Tougher tissues, both animal and plant, can be homogenized using 3.0 mm acid washed zirconium beads. These beads are effective because of size and they are a higher density grinding media. Zirconium beads are more dense than silica yet less expensive than stainless steel. Acid washed zirconium beads are treated with acidified water to remove fine particles, dust, and other impurities typically found in untreated beads. They are further baked to drive off organic impurities.