What is Hydrophilic-Lipophilic Balance (HLB)?

A measure of the extent of solubility of a material within an oil
or water medium

Hydrophilic-Lipophilic Balance (HLB) is a measure of the extent of solubility of a material within an oil
or water medium. It is often calculated based on the ratio of the molecular weight of the hydrophilic part over the total molecular weight of the material.
(i.e a higher HLB value -> more water soluble; a lower HLB value -> more oil soluble)

The table below shows the chart of the various properties of the emulsifiers with the different HLB:

Generally, when formulating an emulsion (be it W/O emulsion or O/W emulsion), one of the preliminary steps is to determine the HLB of a material you are trying to emulsify.

Once you have an idea of the HLB of the oil, that’s the HLB required for the emulsion. Keeping in mind the HLB required for the emulsion, optimisation of the emulsion via the fine tuning of the formulation with our wide range of emulsifiers and co-emulsifiers.

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