Defoamers or anti-foams are used to prevent foaming in chemical processes. The presence of foam in many substances can reduce their effectiveness, and anti-foams are used to diffuse and dissolve this foam. Anti-foams prevent defects in surface coatings and can dissolve effervescence in many food products. Anti-foams are insoluble in the foaming substance and have a low viscosity. They also have the ability to spread rapidly on foamed surfaces.
Anti-foams are used in a number of processes and industries, including food manufacturing. Anti-foams are used to control effusion in food preparation. They are an essential chemical compound in chicken nuggets that prevents disruption in the processing cycle. Silicone oil, a common defoamer, is used in cooking oil to prevent foam from developing in the deep frying process.
Anti-foam is also used in laundry and dishwasher detergents. Foam in these detergents hamper their effectiveness and prevent the efficient use of the product. Anti-foams are also used in pharmaceutical products sold to prevent bloating. Simethicone, a common anti-foam, is the active ingredient in Maalox and Gas-X.