Mitsutoshi Nakajima, University of Tsukuba

Title: Microchannel array emulsification for size-controlled food emulsions and microcapsules
Session: 10:10


Microchannel array emulsification for size-controlled food emulsions and microcapsules

The properties of functional foods depend largely on their micro- and/or nano-scale structure. Preparation of functional foods is based on conventional large-scale processing and may lead to foods with less-controlled structure. In this regard, micro-/nano-technology has great advantages in the formulation of functional foods. Our research group in Univ Tsukuba and National Food Research Institute has investigated microchannel (MC) array emulsification for producing monosized emulsion droplets and their utilization.
MC array devices have two configurations, one is groove type and the other is assymmetric straight flow-through type. The groove MC with channel size 0.05 - 100 m can produce monosized droplets ranging in size from 0.3 – 300 m. The asymmetric straight flow-through MC with channel size of 1 - 300 m can produce monosized droplets varying in size between 3 and 1000 m. From both experimental and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approaches it was clear that, MC array emulsification is ruled by interfacial tension based mechanisms. Below a critical pressure, droplet size is constant and not affected by dispersed flow rate, while the droplet size is almost proportional to the channel size, and the maximum droplet formation rate per channel is inversely proportional to the channel size.
The construction material of the devices mentioned above was crystal silicon plate, but besides we have also manifactured asymmetric straight flow-through aluminum and stainless steel MC arrays, and compared their performance. MC array emulsification technologies can be used for formulation of monosized oil-in-water and water-in-oil and multi-phase emulsion droplets and for microcapsules with release controlled systems for application in food and pharmaceutical industries.


Mitsutoshi Nakajima was born in Kumamoto, Japan, in 1954. He graduated the University of Tokyo in 1976, and received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tokyo, Japan, in 1982. He worked on food engineering projects in Kyushu University (1980–1985), National Food Research Institute (1985–2007), and University of Tsukuba (2007–present). He was Post Doc in ETH, Switzerland in 1988-89, and Visiting Professor in Karlsruhe University, Germany in 2002. He was the Director, Alliance for Research on North Africa (ARENA) between 2008 and 13. Currently, he is Professor, Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Tsukuba, Japan. His current research interests include food engineering, downstream processing of algae biomass, and food micro/nano-process systems, such as microchannel emulsification. He has published about 300 research papers, and 50 patents. He was awarded by Minister of Education, Japan, by the Development of Microchannel Emulsification Technology, and last August 2015, he was also awarded from Japan Food Engineering Society, entitled "Formulation of Micro/Nano Structured Foods".

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