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What is?


a dispersed 2-phase system, an intimate mixture of 2 liquids that are immiscible under normal conditions

One phase dispersed in the other in the form of fine doplets

Dispersed phase---dispersed droplets/inner phase

Continuous phase---medium in which droplets are dispersed


Reduce the surface tension at the interface, allow 2 immiscible liquids to mix and form emulsion

surface-active agents or surfactants

Stability of emulsifier

Degree of division of the inner phase

Quality or stability of interfacial film

Viscosity of the outer phase

Ratio and specific weight of the volumes of the 2 phases


Promote emulsion stability, stabilize aerated system, control agglomeration of fat globules

Modify texture, shelf life, rheological properties by complexing with starch and protein components

Improve the texture of fat-based foods by controlling the polymorphism of fats

How does emulsifier work?

Reduce surface tension between 2 immiscible phases due to their molecular structure

Have both polar group with an affinity for water (hydrophilic) , and non-polar group with an affinity for oil (lipophilic)

Lipophilic tails---C16 (palmitic) or longer fatty acids

Polar head group---anionic, cationic, amphoteric, or nonionic functional group

Emulsifiers can orient at the phase interface and lower the interfacial energy that kead to instability

It stabilize emulsion by means of monomolecular interfacial film and also formation of steric and/or electrical barriers that prevent coalescenceof dispersed droplets

Types of emulsifier


Uncharged molecules, insensitive to pH and salt content

Examples : mono- and diglycerides, sorbitan esters, sucrose esters, polysorbates, polyoxyethylene glycol oleates (all contain -OH functional group)


Possess a -ve charge

Examples : stearoyl lactylates, diacetyl tartaric esters of monoglycerides (DATEM), succinylated monoglycerides

Functionality- influenced by pH and ionic strength


Possess a +ve charge

Example : amine compound


Possess both +ve and -ve charges

Examples : various lecithin (may act as anionic/cationic emulsifier depend on pH of system)

Properties of some common food prpoerties

Mono- & Di-glycerides

High lipophilic with HLB values range from 1-10

Produced by transesterification of glycerola nad triacylcerides

Used in bakery products, frozen desserts, icings, toppings, peanut butter

Sucrose Esters

Mono-, di-, and tri- esters of sucose with fatty acids

HLB values from 7-13

Mono-esters have HLB>16 for o/w emulsion

Di-esters are good for w/o emulsion

Tri-esters have HLB~1

Sorbitan Esters

Sorbitan monostearate is the only sorbitan ester approved for food use

Produced by reaction of sorbitol+stearic acid



Used in conjunction with polysorbates in oil toppings, cake mixes, etc


Polyoxyethylene sorbitan esters

Formed from reaction of sorbitan esters with ethylene oxide

Polysorbate 60

Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate or TWEEN 60


Used in oil toppings, cake mixes, cake icings

Polysorbate 65

Polyoxyethylene sorbitan tristearate or TWEEN 65

Used in ice cream, frozen custard, ice milk, etc

Polysorbate 80

Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate or TWEEN 80


Used in special dietary foods, vitamin-mineral preparation, fat-soluble vitamins

Stearoyl Lactylates

Ionic emulsifier

Most hydrophilic emulsifiers used in food

Lactic acid ester of monoglyceride with sodium or calcium

Form strong complex with gluten in starch

Used in bakery products

Lecithin and derivatives

Amphipilic emulsifiers

Mixture of phospholipids including phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl ethanolamines, inositol phosphatides, etc

Rich in egg yolk

Derived from soybeans

Used in baked goods, low-fat baked goods, chocolate, instant foods, confectionary products, cooking spray


Bread, Rolls, Buns

Dough conditioning/strengthening, Emulsifier that aid in development of less tacky, more extensible dough processed through machinery without tearing or sticking, Exert their effect during fermentation, mechanical handling, shaping, transport, during proofing and the first part baking time, Examples : calcium stearoyl lactylate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate (PS 60), etc

Crumb-softening, Emulsifiers (anionic type) that complex with starch, interact with the flour components to create a longer lasting softness, Emulsifier-starch (spacially amylose) complex retard starch crystallization or retrogradation which is responsible for staling, Most effective softeners---lactylates and SMG, plastic mono- and diglycerides, DATEM


Cake batters---complex o/w emulsions or air-in-fat foamms, consist of suspended flour particles, dissolved sugars, proteins

Emulsifiers added to fat-containing batters---stabilize aerated structure, promote finer distribution of fat droplets

Alpha-tending emulsifiers (acetic acid esters of monoglycerides, lactic acid esters of monoglycerides, etc)

Alpha-tending emulsifiers promote finer distribution of fat droplets, increase viscosity of water phase---higher volume and more uniform cell structure in finished product.

Confectionery Products & Coatings

Emulsifiers---inhibit bloom, stabilize gloss, improve palatibility

Bloom---occur when fat crystals undergo transition from beta' form to the most stable crystalline form, beta

distilled monoglycerides, lactic acid esters of monoglycerides, sorbitan monostearate and polysorbate 60

Frozen Dairy Products - Ice Cream

Emulsifiers---aerating agent and foam stabilizer

Emulsifier stabilize the foam by destabilizing the product's emulsion

It displace the protein from fat globule surface to the aqueous phase

This increase liquid cream's viscosity, allows fat globules to agglomerate

increased viscosity---promote aeration

Agglomeration---stabilize air cells once the air is incorperated

Noodle & Pasta

Emulsifiers---make a rigid complex with starch to protect starch granules, improve quality of starchy foods

Fresh noodles---emulsifier makes it easier to handle dough, increase water absorption rate. Surface of noodle become smooth, unoform, less sticky

Instant noodles---emulsifier improve absorption, decrease cooking time

Macaroni & Spaghetti- emulsifier provide feeling of elasticity, smooth uniform surface inhibits sticking after boiling

Hydrophilic- Lipophilic Balance (HLB)

Express the balance of size and strength of hydrophilic and lipophilic groups of emulsifier

High HLB value (HLB>10)---relatively more polar molecules

More lipophilic emulsifiers have HLB values from 1-10

HLB values---to describe emulsifying properties of nonionic emulsifiers

HLB 3-6 : good w/o emulsifier

HLB 7-9 : good wetting agent, can be used for w/o or o/w emulsifier

HLB 10-18 : good o/w emulsifier