Soy-based emulsifier and thickener launched by Dow Corning and Elevance

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dow corning

A soy-based ingredient that can act as both an emulsifier and a thickener is the latest launch to come out of Dow Corning’s partnership with Elevance.

The silicones giant entered into an agreement with Elevance in 2008, with the aim of developing a range of ingredients from renewable sources.

“With consumers and formulators focusing on renewable resources, Dow Corning’s collaboration with Elevance meets a market need that continues to emerge”​ explained global strategic market for Dow Corning Brian J Marinik.

PEG-free emulsifier

According to the company the new ingredient, Dow Corning HY-32000 Emulsifying Soy Wax is a PEG-free oil-in-water emulsifier, that can also function as a thickening agent.

Using HY-32000 can help reduce the number of ingredients needed thereby reducing formulation costs. This is because it can sometimes replace both the thickener and the emulsifier in the formulation, the company explained.

“Many of the emulsifiers traditionally used in the industry are PEG-based, with the PEG coming form a petroleum feedstock,”​ explained Mike Starch, a scientist in Dow Corning’s application development centre.

“While some of these PEG-based emulsifiers may also have thickening qualities, they are nothing like those seen with the new soy-based ingredient,”​ he told USA.

According to Starch, this thickening quality was not something the development team had expected, but it means that the ingredient could replace both the PEG-based emulsifiers but also the thickeners in some formulations.

Metathesis technology

HY-32000 is the result of Elevance’s metathesis technology, where, in the presence of a catalyst, atom groups in a molecule change places with each other.

“We use a proprietary technology, a novel chemical catalyst, to react with the unsaturated sites in the oils to restructure the molecule and get new functionalities,”​ Elevance’s Andy Shafer explained.

In addition to the renewable nature of the feedstock, Shafer said the manufacturing process used to create the ingredients was fairly energy light.

“We use a low temperature, low pressure process. In addition, the soybean oil is reacting with itself, we are not adding anything but the catalyst,”​ he said.

The previous two ingredients to result from the Dow Corning – Elevance partnership were Dow Corning HY-3051 Soy Wax Blend, an alternative to petrolatum for conditioning, shine and anti-frizz for leave-in hair products, and Dow Corning HY-3050 Soy Wax, which was developed as a film former and emollient for skin care.

According to the company, this new addition to the range will be available from early 2011.

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