Buhler to unveil advances in nanotechnology

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food processing, Food, Food industry

Equipment giant Buhler is set to demonstrate how nanotechnology
could lead to complete contamination-free food processing and
superior printing, writes Anthony Fletcher.

Two of the company's business units - Grinding & Dispersion and Nanotechnology - will be present at the European Coatings Show 2005 in order to unveil new systems and processes supporting manufacturers of paints & inks and of all types of fine dispersions in developing ever finer and contamination-free products.

Buhler's​ Grinding & Dispersion and Nanotechnology units will also unveil sophisticated new applications involving the dispersion and grinding of low-viscosity to pasty products.

Nanotechnology involves the use of materials at an extremely small scale - at sizes of millionths of a millimetre - and exploit the fact that some materials have different properties at this ultra small scale from those at a larger scale.

The science could soon be used in food production, for example to detect how fresh food is. Researchers in the UK were recently awarded a £1.4 million government grant to develop a new generation of micro Rheometers to help characterise and develop liquid based products.

Furthermore, the Helmut Kaiser study, entitled "Nanofood," argues that in the future, food will be designed by shaping molecules and atoms. Nanotechnology could be also used to manufacture film and packaging inks. The study predicts that nanoscale biotechnology will have a major impact on the food and food-processing industries.

For example, Buhler will be demonstrating what it describes as an absolutely contamination-free grinding process. Metallic contaminants are prevented from entering the product through the use of ceramic or polyurethane coated components instead of steel.

New qualities in the field of wet grinding technology will also be developed. Producers of inkjet printer inks, for example, are continuously reducing the sizes of the basic particles in order to prevent clogging of nozzles and to increase the printing quality.

The required sizes are in the range of 90 to 400 nm. Buhler bead mills with their high specific energy input and unparalleled grinding media characteristics allow efficient wet micromilling in the desired size range, also of temperature-sensitive products.

Buhler Nanotechnology will also present the Buhler-tailored Nanobatch, a nanoparticle master batch tailored to customers' needs, and the Buhler-tailored Nanoprocess, a turnkey nanoparticle process integrated in customers' production systems.

In addition, for the first time ever, Buhler Nanotechnology will display its new nanoZ product in Nuremberg. This unique nanoscale zinc oxide suspension is applied in the field of industrial UV absorption.

Buhler claims that nanoZ meets top quality standards and is characterised by its narrow particle size distribution and its transparency and durability.

The European Coatings Show 2005 will run from 26 to 28 April in Nuremberg.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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