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Silicone Antifoams Help Soft Drink Industry Conserve Water

Food-grade foam control agents increase productivity

The soft drink industry may have cheered the news when analysts estimated that global per capita consumption of soft drinks will reach a record 84.5 liters in 2012, but water conservationists may not share their view given the amount of water needed in the soft drink manufacturing and bottling processes. In fact, the world’s largest soft drink manufacturer, Coca-Cola, says that to produce one liter of beverage it takes approximately 1.25 liters of water for manufacturing processes such as rinsing, cleaning, and cooling.

Considering that UNICEF estimates that 884 million people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water, and 1.8 billion people are expected to be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity by 2025, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and other major food and beverage corporations recognize the need to conserve water by implementing more efficient production methods.

Coca-Cola says it is nearly halfway to its 2012 goal of a 20 percent improvement in water consumption that it set in 2007. By 2010, PepsiCo had achieved a more than 15 percent improvement in water use efficiency as compared with its 2006 baseline, on its way to meeting its global goal 20 percent reduction per unit of production by 2015.

One way to reduce water consumption is to reduce the amount of foam produced in the manufacturing process.

“Foam can cause vessels to overflow and can require longer cleaning of processing equipment, which not only raises maintenance costs, it takes water to clean up,” said Don Buchalski, global marketing manager for Dow Corning's XIAMETER® brand. “In addition, capacity is lost, making production less efficient. Food processing time increases, productivity decreases, and larger, more expensive equipment may be required to compensate for the foam.”

Silicone antifoams from the XIAMETER brand are designed to safely and efficiently eliminate problem foam in food processing applications. Eliminating process foam can reduce water consumption, increase productivity, reduce production costs and, consequently, save money.

Foam is made up of bubbles. Silicone antifoams disperse rapidly through the liquid film that makes the bubble wall and, because silicone has lower surface tension, the bubble collapses and foam disappears. Silicone antifoams have shown to be more effective at lower use rates than some organic antifoaming agents.”

In addition to soft drink manufacturing, silicone antifoams are used in a variety of food and beverage applications. For example, they are used during cleaning of tanks used for process water such as at breweries; in fermentation tanks to increase capacity, reducing foam in the resultant wastewater; during dilution of drinks prior to and during bottling stage, reducing spillage or loss of product; and added to powdered beverage products to prevent foaming when mixed with liquids.

To learn more about matching the right XIAMETER brand food-grade silicone antifoam product to a specific application, view the new selection guide.

Want to follow the XIAMETER brand online? Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

About Dow Corning
Dow Corning ( provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company’s Dow Corning ® and XIAMETER® brands. Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States. Dow Corning’s global operations adhere to the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care® initiative, a stringent set of standards designed to advance the safe and secure management of chemical products and processes.

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