Review of Functional Aspects of Nanocellulose-Based Pickering Emulsifier for Non-Toxic Application and Its Colloid Stabilization Mechanism

Shao Hui Teo, Ching Yern Chee, Mochamad Zakki Fahmi, Satya Candra Wibawa Sakti, Hwei Voon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In the past few years, the research on particle-stabilized emulsion (Pickering emulsion) has mainly focused on the usage of inorganic particles with well-defined shapes, narrow size distributions, and chemical tunability of the surfaces such as silica, alumina, and clay. However, the presence of incompatibility of some inorganic particles that are non-safe to humans and the ecosystem and their poor sustainability has led to a shift towards the development of materials of biological origin. For this reason, nano-dimensional cellulose (nanocellulose) derived from natural plants is suitable for use as a Pickering material for liquid interface stabilization for various non-toxic product formulations (e.g., the food and beverage, cosmetic, personal care, hygiene, pharmaceutical, and biomedical fields). However, the current understanding of nanocellulose-stabilized Pickering emulsion still lacks consistency in terms of the structural, self-assembly, and physio-chemical properties of nanocellulose towards the stabilization between liquid and oil interfaces. Thus, this review aims to provide a comprehensive study of the behavior of nanocellulose-based particles and their ability as a Pickering functionality to stabilize emulsion droplets. Extensive discussion on the characteristics of nanocelluloses, morphology, and preparation methods that can potentially be applied as Pickering emulsifiers in a different range of emulsions is provided. Nanocellulose’s surface modification for the purpose of altering its characteristics and provoking multifunctional roles for high-grade non-toxic applications is discussed. Subsequently, the water–oil stabilization mechanism and the criteria for effective emulsion stabilization are summarized in this review. Lastly, we discuss the toxicity profile and risk assessment guidelines for the whole life cycle of nanocellulose from the fresh feedstock to the end-life of the product.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7170
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Pickering emulsion
  • nanocellulose
  • nanocellulose-stabilized Pickering emulsion
  • non-toxic application
  • stabilization mechanism
  • toxicity profile


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