Continuous crystallization is one of the emerging technologies that has been widely investigated recently. Most of the advancements have happened in the pharmaceutical industry, and for the continuous crystallization of small molecules, all of the platforms have been in the liquid phase. There has not been any work in continuous solid-phase crystallization for complex matrices, when the solid domain (micron sized particles) consists of a small and large molecule mixture.
This work presents a novel technique for continuous solid-phase crystallization of dairy powders, as a model system, which contains lactose (small molecule, initially amorphous), proteins (large molecules, which have few effects on the crystallization process through different molecular interaction with lactose and water), and minerals. Experimental results and mathematical modeling of the process demonstrate the performance of the system for a wide range of processing conditions and lactose/protein ratios. The ability of the technique to manipulate the particles’ micro-structure, and to design the particles’ physico-chemical properties, by controlled and partial crystallization of the powders, will also be discussed.
The challenges for powder processing at highly critical conditions, crystallization within a complex matrix, and implementation of the technique for the industrial applications, will be presented. The approaches to overcome these challenges, as well as the gap in the knowledge and potentialities for further improvements will also be discussed.
The wide applications of the technique are in the Pharmaceutical, Food, and BioNanotechnology industries for solid-phase and solvent-exchange crystallization, and conditioning of the particles’ structure.
See more of this Group/Topical: Process Development Division