Food emulsifiers, also called emulsifiers, are surfactants that act as a boundary between two immiscible liquids (such as oil and water), allowing them to mix into a stable emulsion. Emulsifiers can also reduce viscosity, control crystallization and prevent separation.


Emulsifiers produce two types of emulsions: oil droplets dispersed in water or water droplets dispersed in oil. In the emulsion, there is a continuous phase and a dispersed phase. In oil-in-water emulsions, the continuous phase is water and the dispersed phase is oil; in contrast, in water-in-oil emulsions, the oil is the continuous phase.

The emulsion can also be prepared by applying mechanical force from a stirrer or homogenizer, which breaks down the dispersed phase into tiny droplets suspended in the continuous phase.

Low-fat spreads, ice cream, margarine, salad dressings and many other cream sauces are kept in a stable emulsion by adding emulsifiers. These additives are also widely used in other foods, such as peanut butter and chocolate.

Emulsifiers enhance the structure of baked goods by increasing the whipping power of the batter, conditioning the dough and helping foods such as pasta to be more resistant to overcooking.

Commonly used emulsifiers in modern food production include mustard, soy and egg lecithin, mono and diglycerides, polysorbate, carrageenan, guar gum, and rapeseed oil.

Lecithin in egg yolk is one of the most powerful and oldest animal-derived emulsifiers used to stabilize oil-in-water emulsions such as mayonnaise and hollandaise.

The law requires emulsifiers to be included in the list of food ingredients.


The safety of emulsifiers is carefully regulated and tested by the US Food and Drug Administration. Emulsifiers can be found on the recognized safe or GRAS lists and are allowed to be present at precise levels in certain types of foods and beverages.

However, the FDA process does not consider the personal diets of people who rely heavily on packaged foods.

Although GRAS substances must technically meet the same safety standards as approved food additives, the GRAS process has evolved into a voluntary notification procedure, and many GRAS additives have not yet been tested.

Congress defines safety as "reasonable certainty that the use of additives will not cause harm." The additives have never been permanently approved. The FDA continuously reviews the safety of approved additives based on the best scientific knowledge to determine whether the approval should be modified or withdrawn.

As early as 2017, the FDA reviewed and confirmed the safety of carrageenan, an emulsifier whose safety has been questioned.


Most of the concerns about food additives are for synthetic ingredients added to food.
The published peer-reviewed intervention studies involving emulsifiers are limited to animals. A mouse study published in the journal Nature in 2015 found that two common synthetic emulsifiers, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) or polysorbate 80 (P80), caused weight gain and inflammation after 12 weeks And low-grade symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Some emulsifiers are suspected of acting like detergents, disrupting friendly bacteria in the microbiota, causing low-grade inflammation and leading to overeating.

A follow-up study published in Cancer Research by Gewirtz, professor of biomedical sciences at Georgia State University, and his colleagues showed that changes in intestinal bacteria caused by emulsifiers may cause bowel cancer. A small clinical trial is currently underway to evaluate the role of CMC in humans.

In response to the safety of certain emulsifiers, a team of FDA scientists reviewed the emulsifiers commonly used in seven foods, including CMC and P80, to determine whether these ingredients pose any risks to human health. The results of their study published in 2017 confirmed that emulsifiers are still safe at estimated exposure levels.


Food additives, including emulsifiers, play an important role in our food supply. Consumers who are concerned about these ingredients are encouraged to read labels and eat more minimally processed foods.






All comments are moderated before being published

HealthyPIG Magazine

View all

Protecting Your Teeth from Acid Erosion: Tips for Better Dental Health

Our teeth are resilient, but they are not impervious to damage, especially when exposed to acidic foods and beverages. Acid erosion occurs when the...


  鋁在全球許多廚房中都是一種不可或缺的材料,因其多功能性和實用性而廣受歡迎。從鋁箔(石紙)到炊具 (廚具),它的存在幾乎無處不在。然而,關於鋁暴露的健康風險的討論引起了更多的關注。本文探討了鋁在廚房中的使用、潛在的健康問題、實際問題、注意原因、應避免的事項及更安全的建議。 了解鋁暴露 鋁的...


什麼是夢擾症? 夢擾症(Parasomnia)是一類睡眠障礙,特徵係喺睡眠期間或者睡眠-醒覺過渡期間出現異常嘅行為、動作、情感、感知或者生理事件。以下係啲常見例子: 非快速眼動(Non-REM)夢擾症 呢啲發生喺非快速眼動(Non-REM)睡眠階段: 夢遊症:喺訓著嘅時候起身行來...


香印提子,(學名:Shine Muscat) 又名陽光玫瑰和晴王麝香葡萄 香印提子是由日本國家農業和食品研究組織(NARO)培育和註冊的葡萄品種,註冊名為「葡萄諾林21號」。該品種起源於廣島,近年來因其獨特特性迅速走紅,成為日本主要葡萄品種之一。香印提子因其「帶皮食用」、「無籽」、「粒大」和「...


秋葵是一種主要在溫暖和熱帶氣候地區種植的蔬菜作物,例如非洲和南亞。 它的外形獨特,長條狀,因此也被稱為"Lady's Finger"。 秋葵主要有兩種顏色 - 紅色和綠色,兩者味道相同,紅色的秋葵煮熟後會變綠。 營養價值 秋葵熱量低,每100克約33-40卡路里。 富含膳食纖維、維生素A...


薯仔麵是一種韓國傳統的即食麵,主要原料是馬鈴薯澱粉製成的麵條。它有以下特點: 麵條口感彈有嚼勁,與一般麵條有所不同。 常見的口味有原味、辣味等,有些品牌會推出限定口味。 通常以袋裝或杯裝形式出售,方便食用。 除了麵條外,還會附有調味包,如辣椒粉、蔬菜粉等。 屬於較為健康的即食麵選擇,因為主要...


菠菜苗,即菠菜植物的嫩芽和嫩莖,在獨特的風味和出色的營養價值方面越來越受到人們的喜愛。儘管與成熟的菠菜葉相比經常被忽視,但菠菜苗提供了許多健康益處和烹飪可能性,值得關注。 營養價值 儘管體積小,菠菜苗卻是營養豐富的。它們富含維生素C、維生素K、維生素A、葉酸、鐵和鉀等必要的維生素和礦物質。此外...
菠菜禁忌 - 菠菜不能與什麼一起吃?

菠菜禁忌 - 菠菜不能與什麼一起吃?

菠菜的營養價值 菠菜,作為一種營養豐富的蔬菜,被廣泛認可為健康飲食的一部分。它含有豐富的維生素A、維生素C、鐵、鎂和纖維,這些營養素對於促進免疫系統、預防貧血和維持消化功能至關重要。然而,雖然菠菜對我們的健康有益,但它也有一些需要注意的禁忌,特別是在與其他食物一起食用時。 與其他食物的相容性 ...
怎麼做刀削麵: 卡路里和營養

怎麼做刀削麵: 卡路里和營養

刀削麵,是中國美食中常見的一種麵條,特別是在中國山西地區。這些麵條是手工製作的,使用特殊的刀將麵團切成條狀,直接放入沸水中。由此產生的麵條形狀不規則,粗細和長度各異,並且通常具有耐嚼的質地。刀削麵通常用於湯或炒菜,以其獨特的外觀和質地而聞名。 背景 刀切面誕生於元代,當時刀具被沒收,促使人們使...