Technique for adding polymeric and carbomer to oil phase....

While formulating a new cream, I always made 150 gram samples.  I have always added my carbomer and polymeric to the oil phase as I dislike working with a gelled water phase.  In these small batches I never noticed a sediment in the oil phase.  As batch sizes have increased into larger sample batches (900 gm), I started to notice that the oil phase had a gritty sediment, even though I heat my oil phase to 85C due to my choice of emulsifier. 

I did a quick knock out to discover who was hanging out at the bottom of the oil phase, and it was the carbomer and the polymeric.  I am fully aware these do not dissolve in the oil phase....just simply had not noticed them there before.

Now this could be from two different plausible explanations...I live in a climate where the humidity rarely drops below 90%, and the bags I am working out of have been opened 50+ times.  So I am wondering if they are starting to make some micro clumps with the humidity?  The other option being...they were always here, and I just did not notice them in the smaller batch.  This is unlikely due to my extremely anal tendencies to observe every aspect of the process.

So the pertinent questions are:  Once the phase are combined, does my roto stator homogenizer, followed by stir down and the emulsion process eliminate these micro clumps?  I have to say....I am super duper sensitive to textual anomalies, and have not felt any. 

Secondly, what is the best technique for minimizing these micro clumps?  In my knock out test...I was able to give that oil phase a vigorous homogenization (which I typically did not do, just stirring), and reduce particle size substantially, and give a temporary look of fully suspended.  Is that the answer?  Or is there a better technique?

Thank you for your consideration.

Comments

  • May be Polymers can not be suspended in oil. I mix xanthan gum in oil phase which is olive oil and petrolatum and it sediments after a few minutes. It is 10kgs each batch and not samples.

    For your question 2: use homogenizer or high shear mixer when mixing polymers in oil. This way they will not make clumps even if they sediment. Just do a simple mixing before or during adding the oil phase to water phase.

    For question 1: yes homogenizer eliminates the clumps. At least for xanthan gum they do. 

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