One of the main challenges in the food & beverage industry is the inactivation of microorganisms (pasteurization). Thermal treatment of such products as milk and fruit-based beverages (generally, at over 70 °C) is currently the most commonly applied pasteurization method. Unfortunately, this approach causes significant deterioration of many of these products' attributes, such as flavor, color and nutritional quality. Alternative, non-thermal pasteurization methods that can not only ensure the microbial safety of the products, but also preserve their quality are, therefore, of great interest to this industry.
Liquids exposed to high-intensity ultrasound can undergo acoustic cavitation. This phenomenon can typically be seen as a cloud of bubbles forming in the vicinity of the ultrasonic source (e.g., ultrasonic horn) and heard as an intense hissing noise. Cavitation is the formation of low-pressure voids (a.k.a., vacuum bubbles or cavities) in the liquid, which grow, briefly oscillate and then asymmetrically implode with great intensity.
Are you introducing ultrasound as a new technological solution for your liquid processing application? If so, some terms used in the ultrasonic industry may be unfamiliar. With this in mind, we are launching a series of blog posts that will cover the most common ultrasonic equipment and processing-related terminology.
This first post will focus on the terms used to describe the main components of an Industrial Sonomechanics (ISM) ultrasonic liquid processor and show you how these components work together.