Meat emulsion is a two-phase system, with the dispersed phase consisting of either solid or liquid fat particles and the continuous phase being the water containing salts and dissolved, gelled and suspended proteins. Thus they can be classified as oil-in-water emulsion. Meat emulsion is not a true emulsion since the two phases involved are not liquids and the fat droplets in a commercial emulsion are larger than 50 µm in diameter and thus do not conform to one of the requirement of a classical emulsion.
The continuous phase mainly consists of water, water-soluble proteins and salt-soluble proteins. The dispersed phase or discontinuous phase consists of fat droplets.
When used in food products, iota carrageenan and sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL) have a synergistic effect allowing for stabilizing/emulsifying that is not obtained with any other type of carrageenan (kappa/lambda) or with other emulsifiers (monoglycerides, etc.). Sodium stearoyl lactylate combined with iota carrageenan is capable of producing emulsions under both hot and cold conditions using either vegetable or animal fat.