Foam is produced when gas (e.g., air) is added and becomes stabilized within a liquid (often water) containing impurities and surface-active agents (surfactants). The molecules of surfactants form a film that traps gas bubbles, preventing them from dissipating as they would in a pure liquid. Whether the foam produced rises to the surface (macrofoam) or accumulates throughout the liquid solution (microfoam), it can cause product or process quality issues in many industrial applications.
Defoaming and antifoaming agents are compounds that are designed to minimize or mitigate foam production. They are used to destroy foam buildup and/or prevent foam formation. One of the industries that regularly relies on them is the food and beverage industry.
Below, we highlight the importance of defoamers and antifoams in the food industry as well as the typical applications in which they are used.
Importance of Food-Grade Antifoams & Defoamers
In the food and beverage industry, the formation of foam can have a number of negative effects on operations. For example:
- It can cause product defects or quality issues.
- It can slow or stall processing times.
- It can prevent the proper filling of containers.
- It can lead to equipment overflow.
- It can trigger equipment malfunction.
- It can produce unsafe working conditions.
By using food-grade antifoams and defoamers to prevent and/or destroy foam, facility owners and managers can keep foam buildup under control. As a result, they can benefit in the following ways:
- Better product and process quality. The absence of foam means products are at a lower risk of damage or contamination, resulting in a higher product acceptance rate. Additionally, equipment is less likely to experience foam-rated issues, such as overflow or malfunction.
- Smaller waste generation. Since fewer products are rejected, less waste is generated.
- Lower production costs. Increasing product quality and equipment operation and decreasing waste generation can translate to reduced overall production costs.
Applications of Food-Grade Antifoams & Defoamers
Food-grade antifoams and defoamers find application in various food and beverage processing operations, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Brine solution manufacture and usage
- Dairy products production (e.g., cheese manufacture, recon milk, whey processing)
- Fermentation operations (e.g., amino acids, enzymes, yeasts, ethanol)
- Grain processing and milling operations (e.g., soy protein isolates, wet corn milling)
- Meat and poultry processing operations (e.g., defeathering, rendering, marinading)
- Produce washing, transport, and preparation operations
If you would like to find out more about food-grade defoamers, watch this short video:
Food-Grade Defoamers & Antifoams at Applied Material Solutions
Need food-grade foam control solutions for your food or beverage processing facility? Turn to the experts at Applied Material Solutions.
At AMS, we offer an extensive selection of defoaming and antifoaming agents for a variety of industries and industrial applications. For the food and beverage industry, we offer the following food-grade products:
- Silicone antifoams. These antifoaming agents combine hydrophobic silicone polymers and inorganic silicates. They are inert and organoleptically imperceptible when used to control foam, meaning they do not affect the sensory aspects (e.g., taste and odor) of the food products themselves. We offer variations that are water-based or non-aqueous, 10% to 100% active, and kosher-certified or Passover-certified (TRANS-100PK).
- Non-silicone antifoams. These aqueous or non-aqueous antifoaming agents typically contain one or more of the following components: vegetable oils, mineral oils, natural waxes, synthetic polymers, esters, and silicates. They also often have surfactants added to improve their dispersibility. We can supply organic variations that are suitable for organic food processing operations.
- Powdered antifoams. These powdered antifoaming agents are suitable for integration into powdered products that may foam up when water is added.
To learn more about our food-grade antifoaming and defoaming products, check out our Antifoam Agents for Food Processing and Agribusiness page. To discuss your antifoam/defoamer needs with one of our team members, contact us today.