Invstigating the fouling and cleaning during the filtration of gum arabic

Emily Holt

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Gum Arabic is a dried exudation obtained from various species of Acacia trees. Around 500 species of Acacia are known, however only a few are commercially important. Acacia Senegal is mainly used in the food industry, particularly in confectionary which accounts for about 60 % of the world consumption. It also finds uses in flavourings and pharmaceutical preparations as a building and emulsifying agent.

The industrial processing of gum uses large quantities of water and energy. The application of synthetic membranes offers the possibility of reducing the carbon footprint of this important industrial process. The filtration of chemically and rheologically complex food products such as gum inevitably leads to fouling; historically this has limited the application of membranes industrially. The surface science of gum adhesion and removal processes are being investigated using real feeds, to gain an understanding of the current limitations of the application of membrane technology in processing this product. Our goal is to change industrial practice in the factory.

We report the use of membranes to treat a waste stream containing ca 1wt% gum. The effect of operating conditions (temperature, pH, flow rate and transmembrane pressure) upon the permeate flux and the transmission of gum species is reported. Chemical and hydraulic protocols to effectively regenerate the membrane have also been developed.

This project has been supported by Kerry Foods, Draycott Mills, Cam, Gloucestershire, UK
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2013
EventFaculty of Science Graduate School Research Afternoon - Bath, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jun 2013 → …


ConferenceFaculty of Science Graduate School Research Afternoon
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom
Period10/06/13 → …


Dive into the research topics of 'Invstigating the fouling and cleaning during the filtration of gum arabic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this