Conclusions

Nowadays in the food industry, membrane technology is reduced to a few main applications, such as water treatment and milk processing, although membranes can be used for many processes in almost every branch of the industry. New technologies, in particular membrane extraction or pervapor-ation, have great potential in the separation and purification of high-value products. The reasons for this lack of application are high membrane costs and slow operation speeds. Membrane processes are still too expensive for low-price products. Hence, membrane technology is hardly adequate, especially for those processes where alternative technologies like distillation are established. Niche applications for high-cost products are apparent, especially in biotechnology and the food industry. Here the price ranges are high enough to make an investment in new technologies lucrative.

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