Preparation of Highly Stable Oil-in-Water Emulsions with High Ethanol Content Using Polyglycerol Monofatty Acid Esters as Emulsifiers

Takumi Motoyama, Yuka Katsuumi, Hiromu Sasakura, Tetsuya Nakamura, Hisashi Suzuki, Koji Tsuchiya, Masaaki Akamatsu, Kenichi Sakai, Hideki Sakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions containing ethanol have been used in food, cosmetics, paints, and other applications. However, O/W emulsions with long-term stability are difficult to produce at high ethanol concentrations because the adsorption of the emulsifier at the O/W interface is restricted by ethanol. In this study, to resolve this issue, we prepared ethanol-containing O/W emulsions with high dispersion stability using a series of polyglycerol monofatty acid esters (PGFEs) with different fatty acid chain lengths, which are bio-safe nonionic surfactants, as emulsifiers. First, aqueous PGFE solutions containing 0–50 wt% ethanol were prepared and then O/W emulsions were formed using limonene as the oil phase. When decaglycerol stearic acid ester (DGMS, C18) was used as the emulsifier, an O/W emulsion with fine droplets (~30 nm in size) was successfully obtained at an ethanol concentration of 35 wt%. This emulsion remained stable for more than four weeks, during which no phase separation occurred, indicating its high dispersion stability. Furthermore, aqueous DGMS solutions containing 30–40 wt% ethanol were viscous, and a lamellar liquid crystal phase was observed to be dispersed in these solutions. The formation of this lamellar liquid crystal phase at the O/W interface led to an interfacial film with superior viscoelastic properties. The results suggested that the stability of the emulsions was determined by the balance between the decrease in interfacial tension caused by the addition of ethanol and the density (rigidity) of the DGMS film formed at the O/W interface. Finally, to further improve the dispersion stability of the ethanol-containing O/W-type emulsions, O/W emulsions were prepared using a mixture of two PGFEs with different degrees of glycerol polymerization, that is, systems having different hydrophilic–lipophilic balance values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-837
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of oleo science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • ethanol containing emulsion
  • limonene
  • oil in water emulsion
  • polyglycerol monofatty acid ester


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