Thickening Agents

Hosokawa Micron brings a wealth of powder processing expertise to the highly specialised production of thickening agents.

The production and processing of thickening agents and hydrocolloids such as gelatine, carrageenan, pectin, and guar is a complex process involving highly technical steps. The Hosokawa Group has extensive experience in the production and processing of animal and vegetable thickening agents.

Gelatine production is a high-tech process that includes several steps that require high-performance machines and systems. The feed material is derived from byproducts of the livestock industry. Collagen is extracted from skins and bones and then converted into gelatine. Gelatine is a well-known ingredient that is widely used in the food industry and is still discovering new applications, such as a natural protein source.

Size reduction

The requirements for robust, reliable and low-maintenance machinery designed for the pre-cutting of bovine and porcine hides and skins for use within the gelatine industry for thickening agents are high. The Micron Pre-Breaker fulfils these demands and offers users the highest machine availability, minimum downtime, maximum availability and highest process yields.


Hosokawa Micron vacuum dryers are ideal for low-temperature drying. They can also be used in other process phases such as reaction/crystallization, heating/cooling, sterilisation, liquid/solid separation, and mixing.

Continuous Drying

The continuous flash dryer Hosokawa Drymeister (DMR-H) combines drying, milling, and classifying in a single operation. It can handle moisture fluctuations ranging from a few percent to more than 80% and safely dry temperature sensitive products in seconds!

Coarse Milling

6 – 8 Mesh / < 2 mm
After a post-sterilisation step, chilled “noodles” are made from concentrated gelatine liquor. These noodles are then placed on a continuous belt that transports them to a controlled air dryer, where the moisture content of the noodles is reduced to approximately 10 -12%. After that, the dried gelatine is ground with the well-known Alpine granulator. The granulator has become a standard in gelatine processing.

Fine Milling

<150 Mesh / <100 μm

The food industry is interested in ultra-fine gelatine powders with a uniform particle size due to the various product sources that have different effects on the swelling properties and stability of the product. The combination of an ultrafine grinding mill and an integrated classifier in form of the Alpine ACM and Alpine ZPS , allows for particle sizes of less than 100 μm with a precise top cut. The gelatine is ground until the particles are small enough to pass through the classifying wheel. This ensures consistent powder quality and a uniform application.

Pneumatic Conveying

Various conveying methods must be used at various process steps to ensure optimal product quality. The most advantageous pneumatic conveying system is used, which is tailored to the product characteristics (grain size & shape, density, hardness, fat & water content,…) as well as the individual process requirements (capacity, conveying distance, environmental conditions, truck unloading,…).


Because most thickening agents are derived from nature, there are often differences in composition, structure, and particle size. These variations are frequently neutralised by incorporating a blending operation. Aside from mixing accuracy, important considerations for mixing include heat generation, product distortion, and yield. All mixers are versatile and can be used for batch sizes ranging from 10 to 100% filling without sacrificing quality.

The Nauta® conical screw mixer (Low shear) is ideal for delicate products, providing gentle mixing without product distortion and consistent product quality.

The Conical Paddle Mixer (Mid shear) is a multi-purpose mixer used in processes that require high accuracy and fast mixing with minimal product distortion.

Thickening Agent Industry

To discover more about our processing and containment equipment for the manufacture of thickening agents, please get in touch or click below to view the products.

In-house contract manufacturing

Powders, particles and solids are processed to GMP and ISO 9001:2015 standards for wide-ranging manufacturing industries, from pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, fine chemicals, additive manufacturing and advanced materials, to food and beverages, cosmetics and personal care. To learn more about our contract manufacturing services, please click here.

Contact Us

If you have and questions or require any information, please get in touch with us through our contact page.

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