What If Your Defoamer Is Compromised? – 3 Plant Challenges

1. Defoamer Product Quality and Performance

* Has it been contaminated microbially? Is the packaging clean?
* Check color, odor, separation, and for drop out (sludge at bottom)
* Placing an air lance or mixer is a temporary fix and does not fix the defoamer.
* Are there any changes in foam control in the plant or wastewater?
* If your using food grade defoamer, immediately take out of service and replace.
* Call your manufacturer with the Lot#, delivery info, etc. to try to get to the root cause

2. Requalifying a New Defoamer Supplier and Product

* The supplier needs to be on site to evaluate several new products at once.
* Are these products FDA/Kosher for food processing? Are there any restrictions for use?
* Is the supplier on site using a foam cell test kit to determine foam break/control? Make sure they share the info with you.
* Ensure the supplier provides the necessary paperwork, i.e., SDS, Kosher, Passover Certificates, etc.
* Get a Letter of Guarantee on every product.
* Ensure the supplier thoroughly trains plant personnel and management on the new defoamer.

3. What can the Customer and Supplier do better?

* Ensure QA/QC protocols are set up at the defoamer manufacturer and at the plant receiving site.
* Train receiving personnel and plant operators to identify issues with product quality and foam control performance.
* Ensure that product is properly labeled and packaging has not been compromised.
* Ensure the product is shipped and stored at ambient temperatures. Frozen products cause serious performance and separation issues.
* Communicate immediately to the manufacturer if something is wrong. Don’t jeopardize shutting the plant down with compromised defoamer.

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