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The Next Generation of Emulsifiers

SpecialChem / Nick Morante – Nov 25, 2009

Formulators are constantly seeking alternatives to conventional emulsifiers based on Polyethylene Glycol (POE/PEG emulsifiers) due to their synthetic and potentially irritating properties. They may work very well but when attempting to formulate an all natural product, these just will not work. The next generation of emulsifiers will not involve ethoxylation. They will be based on common chemicals that provide the same emulsifying capabilities as ethoxylates but be much safer, non-irritating and functional. One class of emulsifiers seeing growing popularity are fatty acid esters of sucrose. These are natural, food-grade emulsifiers that come in a very wide range. The only limiting factor would be the particular fatty acid on which they are based. Another type of natural emulsifier is based on Lecithin, which is a phospholipid. These are not new and are even safe enough for foods. Originally animal derived, many grade are now of vegetal origin. There are also vegetal grades of sterol emulsifiers such as cholesterol and lanosterol, which are very strong water-in-oil emulsifiers. Instead of synthetic polymers and resins, there are natural thickeners and stabilizers. These include natural gums and waxes that can be used as co-emulsifiers for cosmetic emulsions...

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