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Food Additives > Articles > Defoamer and Antifoaming Agents in Food and other Industries

Acacia Gum � Emulsifier & Other Uses

Defoamer and Antifoaming Agents in Food and other Industries

August 31, 2010-

What is a Defoamer?

Defoamers in Chicken Nuggets
Defoamers in Chicken Nuggets
Defoamer is an antifoaming agent that inhibits the formation of foam on the surface of liquids by reducing the surface tension. In the additive industry it is typically known as defoamer or defoaming agent. It is mostly used in the industrial processes to give speed to the process. There are oil based defoamers, powder dedoamers, water based, silicon based and Alkyl based anti foaming agents.

Defoaming agents that are used in food reduces of stop the effusion or effervescence while serving and preparation. Also the silicon based defoamer is used in cooking oil for the prevention of foaming while deep frying.

According to one news at CNN it has been revealed that chicken nuggets contain anti foaming agent known as dimethylpolysiloxane. This used to keep the oil from foaming. It is chiefly found in the chicken nuggets in USA. the Atlantic in Britain contain no such defoaming agent. There are no adverse side affects on health as studied by the World Health Organization.

Application of Antifoaming Agents

Types of Defoamers

Oil Based Defoamers

Oil based defoamers contain an oil based carrier. Oil and water do not mix with each other so the these are the best anti foaming agents. It is insoluble in water and any other water based liquids. With these the surface foam is broken up. The wax further increases the efficiency and for this purpose paraffinic waxes, fatty alcohol waxes and ester waxes are used.

Silicon Based Defoamers

Hydrophobic silica is used in the making of silicon based defoamers. The silica like oil does not mix with water and prevent the formation of foam. For the even spreading of silicone over the surface certain emulsifiers are also added to it. Silicone based defoamers can also be used in non-aqueous foaming systems such as oil refining and crude oil.

Water Based Defoamers

Water based anti foaming agents are best used as releasing air. These are actually the oil and waxes in water base. The efficiency of water based anti foaming agents is seen in waste water treatment and paper manufacturing processes.

Alkyl Based Defoamers

These are suitable where there is a requirement of air release than the foam breaking at surface.

Powdered Anti Foaming Agents

Powdered anti foaming agents are used in plasters, detergents and cement as a carrier of silica.

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