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    Polysorbate is an emulsifier used to stabilize ingredient blends, smooth textures, and regulate moisture.






    Chemical name: Polysorbate

    Product Standard: GB/EP/USP/FCC

    Shelf life: 2 years.

    Buying Guide:


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    Product Overview

    Polysorbate is a group of emulsifiers used in many pharmaceutical, food, and personal care products. They are also referred to by other names like Tween, polyoxyethylene sorbitan fatty acid esters, and the E numbers E432-E436.

    Chemically, polysorbates are composed of sorbitan (sugar alcohol) reacted with ethylene oxide and fatty acids like lauric acid or stearic acid. This gives them a structure with both hydrophilic and lipophilic regions.

    Polysorbates have a variety of functions including as surfactants, solubilizers, emulsifiers, and dispersing agents. They help disperse oils, flavors, and vitamins in water-based products.

    The most common polysorbates include:

    • Polysorbate 20: Derived from lauric acid, it has a HLB value of 16.7. Used as an emulsifier in foods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.
    • Polysorbate 40: Derived from palmitic acid, it has a HLB of 15.6. Used as an emulsifier and solubilizer in bakery and pharmaceutical applications.
    • Polysorbate 60: Derived from stearic acid, it has an HLB of 14.9. Used in ice cream and cake mixes as an emulsifier. Also used in fat-soluble vitamin formulations.
    • Polysorbate 65: Derived from palmitic and stearic acid, it has an HLB of 14.9. Used in cakes and bread doughs as an emulsifier. Also used in cosmetic creams and lotions.
    • Polysorbate 80: Derived from oleic acid, it has a HLB of 15. Used in ice cream to prevent melting, and in chewable tablets as a solubilizer.


    Product name Appearance Physical and chemical indicators HLB


    PH value


    Saponification value


    hydroxyl value


    Polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monooleate Viscous


    ≤ 2.0 40~50 96~108 16.7
    Polyoxyethylene (40) sorbitan monooleate ≤ 2.0 41~52 90~107 15.6
    Polyoxyethylene (60) sorbitan monooleate ≤ 2.0 45~55 81~96 14.9
    Polyoxyethylene (80) sorbitan monooleate ≤ 2.0 45~55 65~80 15.0
    The main application of Polysorbate
    • Polysorbates in the food industry are utilized as emulsifiers in products like ice cream, cakes, dressings, and chocolate, preventing separation.
    • Polysorbates in pharmaceuticals function as solubilizers for active ingredients in tablet coatings and oral solutions, and prevent crystallization in various formulations.
    • Polysorbates in biological applications are used to stabilize proteins, antibodies, and enzymes against physical stressors like freezing, drying, and high temperatures.
    • Polysorbates in cosmetics and skin care act as emulsifiers and stabilizers in products such as lotions, creams, and cosmetics.
    • Polysorbates in plastics and textiles are employed as emulsifiers, wetting agents, and dispersants in the manufacturing processes of plastics, adhesives, and synthetic fibers.
    • Polysorbates in agriculture are used as surfactants to emulsify and disperse pesticide ingredients, enhancing their spread and absorption.

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