Journal of Food Engineering, Vol.100, No.3, 551-556, 2010
The effects of operating conditions on lactose crystallization in a pilot-scale spray dryer
The effects of operating conditions on the rate of drying and degree of crystallinity of lactose have been explored in a pilot-scale spray dryer. Temperature, moisture content, feed flow rate, atomizing air-flow rate, main air-flow rate and particle size have been varied to estimate the range of crystallinity of lactose obtainable in a pilot-scale spray dryer. Modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC) and sorption tests (water-induced crystallization) have been used to assess the degree of crystallinity for freshly spraydried samples. The degree of crystallinity Could be varied from 18% to 72% by varying the operating conditions while allowing reasonable drying of the material. The study suggested that the use of a lower inlet temperature increased the crystallinity of the product from 25% (at 230 degrees C) to 60% (at 170 degrees C). A decrease in product crystallinity was also noted when using a lower atomizing air-flow rate. Statistical analysis with t-tests confirmed these differences to be significant with 95% confidence. The results suggest differences between small and pilot-scale spray dryers due to differences in particle sizes and drying rates. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.