Hydrotropes are substances that modify the solubility of chemical compounds in water.
They increase the solubility of insoluble substances in water. Hydrotrope molecules are amphiphilic, which means that a hydrophilic and hydrophobic fragment is present in each molecule. They are capable of forming micelles above a certain concentration level, called the minimum hydrotropic concentration. Their structure and properties are similar to those of surfactants, but differ from them in the length of the hydrophobic tail, which is shorter in hydrotrops.
The main functions of hydrotropic agents are:
preventing the precipitation of ingredients from detergent formulations at low temperatures,
reduction of viscosity as a result of destabilisation of micelles in products with a high concentration of surfactants,
reduction of hygroscopicity in cosmetics and powdered detergents.
Hydrotropes are used in the cosmetics industry, in the production of detergents and cleaning agents.
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