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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal Institut Agro Carnot_Qualiment

Internet de l'unité STLO Science et Technologie du Lait et de l'Oeuf

STLO Research Unit

Membrane Processing

Bandeau équipe PSM



Dr Geneviève Gésan-Guiziou

Leader of Membrane Processing team
Phone : +33(0)2 23 48 53 25
Mail :
Read all about our LATEST MAIN RESULTS at the bottom of this page


Over the last 40 years, membrane technologies have become major tools for the concentration and separation of dairy components. Since the end of the sixties, the group of INRA in Rennes, headed by Jean-Louis Maubois and Georges Daufin, has initiated research activities in this area and has significantly contributed to the development and first implementations of these technologies in the dairy industry. The separation techniques, and particularly membrane separations, have nowadays largely been implemented throughout the dairy processing chain, from the milk reception to the effluents treatment.

Today the membrane technologies (microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis) are at the heart of the concentration and fractionation processes of dairy components. They enable the industry to prepare enriched fractions with valuable functional, nutritional and/or organoleptic properties, essential for the growing field of food formulation, and to extract molecules of interest from fluids and co-products of the dairy industry.

Our objectives

In order to satisfy the high demand for functionalized products, an important research challenge is to design and operate membrane processes according to various, and often conflicting, specifications of different natures (technical, economic, environmental, nutritional, etc.)

The “Membrane Processing” team investigates the impact of the combined effects of the complex hydrodynamic and the physico-chemical environment on the membrane process performance. Elucidating elementary mechanisms brought into play in membrane operations is essential to optimize existing processes and to innovate. It also makes it possible to control potential pathways of development and to avoid the re-evaluation of operations and processes as soon as new constraints (e.g. environmental, energy-related) emerge or new food properties are required

Our strategy

The team mainly focuses on concentration and fractionation of dairy proteins (dairy colloids) by crossflow micro- and ultrafiltration. Targeted objectives are:

  • To explore the properties (colloidal interactions, compression, reversibility, etc.) of colloidal systems in highly concentrations regimes;
  • To identify, and understand the mechanisms involved in membrane processes, by exploring and taking into account the effects of the hydrodynamic and physico-chemical environment on the process performance (e.g. selectivity, productivity, cleanability, properties of obtained fractions);
  • To establish the causal relationships between variables (operational and/or state variables describing the product) and the performances to be optimized;
  • To establish general rules that make it possible to select appropriately designed processes, technological trajectories and operating conditions, based on multi-criteria evaluation approaches;
  • To propose innovative concentration / fractionation schemes with the purpose of designing more efficient and environment-friendly processes.

Our skills ans expertise

Our group is primarily a chemical engineering group with strong background in:

  • chemical engineering
  • process modelling
  • colloids and dairy science
  • physico-chemistry
  • environmental assessment.


Le personnel de l'équipe PSM

Geneviève GESAN-GUIZIOU (scientifique, Team leader)
Fabienne LAMBROUIN (technician)
Nadine LECONTE (technician)
Maksym LOGINOV (scientifique)

PhD : Floriane Doudies, Manon Granger-Delacroix, Maëllis Belna

Main Results


STLO developps a New Methodological Framework for the ecodesign of Food Processes

For developing the simulation-optimization ecodesign approach, the benefit of using computer-aided process engineering tools (process simulation...
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Beamline setup

How deposits of casein micelles form and redisperse

During the skim milk filtration, casein micelles accumulate at the membrane surface and form a cohesive and compressible gel, which reduces the...
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Vignette TIPIL-R11

Integration of expert knowledge in milk microfiltration optimization

Optimizing a food process, such as microfiltration of skim milk is complex due to the large number and heterogeneity of requested variables as well...
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A new tool for studying the filterability

Knowing the filterability of solutions and suspensions is critical to optimize filtration process. A number of « high-throughput » systems has been...
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Filtration principle

Modeling membrane processes

Membrane filtration (ultra-, microfiltration) is extensively used for concentrating or separating colloidal dispersions. However, it remains unclear...
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Membrane filtration pilot

Managing protein membrane separation

Membrane technologies (ultrafiltration, microfiltration and nanofiltration) have revolutionised the industry and multiplied the use of milk as an...
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Multiscale analysis of protein

Multiscale analysis of protein changes induced by ultrafiltration

A package of complementary analyses examines the putative effects of ultrafiltration on protein structure and functionality.
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All results of Membrane processing team