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Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology

Particle Size Analyzer Training

The training for Particle Size Analyzer had been conducted for one day at Makmal Instrumentasi Makanan. The training had been given by Mr. Jonathan Wong Eu Hann from DKSH Technology Sdn Bhd. The training session covers the basic of particle sizing, principle of laser diffraction and obtaining and also understanding size distribution. The courses also cover on the method screening specifically wet measurements. For practical session, the students and staffs had been introduced to hardware and software of the instrument, sample measurement and data interpretation.

Particle size analyser used to analyse the size distribution of particles in given sample. The sample can be in form of solid materials, suspensions, emulsions and even aerosols. There are many methods developed to measure particle size. Some methods can be used for wide range of sample but some methods are only applicable to specific samples. Therefore, it is important to choose the right method to get the desirable results.

Particle size analysis is a very important test and is used for quality control in many different industries including food and beverages industries. Many food products exist in particulate form ranging from powders to emulsions, suspensions and pellets. The size distribution of the particulates can affect the taste, appearance, stability, processability, and functionality of the final product. For example, particle size distribution affects the sensory properties of ice creams, chocolates and ketchup, while the zeta potential of particles helps determine the shelf life of baby food and other liquid and “soft solid” products. Particle sizing for powders, emulsions and suspensions used in foods and beverages can be analyzed using dynamic light scattering, laser diffraction or the Coulter Principle, and zeta potential can be determined by electrophoretic light scattering. The storage and stability of food are also strongly dependent on particle size. While powdered food items can undergo caking, emulsions (e.g. milk) can have stability issues if the size of lipid droplets is not tightly controlled. Particle size also strongly affects the organoleptic properties of food items. Texture and mouthfeel play pivotal roles in the acceptability of food products. As the human tongue is capable of detecting particles of just a few microns in size, tweaking the size of particles can have a big impact on product acceptance.

The Mastersizer 3000E is highly regarded as the premier laser diffraction particle size analysis instrument on the market for design, performance and software user experience. It uses the technique of laser diffraction to measure the size of particles. It does this by measuring the intensity of light scattered as a laser beam passes through a dispersed particulate sample. This data is then analysed to calculate the size of the particles that created the scattering pattern.

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