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Separating the Components of a Mixture - Separate Cream from Milk

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Now-a-days, we get full-cream, toned and double-toned varieties of milk packed in polypacks or tetra packs in the market. These varieties of milk contain different amounts of fat.

Milk is a suspension of tiny droplets of oil (cream) in a watery liquid. The process of centrifugation is used to separate cream from milk. The milk is put in a close container in big centrifuge machine. When the centrifuge machine is switched on, the milk is rotated (or spun) at a very high speed in its container. The centrifugal force acts on the milk and due to this, the milk separates into cream and skimmed milk. The cream, being lighter, floats over the skimmed milk and can then be removed.

Centrifugation:

It is a method of separating the suspended particles of a substance from a liquid in which the mixture is rotated at high speed in a centrifuge.

This method is useful in case the suspended particles in a liquid are too small too be retained by filter paper.

Principle of Centrifugation:
When a mixture is rotated very fast, the denser particles are forced to go to the bottom of the centrifuge and the lighter particles stay at the top.

Applications : 

• Used in diagnostic laboratories for blood and urine tests.
• Used in dairies and home to separate butter from cream.
• Used in washing machines to squeeze out water from wet clothes.

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