November 17, 2016
What They Do: Prevents or reduces foaming.
These products are used to reduce foam for the purpose of making industrial food processing faster, thus reducing the cost of making the food. These are often silicone based chemicals, and are only produced in laboratories.
These would not be used by the home cook, as the home cook would allow food to naturally lose foam over time. An example is during jam making, foam forms on the top of the boiling mixture. A home cook would simply let the foam go away while it cools. Also, a home cook would not be worried if a small amount of foam stayed with the jam when they put it in the jar.
Some of the products used as antifoaming agents have documented serious health effects, though they still remain on the market with the blessing of the FDA.
The labels will often not be required to state the actual chemical used, and are allowed to simply use words such as "antifoaming agent," so there's no way for you to actually find out what's in it and to do further research.
How it may be described on a label:
- Antifoaming agent
- Defoaming agent
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