Understanding Emulsifiers

Hi, Rocky here. I’m new. I’m afraid I don’t have much to contribute yet on account of how new I am, but I do have questions. So many questions. Hope that’s ok.

I am getting to know new-to-me emulsifiers and ran a test today and the result surprised me. I wanted to compare three emulsifiers so I used the following formula:

  • Water → 78.8%
  • Emulsifier → 4% (where emulsifier = montanov 202, montanov L, or olivem 1000)
  • 1,3-Propanediol → 4%
  • Xanthan gum → .02%
  • Glyceryl Stearate SE → 1%
  • Cetyl alcohol → 2%
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride → 10%

I heated the water and emulsifier, then added the propanediol + xanthan after it melted. Separately heated the rest, brought all to 70C, then mixed all together with high shear (or as high as I am capable with limited tools).

After they were cooled I found that the emulsion with Olivem was a thick cream, the Montanov L was a thinner cream, really a good lotion consistency. The Montanov 202 is water thin and that surprised me. I guess because of the fatty alcohols in it, I thought it would be a lot thicker like the other two. 

My question is, does this sound right to you? I am going to remake the 202 because I figure I probably did something wrong with that batch, but maybe it is normal behavior for that emulsifier? Is one of my other ingredients incompatible with 202? (yah, no preservatives right now. It's all getting tossed later today). 

Many thanks!

Comments

  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    edited June 11
    A: Montanov 202 and glyceryl stearate SE have a higher melting/processing temperature than the other ones (~10°C higher). Generally, 70°C is on the lower end for all of them. Try 80°C.
    B: Montanov 202 is also different insofar as it can handle higher amounts of oils or rather is meant to be used with considerably higher oil phases.
    C: The four emulsifiers all result in lamellar gel networks rather than micellar emulsions; hence, they may not take too high too long shear mixing (especially under the 'gelling' temperature) very well.
    D : Because of point C, all these emulsions will 'ripen/harden' over the next few hours to days. Give them some time to fully attain their final viscosity. Cooling rate can also be part of the difference (M 202, because of point A, doesn't do well when cooled too fast and can't ripen in the worst case).
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited June 11
    Mfg directions for M 202 is 85 C.  (Do not force cool these emulsifiers)

    As Pharma said, too much shear...can cause issues.  

    I use M 202, and never more than 2 min shear, while HOT.

    Many products take 48 hours to mature.  Do not evaluate until that point.

    (I think you did not melt your M 202.  Taking it to 85C...I think you'll get a different result.
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    Pharma said:
    A: Montanov 202 and glyceryl stearate SE have a higher melting/processing temperature than the other ones (~10°C higher). Generally, 70°C is on the lower end for all of them. Try 80°C.
    B: Montanov 202 is also different insofar as it can handle higher amounts of oils or rather is meant to be used with considerably higher oil phases.
    C: The four emulsifiers all result in lamellar gel networks rather than micellar emulsions; hence, they may not take too high too long shear mixing (especially under the 'gelling' temperature) very well.
    D : Because of point C, all these emulsions will 'ripen/harden' over the next few hours to days. Give them some time to fully attain their final viscosity. Cooling rate can also be part of the difference (M 202, because of point A, doesn't do well when cooled too fast and can't ripen in the worst case).
    Is gelling temperature below 50°c temperature?
  • Thanks @Pharma & @Graillotion for the solids! I shall make new batches tomorrow, up the heat, and properly preserve so I can watch it for a few days. I'll try a batch of 202 with a greater proportion of oil, too. I have to say, I do love the way these emulsifiers feel. 
  • Also try with the Montanov 202 in the oil phase rather than water phase.
  • ggpetrovggpetrov Member

    • Water → 78.8%
    • Emulsifier → 4% (where emulsifier = montanov 202, montanov L, or olivem 1000)
    • 1,3-Propanediol → 4%
    • Xanthan gum → .02%
    • Glyceryl Stearate SE → 1%
    • Cetyl alcohol → 2%
    • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride → 10%
    I think these emulsifiers are incomparable, at least the way you do it. 4% is way too much for that fat phase. Glyceryl stearate SE is a stand alone emulsifier. Maybe you mean Glyceryl monostearate? Olivem 1000 is a different planet, I use it a lot in my face products, but I think that you can achieve far pleasant and ellegant profile by replacing the Cetyl alcohol with the Oliwax LC for example. I don't like Montanov 202! 10% lipid phase usually means a lotion. In lotions the common practice is to replace part of the fat phase thickeners - Fatty alcohols, Glyceryl monostearate, with water phase thickeners like synthetic polymers or natural gums, or both. This approach gives lighter and more pleasant textures. So with your test formula you can estimate nothing, because every emulsifier has it's own unique properties. Many people don't like Olivem 1000 for example, but I think it's because they don't know how to use it properly. If you look at the Hallstar's example formulations, you will notice that they use about 1-3% Olivem 1000 (usually 2%) and very rare in 5-10% when you make a cream gels. So the devil is hidden in the details. Good luck!

  • Ok I made the 202 again and made sure that everything got up to 85C. At the moment it is still thin, but I'll wait and see how it shapes up over the next couple of days. I am hearing you all tell me that the emulsifier to lipid ratio is much too high, and indeed, for all three emulsifiers the soaping is off the charts. Next round I'll drop the emulsifiers to 2%. And, @helenhelen, I will try them in the oil phase as well.

    @ggpetrov, thank you. Even with the cetyl alcohol, I think the olivem sample feels heavenly so I look forward to playing with it more. To clarify, I wasn't aiming for a lotion vs cream in particular. I was interested in seeing the performance of the three emulsifiers under identical conditions. That 202 came out so different from the other two caused me to worry that there was an incompatibility with the other ingredients. Or a formulator error, which does appear to be the case. I guess 202 really is a different creature from the other two? I appreciate your guidance and will make note of those amounts going forward. I figure I can fine-tune the textures down line, after I understand the nature of these ingredients a bit more. 

    Much gratitude. I'll report back. 
  • jemolianjemolian Member
    Will recommend looking at the the tech brochure. I find that both the Montanovs are not bodying, so it would be as what you observed. It seems that you are using slightly too high a percentage for the Montanov L. 

  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
    What is your pH? 
    Is that 0.02% xanthan gum? 

    I would say use 0.2-0.3% xanthan gum.

    Also ratio of surfactants have big impact on viscosity. As you dont know the composition of m 202, why don't you make a batch with only 202 and remove GMS SE & fatty alcohol?

    I am sure the ratio in 202 is optimized to give high viscosity. 
  • Also try with the Montanov 202 in the oil phase rather than water phase.
    Just curious...why this recommendation?  Do you find a haptic difference?  I have mostly used it in the water phase.
  • @Abdullah - I haven't been measuring pH at this point. Good point about the xanthan, though, because I wrote the wrong thing. It was 0.2%, NOT .02%. Funny, I read and re-read the first post so many times and *still* missed that typo. 

    I do know the 202 composition as far its being Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, and Arachidyl Glucoside. Don't know the exact percentages, though. Are you saying that the GMS SE and cetyl alcohol may be reducing the viscosity of this one emulsifier, but not the others?
  • AbdullahAbdullah Member
     Are you saying that the GMS SE and cetyl alcohol may be reducing the viscosity of this one emulsifier, but not the others?
    Maybe. If you make a batch with only 202 then you can say for sure what was the problem. 

    In LGNs only a specific ratio of surfactants give high viscosity as shown here. 

  • ggpetrovggpetrov Member
    Montanov 202 as well as its ancestor Simulgreen 18-2 is a big shit. If I remember properly, there were a issue with the temperature in the cool down phase. If it drops too fast this could be reason for breaking the emulsion. Also the temperatures of the fat and the water phase should be very close, because if they are not - it's a problem. Also during the cool down you have to agitate the emulsion with a propeller mixer, not with a spoon. Me personally didn't have any issues with the Montanov 202, but I didn't like it. It's expensive, and gives nothing more than the other emulsifiers I'm using do. I don't think that this is a GMS SE or Cetyl alcohol issue. It's just a freakish emulsifier.

  • PaprikPaprik Member
    Lol @ggpetrov, so much hate against poor Montanov 202 :D 
    But hey, I hear ya! It is very expensive, but I think it does make nice creams. However, it does have higher melting point and the cooling takes ages. And yeah, you cannot speed it up. And you really have to use High shear otherwise it won't work (this note is for you @RocketDog. If really requires high shear - homogeniser).

    But I have it in my cream and have not had issues either. 
    In total, for the price and hassle, it is not the best one. 
  • I feel like I’ve seen ingredients marketed as “creating feelings of happiness and joy” (or some such thing) but really it’s Montanov 202 creating those strong feelings! 

    I appreciate all of this good advice more than I can say. I’ll report back soon. I’m slightly preoccupied with wildfires at the moment, but I will continue testing as soon as I can.
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