Ion-exchange membranes (IEM) are used in the agri-food sector since the early 1950s. Their main applications are based on the demineralization of agri-food products or effluents. In these applications, anion- and cation-exchange membranes are stacked alternatively in an electrodialysis cell to produce two solutions, one concentrated and one impoverished in minerals. In this article we will focus on the recent patents published in the 5 last years and presenting the more recent uses and applications of ion-exchange membranes in this sector. These patents concerns mainly, the rectification of wine and grape juice, the production of salt and concentrated mineral solutions, the production of drinking water and functional drinking water, the demineralization of dairy and plants products, the production of sugar derivates, the bacterial decontamination of solution and the demineralization and purification of fermentation broth. These approaches will be discussed in terms of originality and novelty in comparison with current applications, as well as for their potential of application in the sector.
Ion-exchange membranes, electrodialysis, biotechnology, food
Institut des Nutraceutiques et des Aliments Fonctionnels (INAF), Departement des sciences des aliments et de nutrition, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada G1V 0A6.