Emulsion formation by homogenization: current understanding and future perspectives

Andreas Håkansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emulsion formation by homogenization is commonly used in food production and research to increase product stability and to design colloidal structures. High-energy methods such as high-pressure homogenizers and rotor-stator mixers are the two most common techniques. However, to what extent does the research community understand the emulsion formation taking place in these devices? This contribution attempts to answer this question through critically reviewing the scientific literature, starting with the hydrodynamics of homogenizers and continuing by reviewing drop breakup and coalescence. It is concluded that although research in this field has been ongoing for a century and has provided a substantial amount of empirical correlations and scaling laws, the fundamental understanding is still limited, especially in the case of emulsions with a high-volume fraction of the disperse phase, as seen in many food applications. These limitations in the current understanding are also used to provide future perspectives and suggest directions for further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-258
Number of pages19
JournalAnnual review of food science and technology
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Engineering and Technology (2)


  • emulsification
  • emulsion formation
  • high-pressure homogenization
  • high-shear mixer
  • homogenization
  • nanoemulsions
  • rotor–stator mixer


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