During the last decade, cellulose structural features have been revisited, with particular focus on its structural anisotropy (amphiphilicity) and interactions determining its recalcitrance to dissolution. Evidences for cellulose amphiphilicity are patent, for instance, in its capacity to adsorb at oil–water interfaces, thus being capable of stabilizing emulsions. This behavior is observable in all its forms, from cellulose nanoparticles to macromolecules. This chapter is divided into two main parts; first, the fundamentals of emulsion formation and stabilization will be introduced, particularly focusing on the role of natural emulsifiers. Secondly, the emerging role of cellulose as a natural emulsifier, where the ability of cellulose to form and stabilize emulsions is revisited, from cellulose nanoparticles (Pickering-like effect) to macromolecules (i.e., cellulose derivatives and native molecular cellulose).
Part of the book: Cellulose Science and Derivatives