Emulsifier additives consist of fatty acids bound to polar molecules that can be as simple as a cation. Emulsifiers allow lipids to be mixed with polar substances. This mixture of fat/oil in water or in another polar solvent, results in a homogeneous liquid which could be more or less turbid.
Technological emulsifiers are used to attach, intimately and homogeneously, substances which are soluble in water with substances which are soluble in oil or fat. They could also be also used for cleaning pipes, and as an antifoaming product as they have the capacity to reduce the surface tension. Each application would, however, require a different emulsifier.
Their Hydrophilic Lipophilic Balance (HLB) is from 1 to 20, using:
Values from 1 to 10: to emulsify little amounts of water-soluble substances in fat.
Values from 10 to 20: to emulsify little amounts of oil-soluble substances in water.
However, in order to make the right product to solve a concrete problem, it is always necessary to test the emulsifier, or a mixture of them, for each concrete situation.