Brewing is a craft process whose industrial scale poses different challenges. One of these challenges is the integral management of resources in an efficient manner, with the aim of minimizing the ecological impact of the process while increasing its productive value.

One of the important implications of integrated management of resources is the revaluation of these resources through their adequate treatment. A secondary product of the production of common beer is the residual yeast that is obtained if the beer is filtered after fermentation. This yeast is used as feed in the livestock industry after appropriate treatment.

This waste presents an added difficulty in its treatment due to its biological activity that consumes mainly sugars, releasing ethanol and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide, when released into a medium with a high protein content, usually generates a voluminous foam, causing undesirable variations during the treatment process of this waste.

In this process, the use of a suitable defoamer has been shown to be of great help in controlling the volume of foam formed. Concentrol’s Food Division produces the EMULTROL DFM DV-15 FG food defoamer, a product that complies with the sector’s regulatory requirements, improving the integral management of resources and allowing the standardisation of production processes.

In general terms, foam is a stable dispersion of a gas in a liquid. In a pure liquid medium such as water, air bubbles are normally formed due to agitation processes, these rise to the surface and quickly burst. In the case of liquid mixtures in which surfactants are present, the air bubbles are stabilised by the surfactants and lead to the formation of foam on the surface of the liquid. This is the case with beer. These surfactants can be of chemical origin (surfactants, wetting agents, emulsifiers) or of natural origin (proteins and starches), the latter being the case with beer.

Defoamer functions and properties

In general, foam control is carried out through three mechanisms: defoamer, defoamer and deaerator, which respectively have the following functions: destruction of already formed foam; prevention of foam formation and acceleration of the migration of the occluded microfoam towards the surface.

Regarding the food antifoam EMULTROL DFM DV-15 FG, the main benefits obtained with its use are:

  • Improves the reproducibility of the residual yeast treatment process
  • Reduces the volume of foam formed during unloading prior to transport by increasing the yield in weight per load.
  • Reduces the risk of spillage during unloading processes.

Product regulations and dosage

It is recommended that the dosage of the defoamer be adjusted experimentally as it depends on the composition, density and type of yeast.

The formulation of EMULTROL DFM DV-15 FG defoamer is entirely made up of food additives. Its intended uses are detailed in Regulation (EU) No. 1333/2008 as far as European regulations are concerned, and in title 21, volume 3, part 173.340 of the American FDA regulations. Both regulatory frameworks detail a limit of 10 ppm of active substance (polydimethylsiloxane, E-900) in most foods where its use is intended.