Dairy Establishment Inspection Manual – Chapter 14 - Aseptic Processing and Packaging Systems
1.14.15 Homogenizer

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The homogenizer is a high pressure pump that produces a homogenized product by reducing the size of fat globules as they are forced through a small orifice under high pressure. Since the homogenizer is a positive pump, it can be utilized as a flow control device. If the homogenizer is utilized as a flow control device, its compliance requirements are to be rated under the Flow Control Device (1.14.06.01 to 1.14.06.03).

1.14.15.01 General Conditions

Filters, homogenization valves, pistons, seat valves, pressure gauges and dead ends must be clean and in good mechanical condition. All product contact surfaces must be stainless steel or other food grade, non-corrosive material. All homogenizers should be equipped with appropriate gauges.

Homogenizers installed downstream from the holding tube in the aseptic zone shall be of an aseptic design, to prevent contamination of the sterilized product.

1.14.15.02 Homogenizer Larger Than FCD

This homogenizer must be designed and installed so that the flow rate is not affected. The manufacturer must be able to demonstrate that any homogenizer located downstream does not affect the flow rate (e.g. physical break, pressure sensors in holding tube, FCD is a MBTS, etc.) If a homogenizer located downstream from the flow control device has a capacity greater than the flow control device, then the homogenizer must not be a flow promoter.

One way to achieve this is to have a recirculation line between the inlet (suction line) and the outlet (pressure line) of the homogenizer installed to prevent the homogenizer from starving. This line shall be unrestricted and shall not contain a shut-off valve, but may contain a check valve allowing flow only from the outlet back to the inlet. The diameter of the recirculation line including the check valve shall be equal or greater than the supply line to the homogenizer. Other acceptable systems could also achieve this requirement.

The homogenizer must not reduce the holding time, and must not reduce the pressure required in the holding tube to keep the product in the liquid phase.

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