Required HLB for Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride

I am wondering if anyone has seen discrepancies in the listed HLB requirement for "INCI: Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides".  I have seen TWO different numbers, either "5" or "11", but nothing else in between, so that doesn't make sense.  I realize there could be different methods for synthetically producing this tri-ester, but if it truly is a pure triglyceride containing 3 molecules of any combination of those 2 fatty acids (caprylic and/or capric) bonded with a glycerol molecule, then there really shouldn't be a big difference in the outcome, especially when it comes to consistently providing a required HLB number for suppliers.  Without going through explaining how very different this is than the "fractionated coconut oil" products that we all know some companies are trying to pass off as another version of "caprylic/capric triglycerides", I would simply like to focus on this one ingredient - so let's assume that it TRULY is a PURE triglyceride, only containing those two fatty acids, in a esterified bond with a glycerol molecule, to form that type of a pure triglycerides.  I have only been in this for 7 years, and only running experiments for 4 years of that time, but my guess is that it would be closer to a 11 than an 5.  There shouldn't be that discrepancy.  Any opinions on the matter?


Comments

  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    I have addressed the discrepancy wihTechnical Services at Stepan (Neobee M5 is a well distributed trade name) and they have stated 5 is correct.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    5 is for W/O, 11 is for O/W
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • Thanks!  I'm glad to know that my guess was right.

    But that is so interesting that the required HLB could be different based on whether you're making an o-in-w or w-in-o formula.  I wish the manufacturers and suppliers that stated that difference before.  Whenever I am calculating an HLB for an experimental formula, whatever number it reveals will then lead me to choose whichever emulsifier (or blend of emulsifiers) that get as close as possible to that number.  Some people would say you can easily be off by +or-1, but I aim to get it as close to .5 in either direction... but I didn't think that the requirement for the same exact ingredient would change when in translates into a water-in-oil emulsion.  I understood that it's NOT simply the amount of water you have in emulsion, but rather the type of emulsifiers you choose that would determine the nature of your "Hydrophilic-Lipophilic Balance" requirements.  Although generally if it's more than 50% water, I think it would be difficult to successfully make it an o/w emulsion.  I'll have to integrate that information when re-formulating.  Thanks for sharing.

  • Oops!  Typo on the last sentence... I meant it would probably be difficult to make a WATER-in-Oil emulsion if you're working with more than 50% water.  My understanding is that the required HLB is simply the amount of emulsifying/surfactant power it takes to pull the water and lipids together so that they make nice secure attachments at the interface - which can be micelles or bilayers, but would all include the hydrophilic heads in the water, and the lipophilic tails in the lipids (which of course includes all types of triglycerides, solid fatty acids, liquid oils, sterols, esters, waxes, etc., anything that that is immiscible with water).  The HLB for any substance that is immiscible in water, is given as a single number, usually to the first decimal place (but there's usually a caveat that the whole thing could be +/-1), but I have never seen 2 different numbers provided for the type of emulsion that you are attempting to formulate.  I'd love to hear more opinions.
  • HLB should not change (regardless of emulsion type).Griffin(Atlas/ICI) based it on the molecular structure as a mathematical relationship between the hydrophobic and hydrphilic portions of the molecule.Unless you change this via a molecular structure change the HlB remains constant.
    #doctorbrenda In addition to micelles SAA also form vesicles for drug/cosmetic active encapsulation ie niosomes--cubosomes etc in which HLB plays a significant role.
  • Thanks.  That what I knew to be true, but it's difficult to tell other people when they aren't really accurate.  I'm also interested in learning more about how this plays a role with delivery of active ingredients (i.e., drugs as you mentioned) or other types of dermatological treatments.  I'm glad to find other knowledgeable people!
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    required HLBs fall into two distinct ranges: W/O is around 3-6 and O/W is around 8-15, so it's easy to tell which one is which
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    It actually appears that the correct answer is:  It all depends on which grade of CCT you purchase and from which supplier.

    While the INCI may be Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides across the board for all grades of CCT, they can all vary in the C8:C10 fatty acid composition.  So, one grade of CCT from Supplier A may have a fatty acid composition such that the HLB is 11 while a different grade of CCT from Supplier B has fatty acid composition requiring an HLB of 5.

    That's why you see both numbers in reference materials.  To be certain, unless it is specified on the product spec sheet, ask the supplier the HLB of the particular grade of CCT you are buying from them.

    Virtually all grades of CCT contain 4 fatty acids, not just 2.  
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    To clarify something that @Bill_Toge posted, so there is no confusion.  

    The required HLB for an oil, say CCT with an HLB of 5, is going to be constant regardless of the type of emulsion you are making, O/W or W/O.  That CCT will have an HLB of 5 under any circumstances.

    If you are making an O/W emulsion, the general HLB range of O/W emulsions is 8-15, so to make an O/W emulsion using CCT, you would use a grade of CCT with an HLB of 11 and appropriate emulsifiers.

    If you are making a W/O emulsion, the general HLB range of W/O emulsions is 3-6, so so make a W/O emulsion using CCT, you would use a grade of CCT with an HLB of 5 and appropriate emulsifiers.

    You would want to match the grade of the CCT so its HLB is in the range of the type of emulsion you want to make.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • johnbjohnb Member, Professional Chemist
    MarkBroussard raises an important point regarding the composition of CCT but, it is more complicated than that.

    Whilst CCT may nominally comprise glyceryl tricaprate and glyceryl tricaprylate, the method and conditions of manufacture is nonselective regarding the positioning of the fatty acids on the three hydroxyl groups of the glycerol so isomers will also be formed including:
    glyceryl 1,2-dicaprate 3-monocaprylate 
    glyceryl 1,3-dicaprate 2-monocaprylate
    glyceryl 1,3-dicaprylate 2-monocaprate
    glyceryl 2,3-dicaprylate 1-monocaprate 

    Each of these have different physical properties and the relative proportions of each will influence the character of the final product. This is why, in some critical applications, there is not a straight swap between, say, Myritol 318 and Miglyol 810.

    This relative positioning of fatty acids on the glycerol "backbone" has a huge influence on the physical properties of fats where the relatively small number of fatty acids results in the enormous number of different fats, both animal and vegetable.


  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    @MarkBroussard are there any other materials which have such a wide variation in required HLB?
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • Thank you (MarkBroussard and JohnB) for pointing out the there can be different grades of "INCI: Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides".  I didn't realize that at first, but it totally makes sense, because there are many ingredients that have what seems to be a simple INCI name, but you don't really know everything about their chemical composition.  And that's why it can be so difficult to truly "copy" an existing formula (unless you have really good tools and skills).  For example an ingredient on the list may be "INCI: Dimethicone" but that does not tell you what Centipoise/or/Centistokes it is, which could be 200, 350, 500, over 1000, etc., and that can really change the final product.  They don't have reveal that they used "Down Corning 200 fluid, 350 CST", or specify the grade of any ingredient they use.  I suppose that's how they keep a little control over their propriety formulas.  So again, there could accurately be some grades of CCT that are a 5, and others than are an 11, so I guess you have to cross your fingers and hope you have accurate information being transferred from the laboratory, manufacturer, to the distributors, and then to the suppliers, and hope nothing got lost in translation so to speak.  I know you can calculate yourself, but it's a lot of work, and easier to rely on info provided by suppliers.

    Quick clarification on BillToge's comments about HLB.  I think I was a simple misunderstanding.  We were talking about 2 different things, even though neither one of us was incorrect.  One of us was talking about "assigned HLB" numbers, and the other was talking about "required HLB" numbers.  You can criticize me if you feel the need, but I think the term "assigned HLB" is referring to the number given (or assigned) to specific emulsifier based on their emulsification "power"... so the lower numbers (like 3 to 6) or for producing water-in-oil emulsions, while the really high numbers (like 12 to 15) are obviously for oil-in-water emulsions.  It seems most of the emulsions people are producing these days tends to fall in the 8 to 12 range, because they've combined a blend to suit the requirements for that formula.  Which brings me to the other side of this point, which is that I believe the term "required HLB" is the number given to any substance that "needs to be emulsified", which is why it's referred to a "required HLB".  Number "X" is what it "required" to emulsify that substance (be it an oil, lipid, or whatever else you want to make reference to).  All of these can be calculated using the Griffin mathematical computations, but since other people already did the work in the past, those numbers are usually passed on down the line every time ingredients are re-produced.... which does make me wonder how accurate they are, and if laboratories are really verifying that the products do have numbers that accurately represent their chemical structure.  For example is most of the "Glyceryl Stearate" (or GMS if prefer to call it), really always right at that "3.8" HLB?  I guess that's why there is a caveat being thrown in there, that it could be +/-1, but that's a big difference go up one whole number or down one whole number.  And if you think about a full ingredient list, if almost every ingredient varied by plus or minus one whole number, that could really throw the calculations into a range of inaccuracy that I'm not comfortable with... but oh well, I digressed.

  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @Bill_Toge:

    I'm sure there are other ingredients with the same INCI that will have different HLB numbers depending on the raw material source, the processing, etc. as @johnb pointed out.

    I think it's important to also point out that HLB is a relative scale and in cosmetics, it's not really something that needs to be that precise.

    If you're working on a topical drug delivery then of course it's going to be a much more critical factor than a cosmetic cream.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • Precision will enhance maximum stability not only for OTC drugs but also as cosmetics reaches into dermaceuticals:vesicle formation for targeted delivery  of both cosmetic and drugs are highly dependent on precise HlB. When in doubt you can use the Croda HLB Kit system.
    http://crodaincmktg.com/2017/Silicone/Industrial_Chemicals_Emulsions_brochure_03-15_WEB.pdf 
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    there are not many threads I'm astounded by, but this is definitely one of them
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @Bill_Toge

    If you're astounded by the variations in CCT ... Take a look at the INCI Emulsifying Wax ... you'll find Emulsifying Waxes with completely different ingredient compositions that all have the same INCI.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @zwapp:

    "False Wrongs" and "False Rights" ... do you work in the Trump Administration? ... LOL!
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • johnbjohnb Member, Professional Chemist
    "False Wrongs" and "False Rights" ... do you work in the Trump Administration? ... LOL!

    Wasn't it also Dubya who spouted on about Known unknowns, known knowns, unknown knowns & unknown unknowns?

    Back to my point:

    A point about INCI. Despite what current cosmetic formulators may think, INCI and its predecessor the CTFA Ingredients list was produced wholly for the benefit of the consumer to end the secrecy that used to prevail over cosmetic products to provide standardised information that could be of use for consumers who may have hypersensitivity/allergy to cosmetic ingredients. This being the case, there is definitely no obligation for a manufacturer to disclose the viscosity of the dimethicone he uses or the fatty acid distribution of the glyceride in CCT.

  • I'm really starting to like you folks!

    What "JohnB" mentioned about the INCI labeling of ingredients is an important in that it was only intended to help with consumers need to pre-screen what they expose themselves to.  If a consumer knows they are hypersensitive or allergic to any particular substance, it would not make much of a difference the type of grade or variation, you would want avoid that substance all together.  So naturally the manufacturer is under no obligation to get really specific about the chemical composition, even though many cosmetic formulators would love to know that information.  Which leads to the other point made by "MarkBroussard" about Emulsifying Wax.  There can be many different types and combinations of ingredients that can fall under that label, and the manufacturer does not have to disclose the exact composition.  The parameters are wide, but usually include a mix of fatty alcohol waxes with emulsifiers that are of a higher HLB (usually between 11 and 15), that way it will take care of emulsifying almost any list of cosmetic ingredients.  It is really intended to be a "stand alone" emulsifier that a homecrafter or beginner formulator can throw in to make sure the job gets done as they are experimenting with developing a good base lotion or cream.  Even the concentration of "active" emulsifier is a range that does not have to be guaranteed.  So it's not really possible to use it when you're aiming to get precise calculations.  That's why it's just called "INCI: Emulsifying Wax NF" (using National Formulary guidelines).  CRODA is very protective about what theirs could consist of, and I think there's many people that have tried to figure it out because it has a reputation of having a really nice texture and performance across the board.  Someday we'll probably find out that it's like the ever-popular proprietary recipe of "Coca-Cola" not just being a simple soda... see how that little spike of cocaine made all the difference!  LOL!

  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    You can always ask your ingredient suppliers for a compositional analysis of their product ... that information is generally readily available and they are usually more than happy to provide it to you.


    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • And to "Zwapp", thanks for the article link about cosmetic pharmaceuticals... I'll add it to my long list of reading material that I never seem to finish (LOL).  And I loved your philosophical interlude!  Thanks for everything you add to the discussion.
  • johnbjohnb Member, Professional Chemist
    I'm really apolitical, but isn't a "philosophical Trump" an oxymoronic concept?  LOL!

    I am a moderator on a forum dedicated to computer matters where there is a section devoted to light hearted pastimes including word games. One of the games is Alphabetic Opposites in which a word is matched with its opposite meaning. The game has gone through the alphabet several times now with Trump being the opposing word in each example.

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