How does a droplet dry? The question may seem trivial, but detailed understanding of the drying of concentrated dairy products is central to the design and scale-up of spray drying equipment. New experimental research, performed in collaboration with Tetra Pak, has provided new and important knowledge of the droplets’ properties throughout the drying process that can now be implemented in advanced modelling tools.
The research performed at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, by PhD Loredana Malaforte, among other things provided new and detailed information about the properties of the droplets’ surface layer throughout the drying process. This information is important, in order to understand the stickiness and the particles tendency to attach to each other in larger or smaller clusters. Furthermore, it gives input to computerized simulations predicting where in the spray dryer the droplets will be sticky, and where they will be dry or not sticky. The bottom line is a more effective design and scale-up process with less need of trial and error, and potentially great savings by longer uptimes and trouble free operation of spray drying equipment.