How to Resolve Foam Formation During Potato Processing

How to Resolve Foam Formation During Potato Processing

The Potato is an important food source and culinary ingredient.

The Potato and It’s Starch

Potato starch is quite literally what it sounds like, that is, it's starch that is extracted from potatoes. Potato starch contains minimal protein or fat, yet, it has multiple uses, such as making up binding agents in ice creams, cake mixes, and doughs. Additionally, starch acts as a thickener in certain situations, so it can be used to thicken things from custard, to a hearty stew.

Starch extracted from potatoes is also commonly used in the distillation of alcoholic beverages such as wine and vodka. Lastly, starch is a key part in the processing of food products such as french fries, chips, croquettes, wedges, flakes, pellets and powder.

When they aren't picked for processing and starch exraction, potatoes are often processed for livestock feed.

Foam Formation and Problems

For the most part, a potato is made up of water content. Only about 15-25 % of a potato is actually dry matter. This small percentage of dry contents is where we can find starch and proteins. The percentage of dry or wet contents depends upon the quality of the potatoes themselves.

To move potatoes further along the supply chain than harvesting from the field, potatoes have to be processed. When potatoes are sent to these processes they undergo washing, peeling, cutting, and transportation to and from the processing site. During all of this it is possible, as a result of the stress and the quality of the original potatoes, for foam to be produced. Foam is generated from the starch and protein interacting with the water. This is because starch is released into the water during the washing and slicing processes of potatoes, creating a foamy mess.

Anyone with a background in the processing of potatoes knows that production efficiency is affected due to the accumulation of starch in the water with leads to foam formation. Foaming affects the performance of equipment, slows manufacturing processes, and leads to the increased consumption of water. So it is wise for companies who are looking to cut production times and costs to think of solutions for this foaming problem.

Solutions for Reducing Foam Formation

The solution that the industry has landed on for the most part is in the use of defoamers and antifoams to help with production. Antifoams are a preventative solution that act to stop foam from forming in the first place. Defoamers breakdown the air-liquid that forms to make foam disappear as it is created. 

These foaming solutions are crucial for enhancing potato processing, and they are a great way to reduce wasted resources for companies looking into water and energy conservation.

Among those companies dedicated to the production of antifoaming solutions is our Premium listed Triochemicals. 

Their range of Trioban defoamers are ecologically sound products and they help in the removal of starch without causing harm to the potatoes being processed. They are also food grade products that deliver high performance and are easy to handle.

Trio Chemical's Trioban range of products include:

  • TRIOBAN PA 536, TRIOBAN 918 SS, TRIOBAN PA 550 and TRIOBAN P 958. They are effective in controlling all types of foams, which can be used during potato washing, slicing and blanching processes.

  • TRIOBAN FP 10.20.30 is an antifoaming additive used for washing, diluting, evaporating and boiling stages. It is ideal for soft drinks industry.

  • TRIOBAN AF 350 is exclusively formulated as an antifoaming agent for cooking oils to prevent its splatter during the cooking process.

  • TRIOBAN P 5N is an organic defoamer used for the processing of potato and sugar products. It has good foam control properties for all types of fermentation processes.
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