While the essential production and supply of our instruments continues from our offices, many of us are now working from home. But that hasn’t stopped us from thinking about particles… okay, that might just be me…

In our blog series ‘Around the world in 80 particles’ our applications specialists around the world have given us insights into particle sizing from where they are in the world or from their travels. We are continuing this series by looking at the products that you might have in your home where particle size will impact on performance. And may have even been measured by one of our technologies!

First things first!

I have to start my morning with coffee. My colleagues know this, especially if they’ve tried to ask me anything before I’ve had a couple of cups! Particle size affects the flavor and brewing time of coffee. Smaller particles reduce the brewing time but release a more bitter flavor. There’s a lot more detail on how and why measure the particle size of coffee in this webinar and application note.

Particles for breakfast?

Then there’s breakfast and often that will include milk. Whether it’s on cereal or in my case porridge as it’s still a little cold in the morning in the UK. Milk is homogenized to improve its shelf-life. This process narrows the particle size distribution of the fat globules preventing the formation of clusters which can rise to the surface, or cream. You can find more detail on how the particle size distributions for full fat, semi-skimmed and skimmed milk differ here. I also put brown sugar on my porridge which has coarse particles for a bit of texture. I know this is not how the purists do it, but maybe I’ve been living in England for too long! Manufacturers control the particle size and distribution of sugars to provide different properties for different purposes. My colleague Claudia will tell you more about sugar particle size in a later blog!

Getting ready

Apart from breakfast, there are other ways that particle size is important in getting ready for the day. We still need to look presentable for those video calls! Exfoliant scrubs contain particles, often material like ground apricot kernels, designed to be abrasive and remove dead skin cells. A body scrub will have larger particles compared to a scrub for the face which is more sensitive.

Particle size is also an important factor in the performance of many cosmetics. For foundations you don’t want the particle size to be too small so that it blocks pores whereas too large won’t give an even appearance.

Toothpaste also contains particles. These particles are often titanium dioxide and calcium carbonate and the size of these particles will control the colour of the paste and how effective it is at removing plaque and whitening. If you want to know more about how to measure particle size for cosmetic products please listen to our webinar.

So that’s a few things in the home where particle size is important, and that’s all before I’ve even got to my desk in the morning!