Problems producing a stable oil-in-glycerin emulsion?
Hi thereI’m trying to produce a stable, high-viscosity oil-in-glycerin emulsion using lecithin and MCT oil.The problems: Even when it seems to start working, my mixture often liquifies the moment I remove the source of agitation (a hand mixer). Mostly, I get a slightly viscous fluid that seems semi-stable, though it never progresses past this point, and I can see superfine ‘flecks’ of oil on the surface of the emulsion.I’ve tried increasing the initial viscosity with the addition of tapioca starch, but this isn’t yielding adequate results.What am I doing wrong? My suspicions:
Either way, I know this should work, and I’ve seen it almost work. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong, because isolating the variables is hard when it’s not possible to isolate a certain variable beyond certainty (a hand blender; I mean, c’mon).Optional reading: First off, I’m super new at this. I’m not a chemist. I have a rudimentary knowledge of emulsification: partitioning of immiscible liquids in shells of surfactants surrounded by a continuous medium; the higher the intermolecular impact velocity the better (right?), so high sheer and high initial viscosity are desirable.
- I’m using the wrong surfactant. (I want a ‘natural’ emulsifier that’s also easy to understand on product labels, so lecithin seemed a good fit.)
- I’m overdoing the lecithin (is using too much of a surfactant something to worry about?).
- The hand blender is applying the wrong kind of shear (sometimes I get better results making, say, mayo using a whisk).
- The MCT is not viscous enough to start the process off.
- The polarity/surface tension of the glycerin requires a different strategy to making an analogous emulsion such as mayonnaise. I can see hints of this in the way the oil ‘takes’; it seems less enthusiastic, shall I say, to incorporate itself.
- I’m barking up the wrong tree entirely.
Anyway, help would be immensely appreciated!
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