Mixing and blending techniques are used in a wide range of industries from cooking and baking to plastic creation and cosmetics making. For this article we will discuss the various applications and explain in full the difference between mixing and blending.
Mixing is the procedure of meticulously combining assorted materials or ingredients to create a thick product. Usually the mix is an amalgamation of different materials such as certain levels of cement, water and gravel to produce concrete. Other uses could be a certain chemically thick material can be combined to create a standardized batch of a required volume/weight with steady particle size allotment, texture, colour and any other characteristics that may be desired.
When mixing is talked about in relation to cooking or baking it means to distribute ingredients in a consistent way. When mixing your ingredients you want to try always to limit the loss of any leavening agent (if used), optimise blending of these ingredients and develop gluten (in bread doughs) or prevent gluten forming (in biscuits/cookies and other recipes).
You will see from the above paragraph that mixing and blending in baking can be part of the same process, however, this isn’t true in industrial purposes. Often people use the phrases blending and mixing in a transposable fashion but in principle they are somewhat different.
Blending is one of the oldest unit-operations in various solids treatment industries. Blending is the method of merging materials similar to mixing but it is performed in a more gentle way as opposed to mixing which can be vigorous. The other difference is blending refers to mixing solids together or mixing bulk solids with small amounts of liquid, whereas mixing is more closely related to mixing different liquids together, creating a liquid-gas mix and thick materials.
Mixing and blend provide the greatest demand of unit operations in the chemical procedure industries. The pharmaceutical and food businesses also depend upon mixing and blending technologies a great deal.
Some typical examples of mixing and blending technology uses are:
Food Industry – Used in the development of cake mix, flavours and various spices.
Chemical Procedure Industry – Mixing and blending of certain speciality chemicals, fertilizers, explosives, glass, rubber compounds, dry powdered detergents and ceramics.
Pharmaceutical Industry – Blending is used when uniting active ingredients of a certain medication with pharmacologically inactive substance such as starch, lactose, sucrose, xylitol, gelatine or cellulose.