Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Help with Fish-oil based ‘Gel’

  • Help with Fish-oil based ‘Gel’

    Posted by Snowman on December 10, 2019 at 12:33 am

    I have been working on a personal project for a little while
    now to create (or replicate) some of the commercial fishing scent attractants
    eg this
    . I am working off of the idea that they are based on a fish oil which will
    slowly disperse in the water. I have little to no real experience in the
    chemistry field but I am having fun experimenting and trying to learn. I
    understand this may not be in line with the main purpose of this site (as its
    not cosmetics related) but I am hoping that the chemistry experience of the
    folks here would be transferable to this project.

     

    I have been using a base of Tuna Oil (like this)
    and trying to build from there. I have tried various combinations of Tuna Oil,
    PolaWax, Polysorbate
    80 and Cetyl Stearyl Alcohol just following some cosmetic recipes online as a
    starting point . Most experiments produced something that was too hard and waxy,
    and when placed into water quickly started to emulsify and break down. So far
    the closest I have come to matching the look and feel of the commercial product
    is 91.5% Oil and 8.5% Cetyl Stearyl Alcohol, heated to combine and stirred with
    a spatula. Once this cooled it looked and smelled like the commercial product at
    room temperature, however I now have 2 issues I am trying to fix. Perhaps they
    are related.

     

    1. At room
      temperature the viscosity is good, however a small increase in temp (like
      a warmer day or putting the container in your pocket) decreases the viscosity
      back to oil. I was hoping to be able to have the viscosity more stable so
      it stays thicker at a wider range of temperatures.
    2. It lacks
      a “tackiness”. I would like to be able to make it ‘stickier’ so that it
      holds on better when placed on an object in water. At present it has a tendency to just slide
      off whatever it is placed on. I am after more of a sticky grease type consistency.

     

    I also investigated using petroleum jelly @25% which seemed
    to help a little but again it was not stable at slightly increased temperature (liquefied
    immediately) and seemed to separate after a day or so. Finally, I have started
    reading up on the mechanisms of liquid soap making using things like oil/potassium
    hydroxide but I am not sure if this is a better path to follow.

     

    I guess I am not even sure I am going about this in the
    right way. Is what I am trying to achieve possible following this path of an
    oil base or should i look at changing paths completely? If anybody could offer some advice on what I could try next I would
    be very grateful and happy to learn some more!

     

    Thank you.

    Bill_Toge replied 4 years, 5 months ago 6 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • Herbnerd

    Member
    December 10, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    I was involved with a similar fish attracting product; and after many iterations, the brand owner’s indecision, etc, after 10+ years it is still not commercial though we had something working.

    One way would be to use a base of gelatin, glycerol & water to get something that is plastic and add your tuna oil into that. Once the gekatin mass has dried to about 10% moisture, you can cut into strips and bait your hook with that. The gelatin will swell in cold water and may only last an hour or so until you need to re-bait.

    Another way, would be to melt beeswax into the oil - about 8-12% to get a viscous waxy-oily mass. There are other viscosity modifiers you could use too.

  • Snowman

    Member
    December 11, 2019 at 3:27 am

    Thank you for the input! Sounds like the first option is more of an “artificial bait” rather than a rub-on scent but certainly an interesting concept! Would a somehow diluted version of this achieve what i am after or is this only suitable for making a “solid”?

    Interesting point about the beeswax, i do have some of that but havent tried it. Would that get me closer to a gel that is more temperature stable and a little stickier? Assuming i would also need to use a solubilizer in that to get it to disperse in water right?

    Could you point me in the direction of these other viscosity modifiers?

    Genuinely appreciate your help here!

  • belassi

    Member
    December 11, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Polyvinyl alcohol?

  • Bill_Toge

    Member
    December 11, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    try gelling the oil with hydroxystearic acid; at a sufficiently high percentage (5% or more) it’ll make the oil close to solid

  • Snowman

    Member
    December 12, 2019 at 3:20 am

    Thanks to both @Belassi  and @Bill_Toge. I will do my best to track down these ingredients and give it a go. In the mean time i may try and experiment with some BeesWax and a few other things.

  • Snowman

    Member
    December 12, 2019 at 5:25 am

    Sorry one additional question, in order to stabilize the product viscosity at a wider variety of temperatures, would the above suggestions help with that or will it increase viscosity at room temperate and still degrade (go thinner) as the temp increases? It seems my current formula is only “stable” at room temp. Would moving to a Oil/Water solution assist with this?

  • Bill_Toge

    Member
    December 14, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    hydroxystearic acid gels are not temperature-sensitive

  • Snowman

    Member
    December 16, 2019 at 12:18 am

    @Bill_Toge Thanks! That certainly looks like an avenue worth pursuing. I started looking around for this and it appears to be very hard to find in Australia. It seems its also called 12-hydroxystearic? My searching turned up stearic acid which seems to be very easy to get, but looking at the makeup of it it appears marginally different. Are these 2 interchangeable by any chance?

  • EVchem

    Member
    December 16, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    stearic acid not the same as hydroxystearic (which is the 12-hydroxystearic). You could try polyhydroxystearic which is common in lipstick ( so might be more obtainable) and the SDS I read says it is not harmful for the aquatic enviroment. That is a closer substitute

  • Pharma

    Member
    December 16, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    BTW I wouldn’t use an emulsifier (e.g. polysorbate 80) or your product will emulsify in water and wash off easily.

  • Snowman

    Member
    December 18, 2019 at 4:31 am

    Thanks to everybody for their input. I have alot to test out!

  • Bill_Toge

    Member
    December 19, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    Snowman said:

    @Bill_Toge Thanks! That certainly looks like an avenue worth pursuing. I started looking around for this and it appears to be very hard to find in Australia. It seems its also called 12-hydroxystearic? My searching turned up stearic acid which seems to be very easy to get, but looking at the makeup of it it appears marginally different. Are these 2 interchangeable by any chance?

    it’s 12-hydroxystearic acid; stearic acid is completely different and doesn’t have any capacity to form a gel
    also polyhydroxystearic acid is a different thing from both of these and has no capacity to form a gel either

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