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Material analysis with x-rays and neutrons - Formulation of suspensions and emulsions

Grethe Vestergaard Jensen

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Material analysis with x-rays and neutrons - Formulation of suspensions and emulsions

Stabilization of emulsions, colloidal suspensions, and solutions is crucial for products within foods, paints, personal care, and pharmacy. By optimizing the product composition and choosing the optimal stabilizer, it is possible to improve the function of the product, such as shelf life, texture, and homogeneity.

With X-ray and neutron measurements, it is possible to detect product instabilities on the micrometer scale, which can occur well before instability and phase separation becomes visible to the naked eye. Thereby one can determine the parameters that result in the best possible stability and optimize products based on that knowledge.

Emulsions, polymers, proteins, etc. each have characteristic nanoscale structures. Information on size, shape, and interactions between these structures can be obtained by small-angle scattering (SAXS or SANS). Samples can be investigated under different conditions, such as temperature or pressure. It is also possible to see how they respond to shear deformation, corresponding to the conditions a product might undergo during pumping, injection, smearing, or chewing. In this way it is possible to ensure that these processes do not affect the product negatively, but that it always has the optimal function.

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