Interfacial behaviour of sodium stearoyllactylate (SSL) as an oil-in-water pickering emulsion stabiliser

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The ability of a food ingredient, sodium stearoyllactylate (SSL), to stabilise oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions against coalescence was investigated, and closely linked to its capacity to act as a Pickering stabiliser. Results showed that emulsion stability could be achieved with a relatively low SSL concentration (⩾0.1 wt%), and cryogenic-scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM) visualisation of emulsion structure revealed the presence of colloidal SSL aggregates adsorbed at the oil–water interface. Surface properties of SSL could be modified by altering the size of these aggregates in water; a faster decrease in surface tension was observed when SSL dispersions were subjected to high pressure homogenisation (HPH). The rate of SSL adsorption at the sunflower oil–water interface also increased after HPH, and a higher interfacial tension (IFT) was observed with increasing SSL concentration. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) enabled a comparison of the thermal behaviour of SSL in aqueous dispersions with SSL-stabilised O/W emulsions. SSL melting enthalpy depended on emulsion interfacial area and the corresponding DSC data was used to determine the amount of SSL adsorbed at the oil–water interface. An idealised theoretical interfacial coverage calculation based on Pickering emulsion theory was in general agreement with the mass of SSL adsorbed as predicted by DSC.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-97
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Early online date2 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013


  • Sodium stearoyllactylate, SSL, Pickering emulsion, DSC, Interfacial coverage, Surface coverage, Lipid particle, Melting enthalpy, Surfactant