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Emulsifier by Mind Map: Emulsifier
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Functions on application



Texture modification

Emulsion stabilization

Solid fluidization

Crystal modification

Palatability improvement





Aeration or foaming


Definition:A dispersed two-phase system i.e. an intimate mixture of two liquids that are immiscible under normal conditions,whereby one phase is dispersed in the other in the form of fine droplets

the dispersed droplets: dispersed phase/inner phase

the medium in which the droplets are dispersed:continuous phase

Two types of simple emulsion

water in oil (w/o)

oil in water(o/w)

The stability of an emulsion depends on:

degree of division of the inner phase

quality/stability of the interfacial film

viscosity of the outer phase

ratio & the specific weight of the volume of the two phases

Properties of some common food emulsifier

Mono & Di-glycerides

most common used emulsifier

highly lipophilic with HLB values range from 1 to 10

produced by transesterification of gylcerol and triacylglycerides

used in bakery products,frozen desserts, icings, toppings and peanut butter

Sucrose Esters

mono-,di- and tri- esters of sucrose with fatty acids

HLB values from 7-13

mono-esters have HLB >16 for 0/w emulsions

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 the reaction of sorbitol and stearic acid

known as SPAN 60


used in conjunction with polysorbate in oil topping,cake mixes,etc


polyoxyethylene sorbitan esters

formed from the reaction of sorbitan esters with ethylene oxide

Polysorbate 60

polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate ot TWEEN 60


applications:oil toppings,cake mixes and cake icing

Polysorbate 80

polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate ot TWEEN 80


applications for oils in special dietary foods, vitamin-mineral preparation and fat-soluble vitamins

Polysorbate 65

polyoxyethylene sorbitan tristearate ot TWEEN 65

permitted for use in ice cream, frozen custard, ice milk,etc

Stearoyl Lactylates

ionic emulsifier

the most hydrophilic emulsifier

lactic acid ester of monoglyceride with sodium or calcium

form strong complex with gluten in starch

valuable in bakery products

the most hydrophilic emulsifier

Lechitin & Derivatives

amphiphilic emulsifier

a mixture of phospholipid including phosphatidyl choline,phosphatidyl ethanolamine,inositol phosphatides,etc

rich in egg yolk

derived from sybean

can be chemically modified by provide a wide range of HLB

used in bakery goods,low-fat baked goods, chocolate,instant foods,confectionery products and cooking spray

Definition: Substances which reduce the interfacial tension of two normally immiscible phases, allowing them to mix and form an emulsion

Called surface active agent or surfactant

How does emulsifier work?

Emulsifier reduce interfacial tension between the two immiscible phases due to their molecular structure

They have both polar group with an affinity for water (hydrophilic) and a non polar group with an affinity for oil(lipophilic)

Lipophilic tails are composed of C16 (palmitic) or longer fatty acid

Polar head groups are composed of anionic, cationic, amphoteric or nonionic functional groups

The presence of both regions on the emulsifier molecule allows them to orient themselves at the phase interface & lower the interfacial energy that leads to instability

Emulsifier stabilise emulsions by means of monomolecular interfacial films & also by formation of steric and electrical barriers that prevent coalescence of the dispersed droplets

Type of emulsifiers


uncharged molecules relatively insensitive to effects of pH & salt content

most commonly used emulsifier

e.g. mono-and diglycerides,sorbitan esters,sucrose esters, polysorbates,polyoxyethylene glycol oleates(all conatin -OH functional group)


posess a negative elctrical charge

e.g. stearoyl lactylate,diacetyl tartaric esters of monoglycerides(DATEM),succinylated monoglycerides

influenced by pH and ionic strength


posess a positive electrical charge

e.g. amine compounds

not used for food additive(toxic)


posess both positive and negative charges

e.g. various lechitin

may act as anionic or cationic emulsifier

depend on pH of the system


To promote emulsion stability,stabilized aerated systems and control agglomeration of fat globules

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

To improve the texture of fat-based foods by controlling the polymorphism of fats


Breads,Rolls & Buns

Functionality of emulsifier in bread and similar baked products are normally divided into two main groups (1) "dough conditioner" or "dough strenghteners", (2) "crumb softener"

Dough conditioning/strengthening-emulsifier that aid in development of less tacky,more extensible dough that are processed through machinery without tearing or sticking

e.g. calcium stearoyl lactylate,sodium stearoyl lactalyte(SSL),ethoxylated monoglycerides(EOM)

Crumb softening-emulsifier (anionic type) that complex with starch are referred to as "crumb softener"

Crumb softeners interact with the flour components in creating a longer lasting softness in the crumb of finished goods

Emulsifier-starch (specifically amylose) complex reatrd starch crystallization or retrogradation which is responsible for staling

The most effective softeners:lactylates and SMG.Plastic mono- & diglycerides,hydrated distilled monoglycerides and DATEM are also effective

Used from about 0.5-1% of flour weight


Cake batters have been described as complex w/o emulsions or air-in-fat foams,consisting of suspended flour particles,dissolving sugar and proteins

Emulsifier added to fat-containing batters function to (1) stabilize the aerated structure (2) promotea finer distribution of the fat droplets

Alpha-tending emulsifier-e.g. acetic acid esters of monogylceride,lactic acid of monogylceride and propylene glycol esters promote finer distribution of fat droplets and an increase in viscosity of the water phase --> contribute to a higher volume and more uniform cell structure in the finished product

Confectionery Products & Coatings

Emulsifiers are used to inhibit bloom,stabilize gloss & improve palatability

Bloom, which occurs when fat crystals undergo transition from beta' form to the most stable crystalline form,beta form,causing the cocoa butter to separate from the brown nonfat phase

The bloom defect can be retarded with the use of emulsifier functioning as crystal modifiers-i.e.they stabilize the intermediate beta' crystalline form of the fat.These include distilled monoglycerides,,lactic acid esters of monogylceride,sorbitan monostearates & polysorbate 60

Frozen Dairy Products- Ice Cream

In ice cream,emulsifier function as aerating agent and foam stabilizer

In ice cream,emulsifier stabilize the foam by de-stabilizing the product's emulsion

Emulsifier displace the protein from the fat globule surface to the aqueous phase => increase the liquid cream's viscosity and allows the fat globules to agglomerate.The increased viscosity promotes aeration,while the agglomerates stabilize the air cells once the air is incorporated.

Noodle & Pasta

Emulsifier make a rigid complex with starch to protect starch granules and improve the quality of starchy foods

In fresh noodles,emulsifier makes easy to handle dough and increase the water absorption rate by 1 to 2%.The surface of the noodles become smooth and uniform and less sticky,resulting in improved for production.In instant noodles,emulsifier improves absorption and decrease cooking time.

For macaroni and spaghetti,emulsifier provide a feeling of elasticity,and a smooth uniform surface which inhibit sticking after boiling

How to select an emulsifier?

Consult Malaysian Food Act & Regulations-use only approved emulsifier

Select an emulsifier after considering the functional requirements of the food system,the method of processing and the form of the finished product

Consult the supplier for approximate usage levels and methods of incorporating the emulsifier into the food

Determination the HLB requirements for the food system-involves screening emulsifier over a range of HLB values & several concentrations to determine approximate requirement-then verify through experimentation

Evaluate different combinations of two or more emulsifier to determine which gives the most stable emulsion

Optimize the usage level of the emulsifier.If the level is too low,the emulsifier may not perform the function;if too high,it may destroy the product.For example,polysorbate 80 acts as an aerating agent at 0.03-0.1%; however at 0.005%,it acts as a defoamer

Consult the supplier for approximate usage levels and methods of incorporating the emulsifier into the food