Separation Process

The removal of some component from the original food or beverage product.

Food Process


Food Use Examples

Used at Home




Use of a rotational force to separate food components, (e.g., fat) by size, density, shape or thickness

Separation of butterfat in milk, fruit pulp in fruit juice


Enables separation and concentration of food components

Separation can remove some nutrients present in the original food or beverage source


Adhesion or collection of particles into a common mass (e.g. cheese curd) to increase density, solidify, or separate solid from liquid

Cheese and eggs


Enables concentration of food components, such as protein in cheese curd in making cheese; change in the protein structure could help with consumption of a food product (e.g., hard-boiled eggs vs. raw egg)

Separation of some nutrients present in the food, for example, whey proteins in milk; changes in the protein structure could affect digestion


Precipitating a solid food component from a liquid mixture as crystals

Sugar, candy, butter and margarine, solid fats, ice cream, and fudge


Easy to use/consume the food product (e.g., dissolves better or improves mouthfeel); changes the melting point at which the product (e.g., fat crystals) melts to keep the product stable in warm climate

Loss of beneficial nutrients due to separation from original food product

Filtration & Separation (including membranes)

Separating larger components by passing a fluid under pressure through size restricted porous membrane

Water, fruit pulps, milk, whey, and other dairy products


Improves quality, safety, or taste by removing unwanted components (e.g., salts from water); concentrates desired components important in product formulation (e.g., proteins in milk to formulate beverages with high protein content)

Loss of beneficial nutrients due to separation from the original food source


Separating food products/ingredients from other materials by size, color, shape, appearance, or other criteria

Fruits and vegetables, grains, coffee beans, potato chips, and corn chips


Removes damaged or undesirable food products (e.g., burnt cereal pieces or bruised fruit) to maintain and improve food quality

Food waste (edible food is not used because the food product does not meet certain quality specification, leading to additional food waste)

Thermal Concentration & Evaporation

Heating a liquid food or ingredient to vaporize more volatile components (e.g., water) to obtain a higher concentrated product or ingredient

Milk and dairy products, fruit juice, starch, food flavors


Provides a concentrated product (e.g., evaporated milk); easy to transport the product due to reduced volume (e.g., concentrated juice); food safety due to lower water content

Potential loss of heat-sensitive vitamin(s); changes flavor, color, and appearance of food