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Classification of food emulsifiers

2020-12-21 10:58


The difference in the properties of emulsifiers is not only related to the size and shape of the hydrocarbon group, but also mainly related to the difference in the hydrophilic group. The change of the hydrophilic group is much larger than that of the hydrophobic group. Therefore, the classification of emulsifiers is generally divided based on the structure of the hydrophilic group, i.e. the type of ion.


1. Ionic emulsifier

When the emulsifier is soluble in water, anything that can dissociate into ions is called ionic emulsifier. If the emulsifier dissociates into a smaller cation and a larger anion group including a hydrocarbon group after being dissolved in water, and what acts is an anionic group, called an anionic emulsifier. If the emulsifier dissociates after being dissolved in water, a smaller anion and a larger cationic group are formed, and the cationic group plays a role, this emulsifier is called cationic emulsifier. The amphoteric emulsifier molecule is also composed of a lipophilic non-polar part and a hydrophilic polar part. In particular, the hydrophilic polar part contains both anions and cations.


In the ionic emulsifier industry, anionic emulsifiers have the earliest development, the largest output, the most varieties, and the most successful industrialization. Anionic emulsifiers commonly used in the food industry include alkyl carboxylates, phosphates, etc., and commonly used amphoteric emulsifiers include lecithin. Cationic emulsifiers are rarely used in the food industry.


2. Non-ionic emulsifier

Non-ionic emulsifiers do not ionize in water. When dissolved in water, the hydrophobic group and the hydrophilic group are on the same molecule, and they act as lipophilic and hydrophilic respectively. It is precisely because non-ionic emulsifiers do not ionize in water and do not form ions, which makes non-ionic emulsifiers have better performance than ionic emulsifiers in some aspects.


The above classification is based on the structural characteristics of emulsifiers. In actual production, there are also classifications based on the relative strength of the hydrophilic and lipophilic emulsifiers, divided into (O/W) emulsifiers and lipophilic emulsifiers. Generally speaking, highly hydrophilic emulsifiers mainly form oil-in-water (0/w) emulsions, and lipophilic emulsifiers mainly form water-in-oil (w/o) emulsions. . However, it should be pointed out that when an emulsifier is used to prepare an emulsion, it is not only affected by the emulsifier itself, but also by the composition of the material in the system, the pH value, and the temperature of 8 degrees.


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