InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA - Emulsifier is mostly used in many industries, such as, food industries (food and drink) non-food industries (such as, paint, cosmetic, and others). The products consist of emulsion. Emulsion is a suspension or dispersion of liquid in the other liquid, which the molecule in the liquid will not mix each other but antagonistic. In general, emulsion is not stable in its characteristic. The particle of the dispersible liquid tends to unite and separate from the other liquid (the continuous phase liquid), for example in the fat and water, emulse will separate but depend on the circumstance. To stabilize the emulsion system, it needs emulsifier.
Emulsifier consists of part which is hydrophilic and hydrophobic (lipophylic) in a molecule. In the picture, the Molecule Structure, emulsifier gives the illustration of molecule structure in the emulsifier. The hydrophilic is easy to melt in the water and the hydrophobic is very difficult or even it will not melt in the water. Emulsifier is concentrated in the interface from the water and oil phase, and reduces the tense of the face or interface to make more stable emulsion
In commercial emulsifier, the part which is hydrophilic could consist of glycerol, sorbitol, sucrose, propylene glycol, or poly-glycerol. The hydrophobic part is made by the fatty acid which is the derivative product of fat and oil, such as, soybean oil, rapeseed oil, coconut oil, and palm oil kernel.
Kinds and Material of Emulsifier
There are some kinds of emulsifier which is produced and used in the industries. But whatever its kinds, it should have some characteristics, such as, stable in the chemical system, inert or not react with other emulsifier, not toxic, not irritating, no bad smell. Kinds of emulsifier are mostly used in the industries, namely food (food and drink) industries.
Material of Emulsifier
The materials to make emulsifier are various. But they depend on the emulsifier product which is to produce. The material in emulsifier industries could be from the plantations and animals. Oil or triglyceride from the plantation, such as, palm oil, is the ingredient which is mostly used as the material. Some others utilizes or advantage the animal fat, namely, tallow as the material. The others which are used are the material producing sorbito, sugar, tartrate acid, lactate acid, citric acid, acetate acid, and others.
The Usage of Emulsifier
Emulsifier is mostly used in food industries. The products of the food industries using emulsifier are bakery, chocolate, and confectionary, culinary, dairy, frozen dessert, red meat products, fowl meat, seafood, oil and fat. Besides, emulsifier is also used in cosmetic.
The emulsifier industries as what has been mentioned above give the opportunity for the development of domestic emulsifier industries. The material for the industries is abundant in this country, namely in the kind of emulsifier from palm oil.
What is to notice is that the technology in emulsifier production tends to be closer than the technology in oleo-chemical production. In general, the emulsifier producer companies have their variant products and the process and the material to be used. They have their own specification. So it is important to do research and development of the processing technology. (Wahyu Purwanto/Researcher of Pusat Teknologi Agroindustri – BPPT)
This article once published in InfoSAWIT, September 2015
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