Preventing Prilling

MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
I have an anhydrous oil formulation thickened with Cocoa Butter that is exhibiting some Prilling after several weeks.  Any ideas on how best to prevent prilling?
Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

Comments

  • Do you mean its forming little pellets? Usually prilling is when a molten solid is dropped and the drop cools to form a pellet. The product is spontaneously forming little pellets?
    Cosmetic Product Development
    Sussex Research Laboratories Inc.
    www.sussex-research.com
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    Sure, Mark. Try a tiny bit of lecithin in there. Prevents crystallization of those butters on cooling. 
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Could you define "prilling"? I do know that word in a different context which doesn't make any sense in your case and my dictionary isn't of any help either.
    If you mean formation of small crystalline clusters: cocoa butter shows that in pure form and is said to not do it in mixtures although I've learned that it still does in some mixtures. One trick there is to incorporate it at 31-35°C and use low shear during cool down (some say only 30-32°C but this is likely borrowed from chocolate making, so is the advice to add a small amount of solid/cold cocoa butter at <30°C during the cool-down stirring phase). Another one is to use substitutes such as mango kernel butter.
    The problem with cocoa is the different crystal forms of which only one is stable. Heating cocoa >35°C melts the stable gamma form completely and it takes a long time and low temps (<20°C) for it to re-crystallise. When it does, chances are high, that it forms those small clusters. Heating just enough to visually melt it without melting all crystals results in rapid re-crystallisation with an even distribution and hence a smooth appearance. The addition of cold cocoa butter during cool down does basically the same (the term would be "seed crystal").
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    Yes, it is forming little pellets over time.

    Appreciate your collective help.  I'll try incorporating some lecithin and incorporating the cocoa butter at cool down.  Many thanks!
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
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