Essential oil compounds (EOCs) are molecules with well-known antimicrobial and antipest activity. However, such molecules possess limited solubility in water, making their handling difficult. This work aimed to enhance the distribution of a solid essential oil compound, thymol, using oil-in-water (o/w) microemulsions for its solubilization. The use of mixtures formed by an alkyl polyglucoside (APG) and soybean lecithin (SL) allowed for stabilization of the o/w microemulsions in a broad range of compositions, with the total concentration of the mixture of the two surfactants (APG+SL) and the APG:SL ratio both being essential for controlling the nature of the obtained dispersions. The microemulsions obtained using oleic acid as the oil phase and with compositions far from those corresponding to the onset of the emulsion region showed a good efficiency for thymol solubilization. This is an advantage from a stability point of view, as well as for ease of thymol preparation. The present work opens new alternatives for designing eco-sustainable formulations for EOC solubilization, with the possibility of preparing the formulations at the place of use, thereby saving transport costs and reducing the emission of pollutants.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited