Document Type: SI: Membr. Reviews
Institute on Membrane Technology, ITM-CNR
Institute on Membrane Technology, ITM-CNR, Italy
Istituto per la Tecnologia delle Membrane (ITM-CNR), Italy
Membrane distillation (MD) and osmotic distillation (OD) are emerging athermal processing techniques of great interest in agro-food production where the most part of products is sensitive to thermal treatments. With respect to conventional methods, MD and OD are competitive alternatives, able to work in an environmental-friendly and cost-efficient way, for preserving the nutritional and sensorial attributes of processed foods, in agreement with the increased expectations of consumers and producers. This review will provide an overview of the current status and recent developments in the use of MD and OD in agro-food applications. Theoretical aspects and specific applications in the field of fruit juice concentration, milk and dairy industry, wine dealcoholization and agro-food waste processing, are presented and discussed. The integration of these processes with other membrane operations within the logic of the process intensification strategy is also evaluated in order to overcome specific challenges for a sustainable industrial development.