Emulsifiers in action coursework
Immiscible Liquids are a type of liquid that do not mix together. If you were to add oil to water, the oil you have added will not mix with the water, and instead will float upon the surface of the water; even if you were to shake the two different liquids together in a container, and after doing so leave them to stand, the liquids will still not mix together, and the oil will be visible as tiny droplets, which will join back together, which will eventually result in the oil floating on the top of the water’s surface again.
There is a type of additive however that when you add it to the two liquids, prevents it from separating. These additives are called Emulsifiers. These emulsifiers are able to stop the immiscible liquids from separating, this is because they stabilise the mixture by enabling the tiny droplets of oil to stay in water for longer periods of time than without using an emulsifier.
Composition of Emulsifiers and how they work
An emulsifier is composed of two parts. One part of the emulsifier is called the head, this has its own electric charge, this part of the emulsifier molecule is known as hydrophilic, since it is water loving, and dissolves in water, however it will not dissolve in oil, because it will make chemical bonds with water, but not with oil.
The second part of the molecule is known as the tail, this part is a long hydrocarbon, and is the opposite of the head of the molecule, since it is hydrophobic, since it is water fearing, as it does not dissolve in water, but it does dissolve in oil, because it will make chemical bonds with oil, but not with water.
These processes stabilize the oil droplets, allowing them to stay in water for longer periods of time.
Why are Emulsifiers added to some foods?
Emulsifiers are added to some foods because they enhance a number of factors of the food. Emulsifiers prevent the growth of mould on foods, keep the food fresh, prevent the ingredients from separating, and also enhances the appearance of the food to make it look appetising for people to eat.
An example of a food where emulsifiers are added is Mayonnaise. The emulsifiers added to the Mayonnaise prevent the oil…