Membrane fouling during the fractionation of phytosterols isolated from orange juice

Nurul Hainiza Abd-Razak, Y. M.John Chew, Michael R. Bird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (SciVal)
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The aim of this study is to isolate phytosterol compounds from orange juice using ultrafiltration (UF) flat sheet membranes (supplied by Alfa Laval) with molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) values of 10 kDa fabricated from regenerated cellulose, polyethersulphone and fluoropolymer. A cross-flow filtration rig operated at a transmembrane pressure (TMP) of 0.5–2 bar, and a cross-flow velocity (CFV) of 0.5–1.5 m s−1. Membrane rejection towards total phytosterols, proteins, sugars were determined along with antioxidant activity. The regenerated cellulose membrane displayed the highest permeate flux (a pseudo steady-state value of 22 L m−2 h−1), with a higher fouling index (75%) and a good separation efficiency of phytosterols (32% rejection towards phytosterols) from orange juice. Although the yield of phytosterols was relatively low (40 mg/L), there is a great potential to optimise the filtration process to produce commercially relevant amount of phytosterols. All membranes investigated displayed cleaning efficiencies of >95%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-21
Number of pages12
JournalFood and Bioproducts Processing
Early online date20 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Cleaning
  • Fouling
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Orange juice
  • Phytosterols
  • Ultrafiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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