The process of homogenizing milk is standard in the food industry. Typically, when regular milk sits for a while, a layer of fat forms at the top. But when you homogenize the milk, you break down these fat particles to disperse evenly through the milk.
Homogenized milk has a longer shelf life. Moreover, milk from different cows ends up tasting the same. That is how the milk companies get to sell milk from thousands of cows.
Ever considered making homogenized milk at home? This brings us to the next question: Can you use a blender instead of a homogenizer for milk?
Here's the thing; it may not be ideal, but you can use a blender to homogenize milk at home.
Long before people started using industrial machines to homogenize milk, they would shake up containers with milk to achieve a certain consistency. The idea behind the homogenization process is to create turbulence that’s strong enough to break down the fat globules in the milk into miniscule portions.
Shaking would do that, but only to a certain degree. Now, when you use a blender, you add more power to the turbulence, making it easier for the fat particles to disperse evenly through the milk. The faster the rotation of the blender’s blades, the more turbulence and the better the result of your homogenization.
Theories Around Homogenization
Many theories of homogenization exist. Globule disruption by turbulent eddies also referred to as micro whirls, is one of the prominent theories. This theory bases its argument on the grounds that a vast number of small eddies develop when a liquid is traveling at high velocities. The higher the velocity of the fluid, the smaller the whirls. When these eddies cross paths with an oil or fat molecule in the milk, it breaks it up.
Another theory is the cavitation theory. This claim suggests that when a stream of bubbles implodes in a liquid, the shock waves are created to disrupt the fat globules, breaking them into smaller parts.
How Blender can Work as a Milk Homogenizer?
Unlike an industrial or lab-grade milk homogenizer that pushes the milk through tiny holes at high pressure, a blender works by shearing. Shearing is a process through which a blender causes particles to break off due to tangential force applied to the sample.
The rotation of the blades on the blender transfers a shock wave into the liquid, while the rotation causes turbulent eddies. The motion and waves created by the blades cause the fat droplets in the milk to break down, thereby dispersing evenly in the liquid.
A blender is relatively easy to use compared to an industrial milk homogenizer. You will need to place your whole milk in the jug and blend it.
The blender blades will cut the fat molecules in the milk into smaller pieces, making it possible to mix evenly throughout the product.
Furthermore, the blade-type homogenizers, also known as blenders, can produce fine extracts from plants and animal tissues. The bottom or top-driven blade cuts the product at speeds of 6,000-50,000 rpm, resulting in a consistent result.
How to Homogenize Milk Using a Blender?
Although milk homogenization is a complicated process, you can attempt to replicate the results at home. Of course, the results might not be as perfect as commercially available milk, but you get fair results.
Before you can use your blender to break down the fat particles into smaller sizes, there are a few initial steps you should take.
The DIY process of homogenizing milk includes:
Turn on the blender and continue with the process until you have your desired consistency.
Pros and Cons of Using a Blender as a Homogenizer
The milk homogenization process is an intense and complicated procedure. It requires industrial-grade equipment to work seamlessly. If you can avoid the hassle of trying to homogenize your milk at home, it would be for the best. Despite that, if you would like to homogenize milk at home, your blender is an alternative tool at your disposal.