More Ecomulse Experimentation!

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More confirmation that experimentation can be a great thing!  As you know, I’ve been fighting with Ecomulse (Natramulse/Ritamulse) lately trying to get it to form a better emulsion.

After another starchy, waxy feeling emulsion the other day, I was almost ready to throw the Ecomulse in the trash. (I’ll call it Ecomulse from now on)

Usually, you’ll put the emulsifier+oil in one bowl, and put the water in another bowl. Then heat both at the same time until they both reach the same temp. for 20 minutes. This method works for every OTHER emulsifier I’ve used, but not for Ecomulse.

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HOWEVER, I thought that since this method was not working well with Ecomulse (for me), I’d just dump everything in one bowl and heat it all together. Why the heck not?!  I just wanted to experiment to see if it would form a better emulsion since it was acting a damn fool the way I normally do it.

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I was SHOCKED, SHOCKED I tell you! It worked soooo well!  I put the water, oil and Ecomulse  in the same deep, thick glass (pyrex thickness), and sat that glass inside a small pot of boiling water for 25 minutes.

What I used in this small 59g (approx 2oz) tester:

PHASE A  (the only phase)
5g  8.5%    Ecomulse
51g 86.4%    water
2g  3.4%    oil (used 2g)

COOL DOWN
1g   1.7%   preservative

First thing you’ll notice is that the percent of oil is SUPER low.

Second, the percentage of Ecomulse is 8%.  8% of Ecomulse makes a thick, nice cream without the addition of any thickener.

Third, there is no separate thickener (cetyl,behenyl,xanthan,etc) in this tester. I needed to see how thick it will get the cream and how well the emulsion will form using Ecomulse by itself.

When it’s completely melted, you’ll see a little stuff/foam on top. Don’t panic. At first I thought that meant the Ecomulse hadn’t fully melted. It melted completely.

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After I took the glass bowl out of the water, I simply stirred it with a spatula for about 2 minutes.  It emulsified without a problem.  Instead of what it usually does, it creamed up smooth and soft the same way other emulsifiers do!! Yay!!  I was so surprised.

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SO I guess my new recommendation when you’re using Ecomulse is to add all the ingredients together in the same bowl/glass/mason jar and heat for 25 minutes.  Then stir with a stick or rubber spatula until it cools.  I didn’t use a mixer with this test.  It will thicken (depending on the percentage of Ecomulse you’ve used) without even needing a separate thickener.

I will do more testing with it including a 2oz tester with a higher percentage of oil.

 

UPDATE  Feb 4 2013

Experimentation #2 :  171g (approx 6oz)
Ecomulse 5% (emulsifier)
Oil 14% (emollient)
VegeMoist (humectant)
Neodefend (preservative)

PHASE A
(place all of these in the same glass jar and heat for 25 minutes)
9g   5.3%   Ecomulse
130g   75.9%   Water
2g   1.2%   VegeMoist
24g   14%   Coconut oil

COOL DOWN
4g        2.4% Nettle extract
2g        1.2% preservative

RESULT:  This resulted in a very, very liquidy emulsion.  It emulsified perfectly until I added the Neodefend (preservative) during cool down.

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Two things are at work in this formula:
(1) Neodefend preservative will cause a product’s pH to decrease.  It will only work if the pH is between 3 and 6.
(2) Ecomulse has to have a pH of 5 or above. Anything less will cause the emulsion to become unstable

The goal would be to keep this emulsion’s final pH at 5 or 6, but no more and no less. Tricky.

So when I added the Neodefend during cool down, it caused the emulsion to become unstable and to separate, even though it had blended beautifully at first.

I guess I’m going to have to make it part of my recipe to add baking soda (or something to tick up the pH) when using Ecomulse with Neodefend.

I kinda, sorta “fixed” this problem by adding about 2 pinches of good ole baking soda directly into the mix and stirring again.  The emulsion came back together probably because the baking soda increased the pH back to the point where Ecomulse would be more effective.

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I did all this while the mix was still warm. And as you can see, even though the emulsion came back together, it was a little… not smooth looking anymore. 😛

I’ve already used my last pH strip so I can’t test the pH of what I have now.  It is not nearly as gorgeous LOOKING as the first emulsion.  But it still leaves a soft afterfeel on skin.

I’ll give it 2 days to reach full thickness (or lack thereof) to see how thick it gets with 5% Ecomulse.

Anyway, just add this to your Ecomulse TIPS area:

When using Ecomulse, if your emulsion begins to separate after adding an ingredient that decreased the pH, add a few pinches of baking soda and stir until the mix comes back together.