Homogenization

Homogenization is the process uniformly distributing particles or components within a liquid when at least one of the components is not soluble in the other. In the case of milk and milk fat, the milk fat is not soluble in the milk. Through homogenization the fat particles are reduced in size so they do not separate and are uniformly dispersed in the milk. This process is done under pressure through an orifice after which the fat particles impact homogenizer ring breaking them down into smaller particles. The pressure under which this is done is generally between 1,500 and 2,500 pound per square inch. Other components in the mix will also under go this process and pressure to be evenly distributed in the mix.

In the FDC pilot lab, hot mix is taken manually from the Stephan vat pasteurizer and process through the homogenizer before cooling. In the Babcock Dairy Plant, the homogenization step is integrated into the pasteurization process when the mix is in the HTST.