The breakage of liquid-liquid, solid-liquid and solid-gas dispersions occurs in many industrial processes during the transport of particulate materials. In this work, breakage of whey protein precipitates passing through a capillary pipe is examined and an experimentally derived breakage frequency is applied to construct a suitable population balance model to characterize the breakage process. It has been shown that the breakage frequency of precipitate particles is highly dependent on their shear history and on the turbulent energy dissipation rate in the pipe. The population balance equation (PBE) uses a volume density based discrete method which is adapted from mass density based discretization. In addition to comparing the model with experimental data, predicted results at different velocities are presented. It was found that the population balance breakage model provides satisfactory results in terms of predicting particle size distributions for such processes. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.