Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAB)

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a liquid amphoteric surfactant, highly sought after as a sulfate-free agent with excellent foaming and cleaning properties. It can be used as both a primary and secondary surfactant and replace harsher anionic agents. CAB is inexpensive, easy to work with, and improves the performance of other ingredients in a formula. 

GENERAL INFORMATION

CAS No.: 61789-40-0

Molecular Formula: RCONH(CH2)3N+(CH3)2CH2COO

Standard Executed: QB/T 4082

Packaging: in 50KG/200KG plastic drum or in IBC tank

Contents

Description

CAB interacts with water, making the molecules slippery to prevent them from sticking together. It’s an essential condition to make them bond with dirt and oil in order to act as a cleanser and remove the impurities with rinsing. Together with overall mildness compared to anionic surfactants, that property makes Cocamidopropyl betaine a common ingredient in various household formulas.

Despite initial beliefs that Cocamidopropyl betaine is an allergen, researchers have debunked the claim. It has been found that two impurities that may emerge during the manufacturing process might cause irritation; however, when produced under proper conditions, the compound is safe.

Although the terms Cocamidopropyl betaine and Coco betaine are often used interchangeably as synonyms, these two substances are not identical. While both are created through a synthetic process and used in similar applications, there are differences in their chemical formulas. Coco betaine is a natural surfactant obtained from coconut oil. Cocamidopropyl betaine can be derived from palm oil, also featuring some other minor differences. On average, there are not many alternatives to Cocamidopropyl betaine in terms of performance and properties. In fact, there are not many amphoteric surfactants available on the market.

Although most glucosides are similar to each other, their carbon chain length determines the differences. Depending on the chain, each surfactant will provide slightly diverse performance, particularly in terms of foaming and longevity. However, they can substitute one another in simple formulas.

Surfactant blends are highly effective and balanced. Typically, they comprise one anionic or non-ionic primary surfactant and secondary supporter, such as amphoteric Cocamidopropyl betaine. Other non-ionic surfactants can also be present in low percentages. Such a proportion makes the final product milder, with good consistency and foaming abilities.

For instance, a quick-foaming, low viscosity surfactant supported with CAB works well in a face/body wash formula. A thick, stable foaming agent combined with a secondary surfactant and Cocamidopropyl betaine makes a good shampoo.

Technical specification

Items Standards
Classification
Amphoteric surfactant
Appearance (25℃)
Colorless to light yellowish liquid
Density, g/ml (25°C)
1.05
Color (Hazen)
≤100
Cloud point, ℃(1% water solution)
-3
Flash Point, °C:
>94
Freeze Point, °C:
-10
Active matter content, %
±30
pH value (1% aqueous solution)
5.0-8.0
Sodium chloride content, %
≤6.0
Free amine content, %
0.5

Stability/Shelf life

Store in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Under proper storage conditions, the shelf life of Cocamidopropyl Betaine is two years.

Manufacturing

Despite the name, the Cocamidopropyl betaine molecule is not synthesized from betaine. A common way of producing Cocamidopropyl betaine is to combine fatty acids derived from coconut or palm kernel oil (mainly lauric acid, or its methyl ester) with a colorless liquid called dimethylaminopropylamine (DMAPA).

The reactiveness of the primary amine in DMAPA leads to forming of amide in the first step. Next, the chloroacetic acid reacts with the unaltered tertiary amine to form a quaternary ammonium center. The quaternization reaction process turns the compound into a surfactant.

Industry use

Cocamidopropyl betaine has been verified to be a chemical of low safety and health concern. 

In the production of cosmetics, CAB is utilized as a surfactant; as well as an antistatic, cleansing; foaming, skin and hair conditioning, and viscosity controlling agent. Its gentle properties make it highly applicable in specialized care products for children and babies

Additional use includes arts and crafts supplies such as painting or jewelry making, also cleaning and manufacturing of furniture.

Consumer use

Cocamidopropyl betaine can be used as a primary and secondary surfactant in DIY cosmetic products, including shampoos, shower lotions, bath foams, face washes, and more. 

As an amphoteric surfactant, it can affect other surfactants to reduce their harshness and promote foaminess.

CAB can also be found in makeup removers, shaving creams, contact lens solutions, household spray cleaners, and disinfecting wipes. Cleaning and furnishing care products are not an exception, as well as laundry and dishwashing products.

Solubility

Soluble in water.

Common synonyms

  • Cocamidopropyl dimethyl glycine
  • Lauroylamide propylbetaine
  • 1-propanaminium; Hydroxide inner salt
  • CADG
  • Disodium cocoamphodipropionate
  • Amphoteric L

Ask an expert

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Cocamidopropyl betaine is verified to be safe and of low health concern, when it’s properly produced. The claims that this chemical is a cause of skin irrition have been debunked. 

Cocamidopropyl betaine can be used in mild formulas including shampoo, soaps, toothpaste, shaving cream, makeup removers, body washes, and various gentle detergents and cleaners. 

Yes. Cocamidopropyl betaine is believed to be eco-friendly, for its excellent bio-biodegradability.

STPP - Angie Liu

Angie Liu

Product Manager