IDENTIFICATION OF SURFACTANTS

A surfactant is a water-soluble molecule having the property of dissolving two immiscible phases and thereby allowing more effective cleaning. There are different families, differentiated by their chemical properties: anionic, cationic, nonionic or even amphoteric.

These molecules are used in cleaning products such as detergents and other household products, but also in shampoos, shower gel and other cosmetics.

Unfortunately, some of these surfactants can be toxic to the environment or to humans ( endocrine disruptors for example), so it is important to assess and study their presence in your products.

The Polymex laboratory was recently contacted by a customer who observed a problem in its production batch: one of its shower gels did not have a consistent texture. The shower gel maker already had suspects in sight:
- Lauryl glucoside [110615-47-9], a nonionic surfactant
- Sodium N-lauroylalanine [55535-58-5], an anionic surfactant
- Cocamidopropylbetaine [86438-79-1], an amphoteric surfactant
Our team therefore had the task of targeting and quantifying these 3 surfactants in a compliant and non-compliant shower gel reference, in order to see if their texture problem came from one of the surfactants.
Determine whether the proportion by crosslinking in a two-component epoxy adhesive
Thanks to UPLC/TOF-MS analyses, the quantification of these target compounds was made in the two references: Each had approximately the same proportions of surfactants : 60% for Lauryl glucoside , 0.5% for Sodium N- lauroylalanine and 39.5% for the amphoteric surfactant.

Other avenues are proposed by the laboratory, in particular a composition analysis with this same method but without targeting, in order to note whether there is a presence of discriminating compounds.

Are you a manufacturer or distributor of shower gels, shampoos or detergents and want to identify and quantify surfactants in your finished products? Call on the Polymex laboratory!
You will find more information on the page of our website dedicated to surfactants !

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