American researchers have devised a better way to create "nanoemulsions" i.e. oil-in-water emulsions in which the particles of one liquid are just a few nanometres across.
Robert Nicolosi and his colleagues from the University of Massachusetts in Lowell said that their technique could produce sterile nanoemulsions, and thus had an edge over the conventional way to make such emulsions.
Shedding further light on their approach, the researchers said that they passed the mixture of liquids through a kind of atomiser at a pressure of over 1700 atmospheres, which created turbulence that ripped large bubbles of liquid into smaller, nano-sized bubbles.
Nicolosi said that the turbulence also ripped apart any bacteria that might be present.
A research article describing the new process suggests that it may turn out to be a boon to the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, for the shelf life of any product made from such emulsions should be longer than that of a non-sterile equivalent.