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sterilization

Plastic, glass or metal containers

Figure 2. Formulation and processing of a liquid enteral formula.

Two methods of manufacturing are commonly used for powdered enteral products: spray-drying and dry-blending, either separately or in combination. Spray-dried product is UHTST or HTST processed as a concentrated liquid prior to the drying step. In the drying step over 95% of the water is removed to bring the powder moisture content to a level that does not promote microbiological growth. Dry-blending is a process where dry ingredients are mixed in a chamber by rotating ribbons or plows. Dry-blending is desirable when there is heat- or moisture-sensitive ingredients in the product formulation. Occasionally, base powders are spray-dried, followed by dry-blending of sensitive ingredients.

The process of spray-drying or dry-blending can produce a powder that does not disperse easily in liquid. The process of agglomeration is used to improve powder dispers-ability in liquid by binding small, dense particles together to provide a larger surface area to "wet."

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