SUBMICRON HOMOGENEOUS EMULSIONS
WHAT IS SUBMICRON HOMOGENIZATION?
The preparation of a nano-scale or submicron homogeneous emulsion involves the homogenization of oil-in-water liquid phases with a mean droplet size ranging from 50nm to less than 1000nm. The stability of a submicron emulsion, achieved through submicron homogenizing, depends on droplet size and the surfactant chemical system (and its concentration) used in the formulation.
BENEFITS OF SUBMICRON EMULSION
Submicron emulsions are beneficial for products across numerous industries, including food & beverage, consumer beauty, personal care & cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Using a homogenizer for emulsion to produce these types of goods — which might include sauces, seasonings, cosmetic creams, pharmaceutical suspensions, and more — is often the most effective way to create the smaller droplet sizes and higher molecular density that these commodities require. The emulsion process provides numerous advantages, such as:
- Improved stability, thus creating more reliable, predictable product quality
- Uniform texture, which aids in product quality and performance
- Taste benefits for food products, ensuring that flavorings are uniformly distributed
- Longer shelf life as a result of improved stability
- Cost benefits in scenarios where a more stable emulsion requires fewer additional materials and processes
High-pressure homogenization as a process for emulsion formation is sometimes viewed as cost- or energy-prohibitive. However, in addition to the above benefits — which cannot be achieved through other methods with the same level of quality and consistency — emulsification technology is continually evolving to offer improved productivity and more favorable resource usage and cost.
Each emulsion product and application will have different ideal droplet sizes. In most cases, sizes between two and five microns will be suitable, though there are many instances where much smaller droplets are required in order to achieve the necessary material properties and quality levels. When considering a homogenizer, remember that:
- Reduced droplet sizes have desirable effects, including:
- Stability is improved while reducing the need for thickening agents
- Submicron droplets in creams or lotions enhance the penetration of active ingredients and improve the protection characteristics of sunscreens
- Multiple emulsions can be used for sustained release of additive ingredients over time
THE APPLICATION CHALLENGE
Several processing methods are used to produce submicron emulsions, but they all suffer from the same limitations: restricted capacity, high energy consumption and frequent maintenance requirements, all of which add to the cost of processing.
THE QUADRO® SOLUTION
The Quadro® HV-Emulsifier provides more process shear energy than a conventional rotor-stator mill, so submicron droplet size is easily achieved without the subsequent processing of a high-pressure homogenizer. Unlike colloid mills or valve homogenizers, the HV technology effectively creates a submicron emulsion from two separate liquid phases — for example, the homogenization of oil in water — in a single step. This means that the traditional setup of a rotor-stator mixer feeding a valve homogenizer can now be replaced with one machine — the Quadro® HV-Emulsifier — while increasing productivity and reducing cost.
Choose the Quadro® HV-Emulsifier for your submicron homogenizing and experience the benefits of higher capacity, lower energy usage and reduced maintenance.