Agglomeration for Instantizing

By: Gary Wada on Apr 30, 2015

Instantizing is a subset of agglomeration for the specific purpose of helping powders to mix better with a liquid. Smaller particles can tend to float on top of a liquid and not break the surface tension. By agglomerating, we are making the particles larger, and cause them not to float, but submerge into the water. Fluid bed processing can generate very porous granules, where the water wicks into their insides, causing them to sink and eventually dissolve. 

Gums are a good example of something that can be instantized. As a powder when they are added toagglomerations-for-instantizing-supp-image-400x500 a liquid, they immediately stick to each other, causing “fish eyes”. These are little pockets of powder that are wet and gooey on the outside, and dry powder on the inside. Through fluid bed instantizing and the creation of very porous granules, the gum powders are actually held slight apart from each other by the interstitial space of the loose lattice granules. When these granules come in contact with the liquid, the water wicks into the interstitial space and wets out the dry powders. This minimizes the occurance of making “fish eyes”. 

Generally, the term instantizing is used for water soluble substrates that are fluid bed granulated with water, or perhaps the substrate itself dissolved in water. Adding some of the substrate to the water (granulating agent) can give you more processing control and build a stronger particle.

Instantizing can also be done by altering the surface of the substrate with another ingredient. For example, coating a material that does not disperse well, with an ingredient that does disperse well, is often a process used for instantizing. For example, coating a material that tends to float with an ingredient like lecithin, might be a way to make it readily dispersible.

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