Food and Beverage

Hycontrol fulfils a wide range of applications for food and beverage manufacturers, including level monitoring and foam control. Common applications include:

  • Silo protection
  • Solids level measurement in silos, tanks and other vessels of products, including:
    • Sugar
    • Cereal
    • Chocolate
    • Caustic solutions and acids
    • Fats and oils
  • Point switches for high- and ultimate high-level alarms
  • Foam control systems


Application: Foam in Food Processing

The preparation of a wide range of food products generates large amounts of foam. Foam is particularly problematic in the washing of vegetables, including peas, carrots, chips, crisps, sugar beet and various other root vegetables. Margins in the food industry have historically been very tight, and the cost of antifoam can be a significant issue for producers. Detecting foam and controlling the antifoam addition with an automatic system can significantly reduce the cost of antifoam use and has proven to be of great benefit to Hycontrol customers, including Pinguin Foods. Foam control also helps to increase the efficiency of the process by eliminating downtime due to clean up. Hycontrol’s highly versatile SureSense+ foam control systems are specifically for measuring the thickness of the foam in a process, detecting foam-liquid interfaces and measuring liquid levels, ignoring the presence of any foam. The patented technology behind these systems originated from detailed research into foam control during pharmaceutical fermentation. Hycontrol points out that the special measuring sensors and control equipment have been designed specifically for foam control and are not modified level sensors. 

Application: ATEX-Safe Silo Protection

Powdered product storage silos are at risk of dangerous, damaging over-pressurisation. Many of our customers have recognised the need for reliable silo protection at their manufacturing facilities. However, in the food industry, this common problem is further complicated by the fact that flour and other crucial ingredients are potentially explosive substances. Therefore ATEX safety precautions are essential. All of Hycontrol’s ATEX-area equipment is fully-certified, and Hycontrol’s decades of expertise guarantee a safe and effective installation. Hycontrol silo protection systems ensure the maintenance of pressure and level safety to ensure a safe environment. We recommend that systems are serviced by ATEX-trained Hycontrol engineers every six months to ensure optimum performance, including checking ingredients like fine flour are not impeding the PRV or the filter unit.

Application: Foam in Brewing

Brewing is an ancient biotechnology process and requires the generation of foam in the making of products such as beer and cider. During fermentation, yeast in the process breaks down the sugars and starches. This metabolic reaction causes the gas to be released (mainly carbon dioxide), and this can produce lots of foam. Foam production is also an issue in the distillation of most spirits. Too much foam can create big problems with foam-overs and product loss, but in extreme cases foam has also led to fermenters exploding when foam blocked up the gas lines, and the forming gas could not escape. The foam can also be quite tricky to predict and quick to form, leaving very little time to react. To allow for potential foam issues, we commonly see inefficient use of vessels, where increased headspace or ullage is required to accommodate any foam that forms. Ultimately this results in a reduced yield.

It is rare to add antifoam during the production stage, but it is often premixed into the media before fermentation begins, suppressing foam formation during the process. Foam production can be managed by control of the process parameters or by recirculating the media though a spray bar. It is more efficient to perform either of these methods by measuring the foam present with a suitable sensor. 


We are proud to include KelloggsBritish Sugar, Bendicks of Mayfair, Kraft, Unique Foods, Nestlé, McVities and Pinguin Foods amongst our customers in this sector. To discuss your requirements further, please contact us.

Achieving Reliable & Accurate Solids Level Measurement - White Paper
Waste Tank Level Application - Australian Brewery
Effluent Foam Control Application - Cereal Manufacturer
Blocked Chute Detection Application - Animal Feed Manufacturer
Food Manufacturing Foam Control Application - Pinguin Foods
Chocolate Tanks Level Control Application - Bendicks
Pet Food Level Control & Blocked Chute Detection Application - Gilbertson & Page

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