An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids made up of molecules that possess lipophilic (fat-loving) and hydrophilic (water-loving) properties. These liquids are immiscible, meaning they are not normally capable of forming a uniform mixture by simple mixing. Hence the expression, “Oil and water don’t mix.” In the absence of emulsifiers, the two liquids would separate rapidly.
In 2014, the global market for soft drinks grew by more than six percent to reach US$867.4 billion, with Asia Pacific and Middle East Africa leading the way in terms of volume expansion – up by 6.9 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively. Continuing a trend seen over the last decade, healthy and functional products are driving the global market, with energy drinks and bottled water the top performers in 2014. Manufacturers looking to tap into the growing demand for better-for-you beverages have many technical and functional challenges to contend with as competition increases:
- Raw ingredient costs and availability
- Beverage stability and other shelf-life considerations
- Delivery and protection of bioactives
- Corporate social responsibility and sustainability considerations
- Keeping a check on development and processing costs.
The latest innovations in beverage emulsion science can help to alleviate many of these challenges and this paper is aimed at helping you understand the basics of emulsions, compare types of emulsifiers and understand the features and benefits of two novel emulsifiers.