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What Is An Emulsifying Agent?

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Daniel Pountney Profile
Daniel Pountney answered
An emulsifying agent is a substance that helps an emulsion become more stable. An emulsion is usually a mixture of two products such as oil and water that do not mix together or that are also referred to as immiscible. By adding an emulsifying agent to the mixture, they cause the oil to be broken down into smaller pieces that can then be dispersed throughout then water. This is then what becomes known as an emulsion.

Emulsifying agents care used in all aspects of life and are even used to make emulsions in food substances. For example, they can be added to make mayonnaise, ice cream, vinaigrette dressings and margarine. The ingredients in these products would usually not mix well together but by adding an emulsifying agent they will be married in a smooth emulsion. If an agent was not added to the mixtures, they would not mix well and the appearance of the product and indeed with taste with not bode well with many people.

Some common emulsifying agents include eggs, mustard and food additives such as sodium steroyl lactylate. There are also a number of detergents that can be used when making soap and other cleaning products. Some examples include cetearyl alcohol, emulsifying wax and ceteareth 20.
Katie Harry Profile
Katie Harry answered
When oil is added to water, it will not dissolve in it. Rather, it settles as a separate layer on top. An emulsifying agent can be added to this solution to disperse the oil evenly through out water. Where emulsifying agents do not cause oil to be dissolved in water, they do break it down into small pieces that can disperse through the medium. It does so because it reduces interfacial tension between the two phases (water and oil). Since the oil particles equally mix with the water molecules, the resulting mixture is smooth and is called an emulsion.

Some common items in which emulsifying agents are used to make an emulsion are:
Mayonnaise
Margarine
Ice cream
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