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Every year, our Gum Gurus® answer hundreds of questions about emulsions. Whether the customer calls our technical support hotline, chats on the website, or visits us at a tradeshow, they are often asking about emulsions that push the current technology to its limit.

Oil-in-water emulsion basics

An emulsion is the system that results from the mixing of two immiscible or partially miscible liquids, called the phases of the emulsion, and one or more emulsifiers in the proper ratio that keeps one phase consistently dispersed in the other. Usually, one of the phases is aqueous—the so-called "water phase"—and the other is an oil in the wide sense.

Emulsions tend to be naturally unstable due to differences in the specific gravity of the two phases and variation in the size of the oil droplets. Formulators can increase emulsion stability by incorporating emulsifiers and weighting agents.

While gum acacia has been the gold standard in emulsifying flavors, colors, and beverages, there are certain types of formulations that are outside the capabilities of gum acacia or other commercially available stabilizers.

high oil nutritional oil emulsions

Limitations of traditional emulsifiers

  • Oil loading capacity—Most commercially available emulsifiers are able to stabilize oil levels up to 8-12%.
  • Increased viscosity profiles-- While increasing the level of emulsifier in the formulation may help improve stability, those higher levels often increase viscosity, causing issues in processing.
  • Overall emulsion stability—Emulsion manufacturers can't risk shipping a product that breaks prematurely so they've been had to formulate within the limitations of the current emulsifiers.

Identifying the need for more emulsifier choices

As we worked with emulsion manufacturers, we saw the need for new emulsifier options in the food and beverage market and, over a decade ago, we introduced our Ticamulsion® line of modified gum acacia products. Based on patented technology that improves on the natural emulsifying capabilities of gum acacia, Ticamulsion 3020 is a second generation innovation suitable for formulations that weren't previously possible with traditional emulsifiers, including emulsions created with nutritional oils or containing oil levels above 20%.

Benefits of Ticamulsion 3020

  • Stabilize high oil load emulsions of flavors, colors and cloud without building excess viscosity
  • Expand product development opportunities through increased efficiencies
  • Satisfy "Non-GMO" classification in accordance with the European Commission labeling requirements
  • Provide cost-in-use savings throughout production, packaging and shipping
  • In some cases, create stable emulsions without weighting agents

Learn more about Ticamulsion 3020 by downloading this white paper: Ticamulsion for Advanced High Oil Load Emulsions 

To talk with a Gum Guru on our technical service team about your specific texture and stability needs, call our technical support hotline at (800) 899-3953/+1(410) 273-7300 or click the chat button on this page.

Prototype Formulation: Vitamin E Emulsion

Ingredient     %
Natural Vitamin E   25.00
Ticamulsion 3020   15.00
Sodium Benzoate   0.10
Potassium Sorbate   0.10
Citric Acid   0.50
Water   q.s.


  1. Dissolve preservatives in water. Mix for 10 min.
  2. Dissolve Ticamulsion and let it hydrate for 3 hours at low mixing speed.
  3. High shear mix oil phase in water phase for 3 min in lab or 15- 20 min if making in production.
  4. De-foam the coarse emulsion for 30 min.
  5. Dissolve citric acid.
  6. Homogenize for 2 passes at 300/50 bar pressure.
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