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Ultrasonic Homogenizers (Sonicprep)


Scott Heimendinger
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My (loaner) Polyscience Sonicprep just arrived and I have a few precious weeks tolearn as much as I can about the technique of ultrasonic homogenization. Does anyone have experience in thisarena, and if so, could you share your learnings?

So far, I've heard that ultrasonic homogenizers (sonicators) are great for makingemulsions and quick infusions. However, I don't know anything about the water/oil ratios that I should be trying to achieve a really fantastic emulsion. In the first 10 minutes of use, I've been able to haphazardly emulsify different oils with water to achieve the texture (and look) of cream. But, I'd love to know what else is possible.

BTW, I also have a rotor-stator homogenizer, and I plan to do side-by-side tests comparing the results of the two.

Let the thread begin!!

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Scott Heimendinger

Director of Applied Research for Modernist Cuisine

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Seattle Food Geek said:

My (loaner) Polyscience Sonicprep just arrived and I have a few precious weeks tolearn as much as I can about the technique of ultrasonic homogenization. Does anyone have experience in thisarena, and if so, could you share your learnings?

So far, I've heard that ultrasonic homogenizers (sonicators) are great for makingemulsions and quick infusions. However, I don't know anything about the water/oil ratios that I should be trying to achieve a really fantastic emulsion. In the first 10 minutes of use, I've been able to haphazardly emulsify different oils with water to achieve the texture (and look) of cream. But, I'd love to know what else is possible.

BTW, I also have a rotor-stator homogenizer, and I plan to do side-by-side tests comparing the results of the two.

Let the thread begin!!

Which rotor-stator homogenizer do you have? I am considering the Modular Homogenizer (made by JenCat) sold by Cole-Palmer, (Homogenizer cat# S-36904-20, Generator cat# S-36902-72 (30mm dia)) capable of handling 100 to 5000mL for medium viscosity liquids.

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  • 1 month later...

Scott Heimendinger said:

My (loaner) Polyscience Sonicprep just arrived and I have a few precious weeks tolearn as much as I can about the technique of ultrasonic homogenization. Does anyone have experience in thisarena, and if so, could you share your learnings?

So far, I've heard that ultrasonic homogenizers (sonicators) are great for makingemulsions and quick infusions. However, I don't know anything about the water/oil ratios that I should be trying to achieve a really fantastic emulsion. In the first 10 minutes of use, I've been able to haphazardly emulsify different oils with water to achieve the texture (and look) of cream. But, I'd love to know what else is possible.

BTW, I also have a rotor-stator homogenizer, and I plan to do side-by-side tests comparing the results of the two.

Let the thread begin!!

The same ratio of a traditionally-created emulsion applies. From cream to mayonaise, you can get a range of consistencies. The benefit is just that it will be more stable and it needs less emulsifiers, like eggs, which gives it a cleaner taste. So it is more a question of intention, not technique.

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  • 9 years later...

I am experimenting with making emulsions in a Q700 sonic homogenizer. I've tried making various nut milks/creams, but in each case I'm getting a rancid smell. Some online research indicates that this is a common problem - it's essentially burning the oil at a microscopic level even though the mixture is mostly water. Turning down the amplitude to 10% reduces this but doesn't eliminate it, and turning it down much further causes it not to emulsify. I was just at Noma where they served a nonalcoholic cocktail made in a sonic homogenizer which had a completely clean flavor, so I know that it's possible to use this device in a kitchen. Any ideas?

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As an orgeat enthusiast I would love to learn more of your nut milk experiments!  I had been homogenizing my orgeat (rotor-stator homogenizer) but found that if I cooked the orgeat a little further homogenization was not necessary.

 

I can't help with your rancidity question because I've only used an ultrasonic homogenizer in a laboratory setting.  Yes, I made ice cream in the lab, but in those days I never had the idea to homogenize the mix.  However the thought comes to my mind that toasted nuts do not smell rancid.

 

Maybe @Scott Heimendinger is hard at work developing an anova homogenizer at a tenth the cost of the polyscience.  One can only hope.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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Ultrasonic homogenizers generate crazy local  temperatures as micro bubbles rupture (cavitation).  Something like 5000K for a moment locally.  I could imagine that might alter some fatty acids.

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On 11/27/2021 at 5:06 PM, Teppy said:

Any ideas?

 

what temp is your liquid? The Q700 has a built in thermometer port for a K type probe.

 

if you look at the flow cells that Qsonica and others have they always have refrigerated circulators pumping around the beaker.

 

are you using a programmed pulse ?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/20/2021 at 12:27 AM, Teppy said:

The liquid stays fairly cool unless I run it for many minutes at a high power setting. I've even tried placing ice cubes in the liquid, but that doesn't help.

Have you tried pulse mode? 
 

what tip are you using?

Edited by adey73 (log)
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