Enhancing the applicability of forward osmosis membrane process utilizing food additives as draw solutes

Seungheon Yang, Seockheon Lee, Seungkwan Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Food additives as draw solutes were investigated to improve the feasibility of forward osmosis (FO) for concentration of liquid food products. Three widely used food additives were selected: monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium saccharine, and trisodium citrate. The osmotic pressures generated by food additives were measured to be similar or even higher than that of NaCl. However, the water flux produced by FO using food additives was 70–78% lower than that of NaCl. This observation was mainly attributed to severe internal concentration polarization (ICP). Conversely, the reverse solute flux (RSF) of food additives in the FO process was low at only 3–9% of that of NaCl, suggesting they pose a low contamination. The FO process using MSG draw solutions yielded a 15% solid content of whey. To further improve FO concentration, pressure-assisted osmosis (PAO) was adopted for dewatering whey and lactose solutions. The PAO process applying a pressure of 10 bar to feed solution increased the water flux by 36% (whey) and 49% (lactose) with a 2 M MSG draw solution, thus demonstrating the potential of the developed FO/PAO with food additive draws for the food industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119705
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was financially supported by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (Project Code: 2E26251 , 2E28120 ). This work was supported by the Korea Environment Industry & Technology Institute ( KEITI ) through the Industrial Facilities & Infrastructure Research Program, funded by the Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) ( 116953 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Draw solute
  • Food additive
  • Forward osmosis (FO)
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Pressure assisted osmosis (PAO)
  • Whey concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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