The ingredient A new range of quaternary polymers was developed through the functionalization of inulin, which is a naturally occurring polysaccharide extracted from chicory. The high reactivity of the inulin backbone allows much higher degrees of substitution (resulting in higher charge densities) than can be achieved with cellulose and guar. Another advantage of using inulin as a backbone is that it results in an inherently biodegradable ingredient, which complies with the trends in the home and fabric care industry.
High performance at low use level The main purpose of cationic polymers is to neutralize negative charges on fabric. Our research has shown that cationic inulin demonstrates excellent softening in combination with a significant static reduction effect in 2-1 laundry detergents, at use levels >50% lower than typical cationic polymers such as PQ-10 and cationic guar. Moreover, studies indicated that cationic inulin helps to drive silicone oil to the fabric, enhancing performance. Lastly, fundamental research showed that cationic inulin has high efficacy in depositing surfactants onto hydrophilic surfaces, most likely due to strong coacervation behavior.
Easier to use than alternatives Since cationic inulin is very water-soluble, it is easy to formulate with: no heating nor pH adjustment is required to incorporate it in a formulation. Furthermore, its compatibility with a wide range of surfactants makes it convenient to use in 2-in-1 detergents.
Conclusion Cationic inulin can be considered thé next generation ingredient for fabric softening, particularly suitable for use in 2-in-1 laundry detergents: high performing, user-friendly and sustainable.