The Influence of Natural Gelling Agents on the Foaming Behaviour and Foam Structure in Surfactant Systems

G. Marin Velasquez, M. Neubauer, T. Willers, V. Vill

The use of microplastics in cosmetic surfactant formulations represents an increasing ecological problem. As a natural alternative
the polymers examined in this work, guar gum, cationic guar gum and xanthan gum can be used as thickening agent
or as stabiliser of emulsions. The rheology changed by the polymer-based gelling agent also influences the foam properties as
well as the stability of the product. This is why the compatibility of several natural polymers were analysed with two different
surfactant systems (anionic non-ionic surfactant system and amphoteric non-ionic surfactant system) for the specific application
parameters such as the foaming behaviour, the foam stability and the foam structure and its aging. The influence of electrolytes
was also analysed on the example of sodium chloride (NaCI) and then compared with the foam properties of the polymer-based
gelling agent. The foam analytics was carried out using the Dynamic Foam Analyzer DFA100 (KRÜSS GmbH). In doing so, the
recently released Foam Flash Method is presented and used, a method that is particularly good for the analysis of the foaming
behaviour of strongly foaming surfactant solutions.
The addition of the polymer-based gelling agent to the surfactant systems had a substantial improvement to the foam formation
and the foam stability, and significant influence on the foam structure. The strongest effects were shown by xanthan gum.
It is also shown that the influence of individual gelling agent on the foaming behaviour depends strongly on the characteristics
of the surfactant system.
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