Popular Ingredients: Alkyl Polyglucosides (APGs)

Molecular structure of Alkyl Polyglucosides (APGs)

In their weekly newsletter, Innovadex publishes a list of the most popular ingredient searches from the website. Although many of these ingredients are commonplace in the lab, every formulator can use a brush-up on the history and development process, as well as the options in the marketplace. I’ve compiled an overview of the widely used non-ionic surfactant Alkyl Polyglucosides (APGs) for your reference.


German Chemist Emil Fischer developed the first synthesis process for Alkyl Polyglucosides (APGs) in 1893. A century later, following a costly and complex research and development effort, the company Henkel successfully designed an industrial production process for APG.

Development Process

APGs are produced by reacting fatty alcohols and glucose obtained from corn, coconut or palm oil. The synthesis can be done in a one-step or two-step process using butanol to form a butylglucoside, which then reacts with the fatty alcohol to produce APG.

Lubrizol produced the first commercialized glucoside sold for personal care use called Glucate SS (Methyl Glucoside Sesquistearate). It was produced by reacting methanol with glucose followed by an esterification with stearic acid.

BASF, the world’s largest manufacturer of APG surfactants, currently uses a one-step process reacting fatty alcohol directly with glucose. BASF markets their APGs for personal care under the Plantaren name and produces them at plants in Dusseldorf, Germany, Cincinnati, USA and Jinshan, China.

Ingredient Highlights

  • Produced from natural, renewable resources
  • Nonionic surfactant, compatible with all surfactant classes
  • Readily biodegradable
  • Very cost effective
  • Extremely mild surfactant / emulsifier
  • Excellent emulsifying properties
  • Excellent skin compatibility
  • Outstanding foam behavior with surfactants
  • Excellent cleansing performance

Recommended APGs-Emulsification

  • Simulgreen 18-2 by Seppic (Hydroxystearyl alcohol and Hydroxystearyl Glucoside), oil in water
  • Fluidanov 20X by Seppic (Octyldodecanol, Octyldodecyl Xyloside), water in oil
  • Cetearyl Glucoside by Evonik (Tego Care CG 90), oil in water

Recommended APGs-Cleansing/Solubilizing

Find more APGs on the Innovadex Search Engine

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