KonKer™, the zeolite membrane for food dehydration and concentration from Mitsubishi Chemical, can be used with a variety of liquid foods, making it possible to safely concentrate and dehydrate without the use of heat while preserving ﬂavor and fragrance components.
“Zeolite” is the generic name for minerals with fine pores. As an agent for use in food manufacturing, zeolites are registered as an existing food additive in the food additives law. In addition, the zeolite membrane KonKer™ conforms to the standards for utensils, containers and packaging in the Food Sanitation Law of Japan.
Zeolite Membrane elements
Compatible with a Variety of Liquids
KonKer™ utilizes the MSM1 (Mitsubishi Chemical High-Silica Membrane) zeolite membrane developed by the Mitsubishi Chemical Group Science and Technology Research Center, Inc.. It is highly water and acid resistant, and will not be corroded by fruit juices and other acidic foodstuffs (cannot be used with alkaline foods).Ask about its compatibility with liquids that conventional food concentration membranes (reverse osmosis membranes, etc.) donʼt handle well, such as liquids with high electrolytic concentration and liquids that include highly hydrophilic components. It can also be used with liquids that include solid material.
Zeolite membrene being used in a
Dehydration Concentration Principle
The simplest method of concentrating liquid foods that include water is to heat them and evaporate the water. However, in this method, alcohol and flavor components that evaporate along with the water and components that degrade with heat are lost. The KonKer™ zeolite membrane has pores that allow only molecules that are the same size or smaller than water molecules to pass through, making it possible to dehydrate and concentrate without losing the foodʼs flavor and fragrance components.
Dehydration Concentration System Outline
By supplying the liquid you wish to concentrate to the exterior of the zeolite membrane element, then lowering the pressure inside the membrane element with a vacuum pump, only the water molecules in the target liquid are drawn into the membrane element. The water molecules are conducted into a cold trap (condenser) as a gas (steam), where they return to their liquid state and are collected. The target liquid outside the membrane element is concentrated, with only its water reduced.
Target liquid before concentration Liquid after concentration Water extracted from target liquid
KonKer™ System Diagram
Concentrated sake made with the KonKer™ dehydration and concentration system
In fermented liquors such as Japanese sake, beer and wine, alcohol and active components are created through fermentation. However, there is a limit to how far concentration may be increased through fermentation alone. Since heating evaporates both water molecules and alcohol (ethanol) in a certain ratio (azeotropy), it reduces the concentration of alcohol, and there is a risk of denaturing active components that are vulnerable to heat. In cooperation with Nishino Kinryo Co., Ltd., the Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation has used KonKer™ʼs distinctive ability to selectively extract water molecules to develop a new type of sake: Kohakutsuyu, sake in which alcohol and ﬂavor components are oncentrated to double the strength of regular Japanese sake.
Comparison of amino acids amounts in Japanese sake before and after concentration
※Click image to enlarge
The Possibilities of KonKer™
KonKer™, the zeolite membrane for food dehydration and concentration from Mitsubishi Chemical, is new concentration technology that takes the global environment and energy efficiency into consideration. Research and development is progressing in an endeavor to facilitate a variety of concentrates, from alcohol and all kinds of fruit juices to broth and tea. KonKerTM makes it possible to concentrate liquid foods that could not be concentrated before, and proposes technology for the future.
Zeolite membrane for food dehydration and concentration KonKer™
Realizes durability with regard to high moisture content and highly acidic liquids, something impossible for previous zeolite membranes.
Itʼs now possible to selectively dehydrate and concentrate a variety of foods without heat.
Product Structure｜Tube-shaped zeolite membrane, connecting components for plumbing