analysis of emulsifiers and surfactants using hplcDid you know that the global food emulsifiers market is one of the fastest growing markets in the food ingredient market and is estimated to grow to $2,858.6 million by 2018? (Link to market research website.) Emulsifiers are used to stabilize emulsions in the food industry plus used as an additive to reduce fat content. Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension between liquids or a liquid and a solid, and are used as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants. (Definition and link Wikipedia page.) Other important uses of surfactants include industrial applications in lubrication, textile processing, petroleum recovery, and wastewater treatment.

Chromatography analysis can be used to separate the molecules on the basis of carbon chain length, chain branching, or positional isomer distribution. This is important, for example, when studying lot-to-lot variability, which can be important to the biopharma industry. Conversely, when trying to quantitate total amounts of surfactants or emulsifiers, the chromatographic conditions need to be changed so that all the congeners elute as a single peak, thus simplifying the determination.

Here, I am pleased to present an application notebook, titled, HPLC & CAD: Surfactants and Emulsifiers Applications Notebook, (downloadable PDF), featuring HPLC methods to characterize and quantify many typical classes of surfactants, analyze compounds in a broad range of samples, and implement simplified methods with improved sensitivity and reproducibility. The that feature the use of our universal charged aerosol detection technique, which accurately measures a wide range of analytes (non-volatile and semi-volatile) with consistent response and does not require a compound to contain a chromophore or be able to ionize. In addition, variance in inter-analyte relative response is minimal whether analyzing small molecules or proteins and the technique is fully gradient compatible.

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Overviews are provided for the analysis of cationic and ethoxylated surfactants, laureth sulfates, polyethylene glycols, polysorbate, pluronics, sorbitan esters, lecithin, and hydropymethly cellulose. Note that you can download the full application or poster note by clicking the link at the end of each overview.

Additional Resources

  • You might also be interested in our recently released Chromatography Solution Online Center which features many useful and complimentary chromatography tools which can help speed up your analysis. The site is updated on a monthly basis; therefore, do check out the Archives section to see what was previously featured.

Do you have questions about any of the applications? Do let us know using the comments box below: we look forward to hearing from you!