While whipping up a quick dinner recently, I decided to use my handy-dandy microwave to get the rice cooking portion of the meal done. Just below, the thrilling smells of cooking vegetables and fish wafted up as I did my best not to burn what was in the pan in front of me on the stove. Feeling good about my culinary self momentarily, I casually glanced up at the microwave. Torrents of foam cascaded out of the vessel I had put the rice in…in the end, I had cooked rice and a significant starchy mess to clean up. When on top of a freshly poured beer, a healthy level of foam can bring me great joy; in this instance, it brought me back to Earth in terms of thinking about my talents in the kitchen.
Now, take that unfortunate incident and think about a food processing facility producing your favorite products. Foam happens in many food industry applications and processes…consider the mess, the waste, and the headache that foam could cause at an industrial level. To decrease waste, increase efficiency and yield, and keep processors focused on the food and not cleaning up huge messes, the food industry (among others) utilizes antifoams and defoamers to keep this pesky presence in check.
The two products differ, but have similar goals in the food processing environment. For instance, Nelson-Jameson offers Magrabar® food grade antifoams from Munzing that are formulated/added directly to the food product/mixture. Antifoams should be added as a preventative measure, “prior to foam formation at a location and time as close to the foaming problem as possible.” Defoamers, instead, are ideal to take care of existing foam “before tanks or containers overflow.” In the end, these products are here to help food processors: fill containers to capacity, improve pumping and mixing (can be used with CIP processes), prevent product losses, and help to improve safety and housekeeping.
Whether you are processing potatoes, dairy products, juices, etc., and you are having issues with foam that are hampering getting safe, quality food out of the door, check in with our Product Specialists to learn more about antifoam and defoamer applications in the food industry. In the meantime, I’m going to try heading back into the kitchen to recover my sense of culinary self-worth, but perhaps with a rice cooker in tow.