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Effect of operational conditions on the properties of pectin powder agglomerated in pulsed fluid bed

Hirata, T.A.M., Dacanal, G.C., Menegalli, F.C.
Powder technology 2013 v.245 pp. 174-181
air, air temperature, breathing, fluidized beds, gelation, gelling properties, gels, mechanical stress, modulus of elasticity, pectins, raw materials, risk, wettability
The agglomeration process enlarges particles and decreases the quantity of fine particles, leading to benefits such as lower rates of particle elutriation and reduced risks related to particle handling and inhalation. The pulsed fluid bed has some advantages over the conventional fluid bed equipment, including the improvement on fluidization of irregular particles of different sizes. The aim of this work was to study the agglomeration of pectin in pulsed fluidized bed and evaluate the physical properties of the agglomerated powder in relation to those of the raw material. The following variables were assessed: fluidizing air temperature, binder flow rate, fluidizing air velocity, and air pulsation frequency. Yields higher than 80% were achieved. There was an increase of almost 340% in the mean particle diameter. Compared with the raw material, which is more compact and circular, the agglomerated powder was more porous and irregular, and it presented improved appearance, flowability, wettability, and dissolution. The stress at fracture and the modulus of elasticity of the gel formed from the agglomerated product were higher compared with the gel obtained from the raw material showing enhanced properties as gelling and thickening agent.