation, said zones include fluid circulation pipes, the heating heat exchangers, reactors chambering, the cooking reactor, heated evaporators, dryers atomizers. A treatment facility according to the invention may comprise one or more previously cited areas.

Applicants have shown that the application of varying electromagnetic field to reduce protein fouling in the flow volume but also in the areas of the plant downstream of the section where there is applied the variable electromagnetic field, e.g. several meters or tens of meters of pipes.

Indeed, the time of recovery of the initial properties of the fluid (that is to say, its properties prior to processing by the variable electromagnetic field) is generally much greater than the residence time in the plant.

Thus, in a particular embodiment, the electrical device generating the varying electromagnetic field must be located near the entrance of the installation that is to say immediately downstream of the feed zone or fluid injection of the treatment plant.

In such a configuration, the electromagnetic field is generated upstream of all areas of the processing facility where the fluid is heated or flows at an elevated temperature. This can reduce protein fouling of all of said zones.

It is also possible to arrange the electrical device current generator on any one pipe section of the installation located upstream of the zone or zones where it is desired to reduce protein fouling on the condition that the temperature of the outer wall said section does not exceed the operating temperature limit of said device. If using a commercial device the skilled person may refer to the technical note to be aware of the operating temperature limit.

For treatment facilities comprising a plurality of areas where the fluid is carried or circulated at an elevated temperature and / or for systems in which the residence time of the fluid is high, it is possible to install at least two electrical generating equipment variable electromagnetic field in order to obtain an overall effect of reducing fouling higher. Electromagnetic fields can be identical or different, the important thing is that they verify the previously mentioned characteristics.

Thus, in some embodiments, the method according to the invention comprises the step of subjecting said protein to a fluid of low frequency variable electromagnetic field generated on at least two separate sections of fluid circulation pipe of said processing facility.

Preferably, said sections are positioned upstream of a heating heat exchanger. While the application of a variable electromagnetic field reduces the protein fouling of the treatment plant fluid milk derivative, it may still be necessary to carry out regular cleanings of the plant to eliminate the deposit formed of residual dirt.

Thus, in some embodiments, the method according to the invention comprises the further step of removing the deposition of protein fouling formed in the processing facility.

To eliminate the protein deposition fouling, the skilled person can use a standard procedure in the art. For example, after stopping the operation of the treatment installation and remove residual proteinaceous fluid, those skilled in the art will be able to circulate in the installation two washes, a caustic solution such as sodium hydroxide solution and acid solution such as a strong nitric acid followed by a water rinsing step. It goes without saying that those skilled in the art will choose the cleaning and rinsing solutions according to the characteristics of the installation in particular the nature of the materials constituting it. As stated above, the fluid milk protein derivative is a fluid comprising at least one milk serum protein. In certain embodiment, the fluid milk protein derivative is selected from the group consisting of reconstituted solutions of milk proteins, whey solutions, milk and dairy food preparations.

For the purposes of the invention, the term milk refers to whole milk from a mammal. Preferably, it is a usable milk for the manufacture of food products for humans and animals. By way of illustration and not limitation of milk used in the food industry include cow's milk, buffalo milk, milk yak, camel milk, sheep milk, goat milk, milk donkey and horse milk.

The term Milky food preparation derived from milk or any liquid or semi-liquid comprising a milk derivative that is used for the preparation of food for humans or pets.

By way of illustration and not limiting, of such foods include concentrated milk and milk powder and milk drinks, yoghurts, cheeses, cream desserts, ice creams in which the dairy raw material is combined with various suitable agents comprising among other things, flavorings, colorings and texturing agents.

By way of illustration and not limiting, it can be cited as milk drinks yogurt drinks, the skimmed milk, semi-skimmed or whole, UHT or pasteurized possibly flavored. In a preferred embodiment, the processing facility of the milk protein derived fluid is a usable treatment plant for the manufacture of a milk-derived food.

By way of illustration and not limiting, it may be cited the facilities allowing the skimming, pasteurization or upérisation high milk temperature.

Among the many advantages of the method according to the invention, it may be mentioned that it can allow, among others:

(I) to operate the heat exchanger at maximum capacity over a larger period of time thereby increasing productivity; (Ii) reduce the energy costs associated with fouling deposit (iii) reducing the frequency of cleaning which allows both to ensure the safety of installations and reduce the environmental impact. This point helps increase the life of the installation and reduce maintenance costs.

Another object of the present invention is the use of an electrical device that generates an electromagnetic field variable low frequency to reduce protein fouling of an installation for treating a milk-derived protein fluid.

A further object of the invention is an installation for treatment or processing of a fluid derived from milk protein with reduced fouling. In a preferred embodiment, said treatment installation includes

(I) a feeding means or injection of fluid protein (ii) a heating heat exchanger

(Iii) means for output of fluid protein treated or processed

(Iv) a plurality of fluid circulation pipes for connecting the various parts of the treatment installation and,

(V) an electrical device generating an electromagnetic field of low frequency variable, said device being placed at least one section of a pipe from fluid circulation installation

The installation of the invention is intended for the food industry. These fluid circulation pipes are stainless steel, plastic or have an internal coating suitable for processes of the food industry. Furthermore, said apparatus may also include one or more devices for performing a processing operation such as heating operation, sterilization, pasteurization, filtration, skimming, drying, spray cooking , texturing or addition of one or more chemical compounds.

The installation according to the invention is also characterized in that a protein derived fluid food grade milk is outstanding in its fluid circulation conduits. The present invention is also illustrated by the examples below, without being limited thereto.

EXAMPLES

1. MATERIALS AND METHODS a. Facility Description

The treatment facility comprises from upstream to downstream, a vessel (1), a first heating heat exchanger (preheater) (2), a plate heater heat exchanger (V7 driver) (3) and a cooling heat exchanger (cooler) (4). The different units of the system are connected by fluid circulation pipes Electrical Appliance variable electromagnetic field generator (device) (5) is positioned on the section of pipe which connects the tank to the first heat exchanger. It comprises four coils capacitive induction, each connected by one of their ends to the current generator pulse (Fig. 1). The fitted line section of the coils is covered with a sheath which electrically insulates the pipe wall and the coils.

b. solutions used

Fouling experiments were carried out for two fluids protein derived from milk: a raw cow's milk and a WPC solution

The WPC solution was prepared by resuspension in water a whey protein concentrate (PROTARMOR 750 ARMOR PROTEIN). This concentrate comprises at least 75% by weight protein, 5% fat, 13% lactose and 6% moisture content. Β- lactoglobulin and α-lactalbumin are respectively approximately 63% to 1 1% by weight of the total protein fraction. The final WPC solution comprises 1% (w / w) of the concentrate c. Getting œuyre fouling the reduction process

The electrical device is the device used kaik Max® IT2 sold by MAXX Tech. It comprises (i) a variable voltage generator and (ii) four coils capacitive induction. The four coils are wound in pairs in the same direction but in an opposite direction on a non-metal pipe of 8 mm diameter in the cold zone of the installation (preheater inlet 4 <€ - Fig. 1). Each coil is connected by one end to the variable voltage generator. The length of the coil is 23 cm for each of the coils. The applied voltage peak to peak (maximum voltage) is 28V at a frequency of 13.7, 20 or 28kHz. The voltage supplying the inductor is a square voltage levels -14 V and + 14V and frequency set to 13.7 kHz, 20 kHz or 28 kHz. The voltage peak to peak (maximum voltage) is 28V. 2. Example 1: Measurement of the mass of the fouling deposit V7 thermal échanqeur

at. Protocol Before the implementation of the treatment fluid (raw milk or WPC solution) according to the experimental conditions "with" and "without" the electrical device, the plates of the heat exchanger V7 plates (3) are weighed thereby determine their mass (i) before fouling (clean plates). After the implementation of the treatment fluid, the plates were again weighed thereby determine their mass after fouling We can deduce the mass (ii) deposit on From the difference of the masses (i) and (ii) is deduced for each plate of the exchanger mass fouling deposit. It is then possible to draw a deposit of distribution histogram in this exchanger.

b. Results Using the method according to the invention significantly reduces the mass of protein present fouling deposit on the hot surfaces of about 35% after test 5.30 to 15% after 4h15, respectively for the solution of WPC (Fig. 2 a) and the raw milk

(Fig. 2b) (see Table 1).

It should be noted a difference in reducing fouling masses on hot surfaces in the case of treatment of the whey protein solution (35%) and raw milk

(15%). This difference is explained by a reduced processing time for raw milk namely

4:15 instead of 5:30 for the WPC solution.

Extrapolation of the kinetics of deposition of raw milk at 5.30, obtained with and without device, would lead to a difference in mass of the deposit of fouling of neighboring 30%. This value is perfectly in line with that achieved in the heat treatment of the whey protein solution.

3. Example 2: Resistance to fouling

at. Method of measurement the resistance to fouling

When there is dirt, there is need to increase the thermal power provided to maintain the desired thermal program. It is therefore possible to follow the fouling of the exchanger deferring time changes in the overall heat transfer coefficient or its normalized value of the overall heat transfer coefficient of clean exchanger. It is also customary to represent the deterioration of thermal performance of a heat exchanger by changing the fouling resistance over time. This quantity corresponds to the inverse of the heat transfer coefficient. b. Results

The fouling resistance is reduced by 25% and 16%, respectively to the WPC solution and the raw milk. This difference leads to a saving of energy ranging from 4.5 to 6% (Fig. 3). After 5 4M processing, the deviations of fouling resistances obtained with and without the device are 19% and 16%, respectively for the raw milk and the whey protein solution.

4. EXAMPLE 3: Structure of deposition of protein fouling

at. Protocol

fouling deposits samples were taken from the plates of the achangeur V7 and observed by scanning electron microscopy (magnification x 400).

b. Results

The structure of deposits obtained in the two cases differ dramatically.

In the absence of electrical device, the deposit obtained after contamination with a solution of WPC has a compact structure, smooth, very little ventilated with small diameter pores (Fig. 4a). The deposit obtained with the use of the device has a more open structure with pores of larger diameter (Fig. 4b). Thus, the more airy and looser deposit would be more easily removed exchange surfaces by cleaning solutions

5. EXAMPLE 4 Mass deposit residual protein contamination after cleaning installation

at. Protocol

After rinsing with the end of the test water, the heat exchanger plates (3) are dried and weighed as described above, they are then lifts to undergo cleaning. At the end of this cleaning, the plates were again removed and weighed to determine the mass of residual deposit. In our case, in the case of a substantially protein deposition, the installation is cleaned first with a 2% soda solution at a temperature of 8O 0 C, and secondly after rinsing with water, with a solution of nitric acid to 1, 5% to 8O 0 C; This acidic solution eliminates minerals in the deposit. Cleaning finishes with a water rinse at room temperature. b. Results

The fouling deposit structure has a significant impact on cleaning the installation. Indeed, the mass of residual deposition after the cleaning cycle is greatly reduced from 13.3 g to 1, 9 g (-86%) and 25.6 g to 2.4 g (-91%), respectively to the WPC solution and for raw milk (Fig. 5). The residual mass obtained with the device (1, 9 or 2.4 g) corresponds to the deposit located at the contact points of the plates, frequently encountered and known problem. The residual mass obtained without device (13.3 g or 25.6) corresponds to a uniformly distributed deposition on the plates, and not just localized to the contact points (see Table 1).

The modification of the Deposit structure resulting from the method according to the invention facilitates cleaning by promoting a priori diffusion of hydroxyl ions through the increase in porosity.

6. Summary Table The table below summarizes the results of fouling experiments. Table 1: Contamination experiments results summary

Figure imgf000018_0001

Claims

claims
1. A process for reducing protein fouling of a processing system of a fluid protein derived from milk, said method comprising a step of subjecting said protein fluid to an electromagnetic field of low frequency variable over at least a section a fluid circulation conduit of said process facility and wherein said variable electromagnetic field has a frequency from about 0.5 kHz to about 100 kHz and a magnetic component of low intensity.
2. A method according to claim 1 characterized in that the variable electromagnetic field is an electromagnetic field to discontinuous variations
3. A method according to any one of claims 1 or 2 characterized in that the variable electromagnetic field is generated by an electrical device comprising (i) a variable current generating means and (ii) one or more inductors arranged around or on either and the other of said fluid flow duct section of the treatment plant.
4. A method according to claim 3 characterized in that the electrical apparatus comprises one or more electrical coils wound around said fluid circulation duct section of the treatment plant as inducers.
5. A method according to claim 4 characterized in that said electrical apparatus comprises at least one electric coil connected at both ends to said variable current generator device.
6. A method according to claim 4 characterized in that said electrical apparatus comprises at least two electric coils each connected by one end to variable current generating device.
7. A method according to claim 6 characterized in that said electrical apparatus comprises
(I) a variable voltage generator delivering a voltage selected from the group consisting of square wave voltages and the pulse voltage, possibly frequency-modulated, and (ii) at least two interconnected electric coils each by one of their ends the variable voltage generator.
8. A method according to any of claims 4-7 characterized in that the electrical apparatus is disposed on a fluid circulation conduit section located at the entrance to the processing facility.
9. A method according to any one of claims 1 to 8 characterized in that said processing system comprises at least one heating heat exchanger.
10. A method according to any one of claims 1 to 9 characterized in that said milk-derived protein fluid is selected from the group consisting of reconstituted solutions of milk proteins, whey, milk and milk-derived food preparations
1 1. Process according to any one of claims 1 to 10, said method comprising the additional step of removing protein fouling of the processing facility.
12. Use of an electric device generating a low-frequency variable magnetic field to reduce protein fouling of an installation for treating a milk-derived protein fluid.
13. An installation for treating a protein derived from milk fluid comprising (i) supply means or protein fluid injection
(Ii) a heating heat exchanger
(Iii) means for output of fluid protein treated or processed
(Iv) a plurality of fluid flow lines and,
(V) an electrical device generating a variable frequency electromagnetic field from 0.5 kHz to 100 kHz, said device being placed on at least a section of a driving fluid circulation installation.
PCT/FR2010/050493 2009-03-20 2010-03-18 Method for reducing protein fouling on equipment for processing a protein fluid derived from milk WO2010106296A2 (en)

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