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Here we study emulsification in a model experimental system comprised of water, an oil and colloidal particles. The particles are charge-stabilised colloidal silica; unsurprisingly, by varying the concentration of salt the degree of flocculation of the particles can be modified. The influence of salt on the formation of particle-stabilised oil droplets goes well beyond considerations of the colloidal stability of the particles. Our results demonstrate that the influence of salt on the particle–particle interaction is less important for emulsion formation than the influence of salt on both the particle wettability and the particle–interface interaction.