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Mixing Emulsions Made Easy

Many of today's products contain or are in the form of emulsions. It is but natural that, as a mixing company, we devote a special report on preparing stable, high-quality emulsions.

An emulsion, made up of an aqueous and an oil phase, is a common type of delivery system used for personal care products, enabling a wide variety of ingredients to be quickly and conveniently put on hair and skin. In the pharmaceutical industry, they are used to make medicines more palatable, to control dosage of active ingredients, and to improve aesthetics for topical drugs such as ointments. Emulsions are also used as delivery vehicles for insecticides, fungicides and pesticides. Furthermore, many paints and inks are based on emulsions. Such products may be true liquid-in-liquid emulsions or they may be dispersions (where the suspended phase is composed of finely divided solid particles). Lastly, many food products are in the form of emulsions. Milk is a naturally occurring food emulsion in which globules of milk fat are dispersed in water. Salad dressings, sauces, whipped toppings and ice cream are also examples of emulsions of various edible oils. Emulsions affect not only the physical form of food products but also their taste as emulsified oils coat the tongue, imparting mouthfeel. The virtually infinite number of combinations of emulsion systems necessitates the continuing effort to study them and the processes by which they can be prepared efficiently.

By themselves, oil and water will not mix. If combined in a container and shaken, the oil breaks up into smaller particles and may be dispersed momentarily. However, after the agitation is stopped, the dispersed oil particles quickly separate from the water.

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