Ingredient technology, specifications, characteristics and applications of emulsifiers for multiphase (oil, water, air—foams) food and beverages, addressing issues such as fat reduction, foam stability and dough conditioning, and covering a range of emulsification ingredients from lecithin and mono-/diglycerides to various glycol esters.

"Ask a group of product designers what emulsifiers do and most will answer that they help oil and water remain in stable emulsions. While this characteristic is useful in products such as salad dressings, it is not the limit of emulsifier functionality. In fact, industry sources indicate that only about 15% to 20% of emulsifiers are used to stabilize emulsions. Because of their unique molecular structure, emulsifiers have many diverse functions that can improve the quality of a wide variety of food products" (from Food Product Design).

Read the following articles, make a note and try to answer the questions to test your understanding.
  • Emulsifier applications
  • Emulsifiers Reach Beyond the Interface - "Although it often has been said that “oil and water don’t mix,” food science professionals know better. Not only can oil and water be mixed, but the so-called emulsion can be stabilized by incorporating a type of ingredient known as a surfactant, or surface active agent". (Prepared Foods). Learn more...
  • Emulsifiers Offer OptionsGrowing up, we learn that certain things tend not to mix: cats and dogs, gasoline and fire, liberals and conservatives and oil and water. Yet, when the need arises, these disparate entities can and are mixed. In food product development, oil and water often are mixed in formulations (from Prepared Foods). Read on...
  • Emulsifier Stability: Improving the Odds - "Building multi-layered interfacial membranes around a dispersed phase in an emulsion may, in fact, be a key factor in providing added protection in food systems subject to rigorous processing and other environmental pressures. Yet, there are issues that need to be resolved regarding multi-layer emulsions and their specific design characteristics, application to individual foods and long-term stability" (from Prepared Foods). Read on...
  • Emulsifiers in Baked Goods
  • Dough and Bread Conditioners
  • Lecithin - "Lecithin has been used in baked goods probably longer than any other emulsifier. In lower-fat products, emulsifiers, in general, assist by possessing fat-like properties, including their dispersing effects, hydration and water-binding abilities. They function, in part, by dispersing and reducing the size of the fat globules that are present" (from Prepared Foods). Learn more...
  • Emulsifiers Troubleshooting Guide

video-icon.jpgVideo on demand - These are collection of recorded presentation on Prepared Foods website; the presentation is given by industry application specialist on the subject of fats and emulsifiers. This is the opportunity to listen to the experienced industry people because we cannot invite them to USM (no budget!). Feel free to listen to any of the presentation. Some of the presentations can be downloaded using Real Player (download the free version). You can even convert it to 3GP format so that you can view it on your handphone!! This is what we call now as mobile learning. Hmm...how nice to learn nowadays...learn anywhere, anytime, even when lying on the bed!

I suggest at least listen to a few presentations below (and the rest I hope you can explore at your convenience):