Can glucosides really work as emulsifiers?

After reading a lot and finding some say yes some say nay
Does it?

I tried pouring
olive oil 1 wt%
generic decyl glucoside solution 10 vol% (about 5.2 active decyl glucoside)
then add 20 vol% water

It became quite cloudy
After a few hours some oil droplets separated on the top.

Maybe glucosides work as emulsifiers but 5.2% active decyl glucoside was way too little to properly emulsify olive oil, which is as non-polar as it can get.


  • Decyl glucoside is surface active so would act as an emulsifer. Your issue with separation is likely due to the lack of stabilisers in the continuous phase and the methodology. 

    Also I wouldn't say olive oil is a non-polar oil. Try squalene or squalane.
  • In my experience, yes, it does work. You'll want to check your HLB values and required HLB values first before setting up your experiment. 

  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    My experience, you always need a co-emulsifier with those. They will work, just not alone. Olive oil is quite the polar triglyceride, as CriticalM mentioned, BTW.
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