Sugar production


Sugar beets have a dry mass content of about 22 to 26 percent when being harvested. The dry mass contains organic parts and ashes, like oxides, sulfates, alkali and earth alkali metals. The organic content can be divided into non-sugar and sugar substances. As non sugar substances we mainly find nitrogen containing chemical compounds (for example amino acids and proteins). The most important sugar in the beet is saccharose – other sugars like fructose and galactose can only be found in small quantities. The sugar content of the beet depends on many different factors like climate, soil conditions, fertilization, varying in a range between 16 and 19 percent.

During beet processing foam occurs due to foam active substances (proteins, sugar and degradation products), which are eluted during the transport in water, mash and during the cossettes extraction. During this process a protein foam is generated, which is stabilized by sugar.

An additional application of antifoaming agents in sugar processing is at the boiling station. In this case degassing is more important than defoaming as the consequences of in-process air can lead fo instable process conditions (boiling delay, negative influence on colour, etc.) as well as higher energy consumption. By the use of Struktol antifoam products both negative effects can be counteracted.

The foaming mainly depends on the process conditions and the beet quality (impurity of beet, frost etc.). Different diffusion techniques (BMA, RT, DeSmet etc.) lead to foaming in different stages of the process. As a result, the foam occurs at different points throughout the process.

Besides the contents of the sugar beet process conditions and process temperatures mainly influence the foam generation. Also the dimension of the water circulation has a major impact. The higher the concentration of foam active substances in the circulation, the higher the level of foam.


Struktol antifoam products are adapted exactly to the requirements of the different stages in sugar production. Often each part of process needs an individual antifoam formulation.

The dosage of antifoam products is carried out in order to achieve not only destruction of already existing foam, but also prevention of foam generation.

For a smooth factory process the prevention of foaming is recommendable. The best possible dosage point and quantity depend on the corresponding process. Usually the dosage is carried out in advance in order to achieve maximum performance at the foaming point. The necessary dosage quantities vary and depend on different factors. They have to be found out by production trials.

Exact dosage quantities and best suitable dosage points have to be found out during trials at the corresponding sugar factory. Different pH-values do not have major impact on the effectiveness of the antifoam products. Both in acidic or alkaline areas the Struktol antifoam products show a good performance.