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What is an emulsion mixer and what does it do?

April 5, 2013

Oil and water do not mix unless there is an added ingredient called an emulsifier or surfactant. This surface active agent works to stabilize the oil particles so that there is less tension between the water molecules and the oil. This makes a much more stable mixture as the oil can no longer separate or cling to the water.

An emulsion mixer uses the right combination of surfactant so that companies can save money by using less of the emulsifier in their products. The key is finding the right balance.

An emulsion is made by combining oil with an aqueous phase. This is widely used in cosmetics, lotions and creams. It’s what makes them applicable to the skin. Pharmaceutical companies use emulsifiers in topical creams and ointments and in mixing certain medications so that the appropriate dosage is achieved.

Liquids used to fight fungus and bugs use these unique combinations as well as many food manufacturers. Items which use oils that do not dissolve use some form of emulsifier to make items useable. Such foods as dressings, whipped toppings and certain sauces are made using an emulsion mixer to make them marketable.

There are single stage and multi-stage head design high shear mixers. They vary in intensity and how small the particles are in the end product. They start the process with the same size particles but one can break it down to ten microns. The more intense emulsion mixer can break particles down to one micron in size.

The main difference to be considered here would be the initial cost of the equipment. One also has to consider the ongoing cost of up keep. A business must also take into consideration which will do the job they desire. If the less intense will mix the emulsifier in and the outcome is the useable product then that is the better choice.

An emulsion mixer is used to combine ingredients that are otherwise incompatible. This process is what makes cream based products spreadable. It leaves cosmetics with the right texture and consistency to put on the skin. It also makes pharmaceutical products safe to consume ensuring the proper dosage is reached. The emulsion mixers cause oil and water phases to be able to work together for the desired outcome.

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