Sorbitan monostearate (Span 60) is a non-ionic surfactant with emulsifying, dispersing, and wetting properties used as a food additive, additive in mixtures for drug use and in skin care products.
It is approved for use by FDA in quantities not exceeding the amount reasonably required to accomplish the intended effect.
0.5-5% of Liposorb S (sorbitan monostearate) is used for oil-in-water emulsions in combination with a high hydrophilic-lipophilic balance emulsifier to produce smooth lotions and creams in skin and hair care, make-up bases, and mild cleaning products.
Sorbitan monostearate based organogels and vesicles (niosomes) formulated to enhance the oral bioavailability were characterized for use as a drug delivery vehicle.
In combination with other non-ionic surfactants sorbitan monostearate is patented for use in vaccine formulations as a saponin-containing adjuvant for oil-in-water injectable emulsions.
Sorbitan monostearate is fatty acid ester of sorbitan (a sorbitol derivative) and stearic acid sometimes called synthetic wax.
EC / List no.: 215-664-9
CAS no.: 1338-41-6
Mol. formula: C24H46O6
Synonym : SORBITAN STEARATE
Sorbitan monostearate has low hydrophilic-lipophilic balance. It is Non-toxic.
Sorbitan monostearate is a hydrophobic nonionic surfactant is commonly used as an emulsifier, stabilizer and defoaming agent.
Sorbitan monostearate is also used to rehydrate yeast
Sorbitan monostearate, also known as Span 60 or Sorbitan Oleate, is an ester of sorbitan (a sorbitol derivative) and stearic acid and is sometimes referred to as a synthetic wax.
Sorbitan monostearate is primarily used as an emulsifier to keep water and oils mixed. Sorbitan monostearate is a non-ionic surfactant with emulsifying, dispersing, and wetting properties.
Sorbitan monostearate is an ester of sorbitan (a sorbitol derivative) and stearic acid and is sometimes referred to as a synthetic wax.
It is used as emulsifiers for foods. Sorbitan monostearate is Emulsifier and stabilizer for whipped cream. It is Effective food emulsifier for improving a problem of "OVER RUN".
Use: Sorbitan stearate is emulsifier for cosmetics, Emulsifier and dispersant for pigments.
Use: Sorbitan monostearate is a low HLB emulsifier primarily used for oil-in-water emulsions in combination with a high HLB emulsifier.
The emulsifier pair produces smooth lotions and creams in skin and hair care, make-up bases, and mild cleaning products.
Sorbitan monostearate is primarily used as an emulsifier to keep water and oils mixed. It is used in the manufacture of food and healthcare products, and is a non-ionic surfactant with emulsifying, dispersing, and wetting properties.
Sorbitan monostearate is also used as a rehydration aid (production of active dry yeast) and as synthetic flavoring substances and adjuvants
CAS Number: 1338-41-6
E 491 food additive
SPAN-60 (Sorbitan Monostearate) is an ivory color liquid with a bitter taste. This product is used as a gloss enhancer in chocolate coatings; as a dispersant aid in coffee whiteners and to increase volume in cakes and icings.
Sorbitan Monostearate is a sorbitan monoester that is used as an emulsifier to keep oils and water mixed. It is also called Sorbitan Stearate
Sorbitan monostearate is a fatty acid that has many uses in the food industry and in health and beauty care products.
Sorbitan monostearate is used as a food additive that works as a surfactant, or blender.
Other food uses of Sorbitan Stearate are as an emulsifier, wetter, disperser, flavor enhancer or other form of food additive.
Not all types of physical activity are suitable for everyone. Users take training advice at their own personal risk.
How Sorbitan Monostearate is Made
Sorbitol is a kind of sugar alcohol that is derived from fruits such as apples and apricots. It is allowed to lose most of its moisture through dehydration; the new, dehydrated product is call sorbitan. The saturated, fatty acid stearic acid is added to the sorbitan to form an ester. An ester is a waxy or fat-like substance. This creates the sorbitan monostearate.
Sorbitan Monostearate in Foods
Sorbitan monostearate is used as a surfactant food additive; it is manufactured under variations of the name Span. Surfactants are substances that are made up of parts that are soluble in water as well as parts that are soluble in oils. This allows mixtures that have both oil and water as ingredients to stay mixed together because of the surfactant.
Sorbitan monstearate is also used as an emulsifier, or chemical that allows mixtures to stay well blended. Cake mixes, icing, cookie coating, and puddings all use sorbitan monostearate. It is also used as a stabilizer in foods such as imitation whipped cream and other foam-like products.
It is a good substitute for the water content and fats found in milk; but with the added advantage that it does not spoil like milk. It is a common ingredient in non-dairy coffee creamers.
Sorbitan monstearate is also used to protect yeast from drying out; it also helps the yeast to dissolve in water when the yeast is used for baking or other applications.
Other Uses of Sorbitan Monostearate
Due to its ability to help different ingredients to blend, sorbitan monostearate has many applications in many industries. It is used in machining metal, in pesticides, in leather working, and in the plastics and synthetics industry.
It is also a common ingredient in many beauty products such as moisturizers, creams, lotions and make-up applications. Medical applications include itch creams and hemorrhoid creams.
Safety of Sorbitan Stearate
Sorbitan monostearate is a common ingredient used in many industries and products. Extensive human and animal testing have show little to no adverse health effects.
Even when administered in doses much higher than those that would be ingested in an average diet or from a beauty regimen, sorbitan monostearate is safe for human and animal use.
There is always concern about the safety of food additives, especially those that have long, complicated names. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the use of sorbitan monostearate as a food additive when it is used in the smallest amount required to produce the desired effect.
Testing reported on the Hazardous Substances Data Bank of the National Institutes of Health states that human testing with a 6g daily dose for one month has shown no ill effects. Single doses in the amount of 20g have also shown no adverse effects on health.
The Hazardous Substances Data Bank further states that a lethal dose of sorbitan monostearate would probably be upwards of a quart. It is not classified as a human carcinogen.
Laboratory testing on animals also showed little to no adverse effects, carcinogenic effects or toxicity to animals. Repeated doses did produce some irritation to the mouth, kidney, liver and blood of mice and rats.
Side Effects of Sorbitan Monostearate
The Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) does report that in one test, two of the participants showed increased digestion and movement in the stomach. Non-medically reported side effects include diarrhea, increased gas and stomach pain.
The HSDB also reported that sorbitan monostearate showed mild skin irritation in laboratory testing with rabbits. It is known to be a skin irritant when the compound alone is handled without protection.
Medical Conditions and Sorbitan Monostearate
Anyone who is thinking of starting a new diet, supplement or medication should first discuss it with a medical professional. There are no known interactions between sorbitan monostearate and any medication, over-the-counter medicine or health supplement.
There are no medically known health conditions associated with the use of sorbitan monostearate when used at normal amounts that would be ingested through foods or applied topically to the skin through moisturizers and beauty aids.
How to Use Sorbitan Monostearate
Sorbitan monostearate is not a health supplement. It is not an ingredient used in home baking or cooking.
Sorbotan monostearate is generally found in processed and manufactured foods and beauty products. It is recommended for all people to eat a diet that is high in whole foods rather than processed or manufactured food products.
Sorbitan monostearate is primarily used as an emulsifier to keep water and oils mixed. Sorbitan monostearate is used in the manufacture of food and healthcare products and is a non-ionic surfactant with emulsifying, dispersing, and wetting properties.
Sorbitan monostearate is also employed to create synthetic fibers, metal machining fluid, and brighteners in the leather industry, and as an emulsifier in coatings, pesticides, and various applications in the plastics, food and cosmetics industries. Sorbitans are also known as "Spans".
Sorbitan monostearate has been approved by the European Union for use as a food additive (emulsifier) (E number: E 491).
Sorbitan monostearate (E 491), sorbitan tristearate (E 492), sorbitan monolaurate (E 493), sorbitan monooleate (E 494) and sorbitan monopalmitate (E 495) are authorised as food additives in the European Union (EU) in accordance with Annex II and Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on food additives and specific purity criteria have been defined in the Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012.
Sorbitan Monostearate (E491) in food and yeast
What is Sorbitan Monostearate (E491) in food and yeast?
Sorbitan monostearate in dry yeast
Sorbitan monostearate (SMS), or Span 60, is an emulsifier esterified from sorbitol and stearic acid with the European food additive number E491.
Sorbitan monostearate is mostly used in baking yeast by improving the activity of instant dry yeast when the yeast is rehydrated before use.
DEFINITION: A mixture of the partial esters of sorbitol and its mono- and dianhydrides with edible stearic acid
Sorbitan monostearate is a surfactant primarily used as an emulsifier—it helps keep waters and oils mixed together. Sorbitan monostearate also has dispersing and wetting properties.
Sorbitan monostearate is used in a wide variety of industries and products, including foods, cosmetics, synthetic fibers, metal machining fluid, pesticides, plastics, and more. (source)
Some of the common foods to include sorbitan monostearate are cake icing, pudding, imitation whipped cream, non-dairy creamers, yeast, and baked goods.
Sorbitan monostearate is sometimes referred to as Span 60, synthetic wax, or E491.
How is Sorbitan monostearate made?
Generally, sorbitan monostearate can be made from direct esterification of sorbitol and stearic acid. Sorbitan tristearate (E492) would be generated in the production if too much stearic acid is involved.
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol with a sweet taste and can be used as a sugar replacement and humectant in chewing gum, mints, cookies, bread, and cakes. It is commonly made from starches of corn and potato and follow the hydrogenation process.
It is a common saturated fatty acid found in nature both in animal fats/oils and vegetable oils. It can also be used in the production of soaps, cosmetics, and detergents.
The commercial food grade stearic acid may contain 48.7–50.0% palmitic acid.
As sorbitol has six hydroxyl groups and that’s why sorbitan monostearate may also contain palmitic acid esters of sorbitol, sorbitan and isosorbide besides sorbitol, sorbitan, and isosorbide esters of stearic acid.
A white to yellow waxy bead or flake with a slight characteristic smell.
Hydrophilic-Lipophilic Balance (HLB)
With the HLB value 4.7, meaning it is lipophilic and soluble in oil instead of water. It will form W/O (water-in-oil) type emulsion, and it is a strong emulsifying dispersion and has a wetting effect.
Not soluble in cold water, but can be dispersed in hot water.
Soluble in ethanol, mineral oil, and vegetable oil.
Sorbitan esters of fatty acids
CAS number 1338‐41‐6
Chemical formula C24H46O6
Molecular weight 430.62
Sorbitan monostearate chemical structure
What’re the Uses of Sorbitan monostearate?
Sorbitan monostearate is used as an emulsifier, commonly together with polysorbates to keep water and oil mixed in many food products.
It is commonly used in instant dry yeast, fat and oil emulsions, desserts, food supplements, cake, spread, margarine, coffee whiteners, and so on.
The following are its main uses and functions in food:
Dry yeast: maintain the moisture, increase the shelf life of dry yeast, and help the rehydration of yeast cells before blended with other dough ingredients.
Ice cream: promote emulsifying of dairy fat, prevent the formation of ice crystals, and improve the mouthfeel.
Margarine: improve emulsion stability and reduce sandiness.
Whipping cream: improve foam volume and contribute to a nice and stiff foam.
Bread & Cake: increase the loaf volume and improve the texture of bread and cake.
Confections and chocolate: stabilize the emulsion of oils and fats.
Meanwhile, it can be condensed with ethylene oxide to synthesize polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monostearate (polysorbate 60), which is also a food emulsifier.
Is Sorbitan monostearate Safe to Eat?
Yes, it almost has no side effects and the safety has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), as well as the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).
Sorbitan monostearate may be safely used as an emulsifier in the following food, sometimes together with polysorbate (60, 65, 80) (1):
Whipped edible oil topping
Cakes and cake mixes, icings and fillings
Nonstandardized confectionery coatings and standardized cacao products
Edible vegetable fat-water emulsions in beverage coffee
It can also be used as a rehydration aid in the production of active dry yeast with the maximum usage 1%. It may also be safely used in mineral premixes and dietary supplements for animal feeds.
Sorbitan monostearate (E491) is listed in Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012 as an authorised food additive and categorized in “ additives other than colours and sweeteners”.
Safety re-evaluation in 2017
EFSA changed the ADI of 25 mg/kg bw per day set by The Scientiﬁc Committee on Food (SCF) in 1974 and established a group ADI of 10 mg/kg bw per day for sorbitan esters (expressed as sorbitan) , and the ADI of sorbitan monostearate is 26 mg/kg bw per day.
Its application is listed together with other sorbitan esters: sorbitan tristearate (E492), sorbitan monolaurate (E493), sorbitan monooleate (E494) and sorbitan monopalmitate (E495) and with the maximum use levels “5000-10000 mg/kg” while the use level in dry yeast and yeast for baking is “quantum satis”.
The following food may contain it :
Flavoured fermented milk products
Fat and oil emulsions
Decorations, coatings and fillings
Fine bakery wares
UK Food Standards Agency
Categorized in “Emulsifiers, stabilisers, thickeners and gelling agents”
Food Standards Australia New Zealand
It is an approved ingredient in Australia and New Zealand with the code number 491.
Function Class: food additives, emulsifier.
Acceptable daily intake: ADI “0-25 mg/kg bw” set in 1973.
Frequently asked questions
Is SMS Halal?
Yes, it is is a synthetic ester that would be halal complying with the Muslim policy if the fatty acid stearic acid derived from vegetable oils instead of animal origins.
Is SMS Vegan?
Yes, it is corn derivative and vegan if the raw material stearic acid from vegetable oils as the manufacturing process without the use of animal matter or products derived from animal origin.
However, some manufacturers may use stearic acid from animal sources. Therefore, vegetarians should avoid it.
Sorbitan esters, polysorbates and other esters of fatty acids
Sorbitan esters or Span© derive from the esterification of dehydrated sorbitol with fatty acids.
The esterification of the hydroxyl groups of sorbitol with fatty acids produces molecules varying in their degree of esterification and in their HLB.
For example, sorbitan monolaurate and sorbitan monostearate exhibit HLB numbers of 8.6 and 4.7, respectively.
They can be used to stabilize o/w and w/o emulsions respectively.
Sorbitan esters can react with ethylene oxide to give the polyoxyethylene derivatives, usually referred as polysorbates or Tweens®.
Sorbitan mono-laurate, monostearate, tristearate and mono-oleate form, respectively, poly-sorbate 20, polysorbate 60, polysorbate 65 and polysorbate 80.
These non-ionic, water-soluble molecules exhibit a wide range of hydrophobicity, surface activity, HLB numbers and emulsifying properties.
Polysorbate 20 and 60 with HLB numbers of 16.7 and 14.9, respectively, can stabilize o/w emulsions.
Polysorbate 65 with an HLB of 10.5 is the most lipophilic; it exhibits low surface activity and emulsifying power.
Polysorbates, especially Tweens®, are widely used in model systems.
They are food additives approved for use in food in the European Union with restricted usages (1000–5000 mg/kg depending on the food category). Their effective use in food applications is in fact limited as a result of consumer perception of synthetic molecules, environmental issues and cost. They also have been reported to affect taste and aroma. Other polyol esters of fatty acids, such as polyglycerol esters (PGE) and propylene glycol monostearate (PGMS) and the water-dispersible anionic sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL), can also be used as food emulsifiers according to the food regulations.
Sorbitan Monostearate (Span 60)
Agricultural chemicals (non-pesticidal)
Functional fluids (closed systems)
Processing aids, not otherwise listed
Processing aids, specific to petroleum production
Solids separation agents
Surface active agents
Sorbitan monostearate is outstanding O/W emulsifier with excellent spreading properties for a smooth and light skin feel.
Sorbitan monostearate improves water resistance of formulations and is compatible with organic and inorganic sun filters.
Sorbitan monostearate stabilises emulsions of every type of oily material in water, irrespective of its required HLB. It is used in creams and milks.
Use: Sorbitan monostearate is oil-in-water emulsifier. Sorbitan monostearate can be used to control viscosity. It improves water resistance of formulations and is compatible with organic and inorganic sun filters.
Sorbitan monostearate is made from sorbital and stearic acid.
Specifically, sorbitol is dehydrated into a substance called sorbitan.
Then stearic acid is added to create a mix of sorbitan esters, including sorbitan monostearate.
So in order to determine if sorbitan monostearate is vegan, we need to look at the two ingredients that go into making it: sorbitol and stearic acid.
Wax-like creamy white powder.
Sorbitan monostearate is an ester of sorbitol and stearic acid.
The sorbitol end of the molecule is very soluble in water.
The stearic acid end is soluble in fats. These properties make the molecule very good at making emulsions of oil and water.
It is sometimes known as a synthetic wax.
Sorbitan monostearate is used as an emulsifying agent in cake mixes, icings, baked goods, puddings, imitation whipped cream, hemorrhoid creams, and creams to treat dry skin.
It is often used with polysorbate 80.
Similar molecules can be made using other fatty acids, such as the shorter chained lauric acid.
[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 3]
[Revised as of April 1, 2020]
TITLE 21--FOOD AND DRUGS
CHAPTER I--FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SUBCHAPTER B - FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION (CONTINUED)
PART 172 -- FOOD ADDITIVES PERMITTED FOR DIRECT ADDITION TO FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION
Subpart I - Multipurpose Additives
Sec. 172.842 Sorbitan monostearate.
The food additive sorbitan monostearate, which is a mixture of partial stearic and palmitic acid esters of sorbitol anhydrides, may be safely used in or on food in accordance with the following prescribed conditions:
(a) The food additive is manufactured by reacting stearic acid (usually containing associated fatty acids, chiefly palmitic) with sorbitol to yield essentially a mixture of esters.
(b) The food additive meets the following specifications:
Saponification number, 147-157
Acid number, 5-10
Hydroxyl number, 235-260
(c) It is used or intended for use, alone or in combination with polysorbate 60 as follows:
(1) As an emulsifier in whipped edible oil topping with or without one or a combination of the following:
(i) Polysorbate 60;
(ii) Polysorbate 65;
(iii) Polysorbate 80;
whereby the maximum amount of the additive or additives used does not exceed 0.4 percent of the weight of the finished whipped edible oil topping; except that a combination of the additive with polysorbate 60 may be used in excess of 0.4 percent: Provided, That the amount of the additive does not exceed 0.27 percent and the amount of polysorbate 60 does not exceed 0.77 percent of the weight of the finished whipped edible oil topping.
(2) As an emulsifier in cakes and cake mixes, with or without one or a combination of the following:
(i) Polysorbate 65.
(ii) Polysorbate 60.
When used alone, the maximum amount of sorbitan monostearate shall not exceed 0.61 percent of the cake or cake mix, on a dry-weight basis. When used with polysorbate 65 and/or polysorbate 60, it shall not exceed 0.61 percent, nor shall the polysorbate 65 exceed 0.32 percent or the polysorbate 60 exceed 0.46 percent, and no combination of the emulsifiers shall exceed 0.66 percent of the weight of the cake or cake mix, calculated on a dry-weight basis.
(3) As an emulsifier, alone or in combination with polysorbate 60 in nonstandardized confectionery coatings and standardized cacao products specified in §§ 163.123, 163.130, 163.135, 163.140, 163.145, and 163.150 of this chapter, as follows:
(i) It is used alone in an amount not to exceed 1 percent of the weight of the finished nonstandardized confectionery coating or standardized cacao product.
(ii) It is used with polysorbate 60 in any combination of up to 1 percent sorbitan monostearate and up to 0.5 percent polysorbate 60 provided that the total combination does not exceed 1 percent of the weight of the finished nonstandardized confectionery coating or standardized cacao product.
(4) As an emulsifier in cake icings and cake fillings, with or without one or a combination of the following:
(i) Polysorbate 65.
(ii) Polysorbate 60.
When used alone, the maximum amount of sorbitan monostearate shall not exceed 0.7 percent of the weight of the cake icing or cake filling. When used with polysorbate 65 and/or polysorbate 60, it shall not exceed 0.7 percent, nor shall the polysorbate 65 exceed 0.32 percent or the polysorbate 60 exceed 0.46 percent, and no combination of these emulsifiers shall exceed 1 percent of the weight of the cake icing or cake filling.
(5) As an emulsifier in solid-state, edible vegetable fat-water emulsions intended for use as substitutes for milk or cream in beverage coffee, with or without one or a combination of the following:
(i) Polysorbate 60.
(ii) Polysorbate 65.
The maximum amount of the additive or additives shall not exceed 0.4 percent by weight of the finished edible vegetable fat-water emulsion.
(6) It is used alone as a rehydration aid in the production of active dry yeast in an amount not to exceed 1 percent by weight of the dry yeast.
(7) As an emulsifier, alone or in combination with polysorbate 60, in the minimum quantity required to accomplish the intended effect, in formulations of white mineral oil conforming with § 172.878 and/or petroleum wax conforming with § 172.886 for use as protective coatings on raw fruits and vegetables.
(d) To assure safe use of the additive, in addition to the other information required by the Act:
(1) The label of the additive and any intermediate premixes shall bear:
(i) The name of the additive.
(ii) A statement of the concentration or strength of the additive in any intermediate premixes.
(2) The label or labeling shall bear adequate directions to provide a final product that complies with the limitations prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section.
[42 FR 14491, Mar. 15, 1977, as amended at 43 FR 2871, Jan. 20, 1978]
Emulsifiers are hydrophilic and hydrophobic in nature.
Emulsifiers are used across various industrial applications.
Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate is yellowish-brown emulsifier, which is obtained through the reaction between ethylene oxide, sorbitol along with anhydrides and commercially edible stearic acid, obtained from vegetable fats and oils.
Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate is commonly known as polysorbate 60 which is characterised as synthetic compound.
Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate is extensively used as emulsions as they help to reduce the surface tension of the constituents that needs to be emulsified.
Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate being a non-ionic emulsifier, it is used to disperse oil in water and acts as a surfactant and thus finding extensive use in pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry.
Increasing demand for compounds with versatile properties among manufacturers represents opportunitisc platform for the growth of polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate market.
In food and beverage industry it offers broad spectrum of applications such as it prevents staling of the baked products, being emulsifier it helps prevent oil separation from artificial whipped cream and helps to stabilise the colour additives along with other ingredients throughout the mixture.
Thereby enhancing the texture and quality of food products, contributing to the growth of polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate market.
Characteristics properties of polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate such as thickening agents and ability to reduce surface tension is widely used in skin care formulas and other personal care products such as lotions, shampoos, creams and fragrance powders among others.
With increasing inclination of consumers towards better and enhanced personal care products, demand for polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate as thickening agent is expected to grow significantly in the forthcoming years.
Moreover, due to other peculiar properties of polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate such as lubricating agents and gelling agents, it is predominantly used in the manufacturing of pills and capsules and also helps to prolong the shelf life of certain medicines.
Hence, spurring the demand for polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate market across industrial applications.
However, excessive consumption of products containing polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate may cause diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort among others. Hence, may affect the growth of polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate market.
Moreover, polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate may have animal derived source, hence vegan population may abstain from consumption of such products.
Thereby, hampering the growth of polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate market.
Sorbitan monostearate is an ester of sorbitan -a sorbitol derivative- and stearic acid and is sometimes referred to as a synthetic wax.
It is primarily used as an emulsifier to keep water and oils mixed.
Sorbitan monostearate is used in the manufacture of food and healthcare products and is a non-ionic surfactant with emulsifying, dispersing, and wetting properties.
Sorbitan monostearate is also employed to create synthetic fibers, metal machining fluid, and brighteners in the leather industry, and as an emulsifier in coatings, pesticides, and various applications in the plastics, food and cosmetics industries.
Sorbitans are also known as "Spans". Sorbitan monostearate has been approved by the European Union for use as a food additive -emulsifier- -E number: E 491
Cream-colored waxy solid
It is primarily used as an emulsifier to keep water and oils mixed. Sorbitan monostearate is used in the manufacture of food and healthcare products and is a non-ionic surfactant with emulsifying, dispersing, and wetting properties
Sorbitan Monostearate; Unisorb S; Span 60; Crill 3; Dehymul SMS; Emalex SPE 100S; Sorbitan, Monooctadecanoate
Store in a dry, cool and well-ventilated place, away from direct sunlight. Keep containers closed when not in use
PRODUCT NAME : Sorbitan Monostearate (E491)
SYNONYMOUS: SMS; Sorbitan Esters
CLASS : Emulsifier
DESCRIPTION AND INGREDIENTS : They are partial products of stearic acid and sorbitol and anhydrides. It may have sorbitol esters and free fatty acids.
APPEARANCE : Cream yellowish bead solids. It has a slight characteristic smell.
SOLUBILITY : It cannot be decomposed in cold water, can be dispersed in hot water.
Sorbitan monostearate is lipophilic surfactant substance. Sorbitan monostearate is generally used as an emulsifer together with polysorbates. Sorbitan monostearate is used to change crystallization of the oils.
USAGE AREA :
Ø Fine bakery products
Ø Fine bakery products, decoration and coating materials
Ø Baker’s yeasts
Ø Oil emulsions
Ø Milk and cream mixtures
Ø Gel marmelades
Ø Tahini halva varieties
Ø Cocoa based candies
Ø Liquid mixtures of fruits and vegetables
Ø Sugar based candies
Ø Food supplements
Sorbitan Monostearate, an ester of sorbitan and stearic acid, is referred to as a synthetic wax that is used as an emulsifier to keep oils and water mixed
Span 60, (=Sorbitan Monostearate), or Sorbitan Monostearate, is referred to as a synthetic wax that is used as an emulsifier to keep oils and water mixed
Sorbitan monostearate (E 491) is an ester of sorbitan (a sorbitol derivative) and stearic acid and is sometimes referred to as a synthetic wax.
Sorbitan monostearate is primarily used as an emulsifier to keep water and oils mixed. Sorbitan monostearate is used in the manufacture of food and healthcare products and is a non-ionic surfactant with emulsifying, dispersing, and wetting properties. It is also employed to create synthetic fibers, metal machining fluid, and brighteners in the leather industry, and as an emulsifier in coatings, pesticides, and various applications in the plastics, food and cosmetics industries. Sorbitans are also known as "Spans".
Sorbitan monostearate has been approved by the European Union for use as a food additive (emulsifier) (E number: E 491).
1,4-Anhydro-D-glucitol, 6-octadecanoate; Anhydrosorbitol monostearate; D-Glucitol, 1,4-anhydro-, 6-octadecanoate; Anhydrosorbitol stearate; Arlacel 60; Armotan MS; Crill 3; Crill K 3; D-Glucitol, anhydro-, monooctadecanoate; Drewsorb 60; Durtan 60; Emsorb 2505; Estearato de sorbitano [INN-Spanish]; Glycomul S; Hodag SMS; Ionet S 60; Liposorb S; Liposorb S-20; MS 33; MS 33F; Montane 60; Newcol 60; Nikkol SS 30; Nissan Nonion SP 60; Nonion SP 60; Nonion SP 60R; Rikemal S 250; Sorbitan C; Sorbitan monooctadecanoate; Sorbitan monostearate; Sorbitan monostearate. (Compound usually contains also associated fatty acids.); Sorbitan stearate; Sorbitani stearas [INN-Latin]; Sorbon S 60; Sorgen 50; Span 55; Span 60; Stearate de sorbitan [INN-French]; Stearic acid, monoester with sorbitan; [ChemIDplus]
Sorbitan monostearate is used as an emulsifier, stabilizer, and thickener in foods, cosmetics, and medicinal products; as lubricant and softener in textiles; as surfactant for pharmaceuticals; [Merck Index] Used as an emulsifier and stabilizer for plastics and agricultural chemicals; [HSDB]
Sorbitan Monostearate is produced by the esterification of Sorbitol with commercial Stearic acid derived, and consists of approximately 95% of mixture of esters of sorbitol and its mono- and di-anhydrides. It is a light cream to tan coloured hard, waxy solid with a slight characteristic odour and bland taste. It is insoluble in water and dispersible in hot water.
Instant Active Dry Yeast
Sorbitan Monostearate is widely used in the production of instant dry yeast. Yeast is treated with SMS prior to drying. SMS protects yeast cells during the drying process and aids in the rehydration of yeast cells upon usage of yeast.
Yeast cells have a membrane which is located on the inside of the cell wall and this consists of lecithin and proteins. The membrane acts as a natural barrier that keeps the essential yeast cells required for fermentation within the cell. During the drying process this membrane becomes porous, the lecithin undergoes a liquid to solid transformation and makes the cell membrane less effective. SMS acts as an alpha crystalline barrier and support for the cell membrane preventing the rupture of the membrane during the drying process as well as when the yeast is rehydrated.
Cakes and Fine Bakers Wares
SMS, when used in conjunction with Mono and Diglycerides and Polysorbate 60 provides cake batters with lower specific gravity, less gluten development, resulting in softer cakes with a uniform crumb structure.
Non Dairy Whipped Toppings/ Imitation Whipped Cream
Non Dairy Whipped Toppings are oil-in-water emulsions that contain lower quantities of fat and higher quantities of water. It is imperative that the fat phase be dispersed evenly within the water phase to allow a smooth creamy aerated cream which can maintain a stable stiffness after being whipped and used to decorate cakes. Sorbitan Monostearate, in synergy with other emulsifiers like Polyglycerol Esters and Monoglycerides are able to perform these functions. Sorbitan Monostearate also retards the crystal formation of fat due to the free-thaw that this produce goes through.
Description: Emulsifying agent derived from sorbitol and stearic acid. Pale-yellow pellets, odorless. Partly soluble in alcohols, insoluble in water & oils. Saponification value 147-157. HLB value 4.7 (gives water-in-oil emulsions).
INCI Name: Sorbitan monostearate
Mild all-purpose water-in-oil emulsifier (enables water & oil to mix)
Emulsion can be further stabilized when combined with polysorbate 60 or 80
Acts as dispersing agent and has thickening properties
Use: Warm to melt before use. Typical use level 1 - 6%. For external use only.
Applications: Lotions, creams, ointments, various makeup products.
Sorbitan monostearate has a bland odor and taste. It is a mixture of partial stearic and palmitic acid esters of sorbitol and its mono- and dianhydrides. For additional details of description, refer to Burdock (1997).
sorbitan stearate is an emulsifier for water-in-oil creams and lotions, and a solubilizer of essential oils in water. It results from the reaction of stearic acid with sorbitol and is, therefore, synthetically produced from naturally derived materials.
Sorbitan Monostearate (Span 60) is a lipophilic emulsifier that is a sorbitan fatty acid ester, being a sorbitol-derived analog of glycerol monostearate. It is a nonionic, oil-dispersible surface-active agent. It is used as a gloss enhancer in chocolate coatings; as a dispersant aid in coffee whiteners; to increase volume in cakes and icings; and often in combination with polysorbates. Typical usage level ranges from 0.30 to 0.70%.
Glycomul L is a sorbitan ester used for emulsification.
Glycomul S KFG is used as emulsifier for baked goods, icings & filings and whipped toppings. It is also used as a rehydration aid (production of active dry yeast) and as synthetic flavoring substances and adjuvants. Product Data Sheet
Lonzest SMS is used as a pigment dispersion additive for PP color concentrates and as an antistatic agent for PVC.
Prepared by reacting edible commercial stearic acid (usually containing associated fatty acids, chiefly palmitic) with sorbitol.
Definition: Sorbitan monostearate is an ester of sorbitan and stearic acid. Its primary use in food is as an emulsifier. It is used to maintain a suspension of water and oil in a variety of products, and particularly in chocolates to maintain colour and shine. It is also used as a wax coating on produce.
Health considerations: At the levels expected with normal consumption, no negative effects have been attributed to sorbitan monostearate. Animal studies of mice fed extremely high doses for over a year showed no effects related to sorbitan monostearate.
May be found in Chocolate, chocolate coatings, candies, cake mixes, puddings, cake fillings, coffee creamer, whipped topping, dressings, icings, as a wax coating on produce
Food and Cosmetics Toxicology
Alternative Spellings and Names
MONTANETM products are non-ionic lipophilic surfactants, obtained by esterification of sorbitol with a fatty acid. Full range biosourced and vegetable grades are available.
MONTANETM products are derived from monoester, sesquiester or triester of the following acids: lauric, palmitic, stearic, isostearic and oleic.
MONTANETM emulsifiers are low coloured products, with a faint odour and low impurities content.
The MONTANETM grades have an HLB (Hydrophilic / Lipophilic Balance) range from 1.8 to 8.6.
They are compatible with all surfactants and with electrolytes.
They are not sensitive to pH variation.
Trade Name Chemical Name HLB
MONTANE 20 Sorbitan monolaurate 8.6
MONTANE 40 Sorbitan monopalmitate 6.7
MONTANE 60 Sorbitan monostearate 4.7
MONTANE 65 Sorbitan tristearate 2.1
MONTANE 70 Sorbitan isostearate 4.3
MONTANE 80 Sorbitan monooleate 4.3
MONTANE 83 Sorbitan sesquioleate 3.7
MONTANE 85 Sorbitan trioleate 1.8
Sorbitan monostearate is an ester of sorbitol, also called sorbitan.
The substance made from sorbitol and animal or vegetable fats serves as an emulsifier.
An emulsifier ensures that a fine mixture is formed from water and fat.
That is why sorbitan monostearate is often used as an additive in the food industry and in cosmetic products.
In addition to baked goods, the additive is also found in chocolate, lemonades, sauces, jams and dry yeast.
All sorbitan fatty acid esters are listed with E numbers E 491 to E 495. Other sorbitol compounds and their corresponding E numbers are:
E 420 sorbitol
E432 polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate (polysorbate 20), polysorbates, emulsifiers
E433 polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate (polysorbate 80)
E434 polyoxyethylene sorbitan monopalmitate (polysorbate 40)
E435 polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate (polysorbate 60)
E436 polyoxyethylene sorbitan tristearate (polysorbate 65)
E491 sorbitan monostearate
E492 sorbitan tristearate
E493 sorbitan monolaurate
E494 sorbitan monooleate
E495 sorbitan monopalmitate
Sorbitan monostearate, also known as sorbitan stearate/SMS, is synthesized by the esterification of sorbitan with stearic acid.
It has a molecular formula of C24H46O6. At room temperature, it is in the form of a pale-yellow to yellow granular solid.
It has a sorbitan monostearate HLB value of 4.7.
Sorbitan monostearate has extensive uses such as, keeps moisture of yeasts; enhances oil-water dispersion stability; emulsifies and stabilizes in cosmetic, pharmaceutical, feeds, coating, textile formulations. It is commonly used in combination with polysorbate 60.
Emulsifiers, Stabilisers, Thickeners and Gelling Agents.
Sorbitan fatty acid esters are lipophilic (fat loving) generally soluble or dispersible in oil and tend to form water in oil emulsions. They are also soluble in most organic solvents.
Used in fine bakery wares, anusol pile cream and cream for dry and sensitive skins
May be harmful or act as an irritant - toxicology not fully investigated. No known adverse effects.
The market can be segmented into product types: Food Grade Sorbitan Monostearate, Industrial Grade Sorbitan Monostearate, Medicine Grade Sorbitan Monostearate
The market can be segmented into applications as: Cosmetic, Pharmaceuticals, Bakery And Confectionary, Coating & Plastic, etc.
Synonyms Span #60 (=Sorbitan monostearate)
Sorbitan Stearate; Sorbitan, monooctadecanoate; Sorbitan stearate
Sorbitan Stearate; Sorbitan, monooctadecanoate; Sorbitan stearate
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ChemSpider 2D Image | 1873 | C24H46O6Save3DZoom
Average mass430.618 Da
Monoisotopic mass430.329437 Da
defined stereocentres - 4 of 4 defined stereocentres
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Names and SynonymsDatabase ID(s)
Validated by Experts, Validated by Users, Non-Validated, Removed by Users
1,4-Anhydro-6-O-stearoyl-D-glucitol [ACD/IUPAC Name]
1,4-Anhydro-6-O-stearoyl-D-glucitol [German] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
1,4-Anhydro-6-O-stearoyl-D-glucitol [French] [ACD/IUPAC Name]
215-664-9 [EINECS] [MDL number]
D-Glucitol, 1,4-anhydro-, 6-octadecanoate
D-Glucitol, 1,4-anhydro-6-O-(1-oxooctadecyl)- [ACD/Index Name]
Ionet S 60
MFCD00005366 [MDL number]
newc ol 60
Nikkol SS 30
Nissan nonion SP 60
Nonion SP 60
Nonion SP 60R
Rikemal S 250
Sorbon S 60
Span 60 (=Sorbitan Monostearate)
The present paper relates to an improved method for making surfactant esters, especially sorbitan monostearate and tristearate.
Sorbitan esters of fatty acid, stearate are derived from a reaction between sorbitan and fatty acid. Method of sorbitan ester production needs addition of catalyst. Sorbitan stearate production was studied using chemical catalyst.
Two steps process leading sorbitan production under atmospheric and vacuum pressure with acid catalyst resulted dehydrated product at optimal residence time of 195 min at 180°Cfor atmospheric conditions and optimalresidence time of 150 min at the same temperature respectively.
Sorbitan stearate production was studied by utilizing sorbitan and stearic acid with alkaline catalyst at atmospheric pressurein an inert gas climate which resulted after 5 hrs of reaction. Keywords: sorbitan; monostearate; tristearate; surfactant; fatty acid 1. Introduction Sorbitan fatty acid ester called sorbitan ester, are surfactants highly safe to use on human body and are widely used as a food additive in the production process as emulsifiers. Sorbitan esters are well known emulsifiers suitable for use in food, pharmaceutical products as well as many other applications.
Despite its simple name, sorbitan ester is complex mixture of molecules.
One such technique involves direct esterification of sorbitol or an intramolecular condensate of sorbitol with fatty acids in the presence of acid or alkali catalysts in one step process.
In two step process, sorbitol is first dehydrated to sorbitan and then esterified with acid or alkaline catalysis.
Sorbitol for use may be D-sorbitol in the form of white powder.
The fatty acid for use may be any fatty acid, Specific example stearic acid.
The esterification of sorbitol condensate with fatty acid may be carried out with or without acid or alkali catalysts.
The use of alkali catalysts is particularly preferred.
Examples of acid catalysts include concentrated sulfuric acid and p-toluenesulfonic acid.
Examples of alkali catalysts include potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, potassium carbonate, and sodium carbonate.
Purifation of sorbitan esters is the next step for removal of impurities from sorbitan esters.
The popular method for producing sorbitan esters.
Method of production sorbitan ester needs addition of catalyst.
The reaction mixture may also be analyzed by HPLC.
The final product must meet tight values for hydroxyl value and saponification number.
Step one: Intramolecular dehydration of sorbitol is preferably carried out by heating sorbitol in the presence of a catalyst (e.g. acid catalyst, caustic catalyst and tin salts catalyst) at approximately 110 to 150°C, and preferably at approximately 140°C, and removing the generated water under a reduced pressure of, for example, approximately 2kPa [3,7].
Step two: Anhydro sorbitol reaction with fatty acid (stearic acid) is effected by heating in the presence of an alkali catalyst (e.g., potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, potassium carbonate, and sodium carbonate, and so on) ) at approximately 210 to 250°C, and preferably at approximately 220C , and in the presence inert gas. The esterification is generally carried out in a common reaction vessel that is equipped with a stirrer, a heating jacket, a baffle, an inert gas inlet, a thermometer and a condenser-equipped moisture separator. Sorbitol or sorbitol intramolecular condensates, fatty acids, and catalysts are fed to the reaction vessel and are mixed and stirred.
The aim of this investigation is the preparation of sorbitan and esterification of sorbitan with stearic acid and sorbitan estearate formation. 2. Experimental 2-1. Materials A four-neck flask, provided with a control thermometer, an inert gas, a sampler and condenser was placed in a heater and magnetic stirrer.
A vacuum pump supply required pressure in system. The entire chemicals were obtained from Merck Co. They were of analytical grades. 2-2. Method Sorbitan esters preparation was studied by two stages method.
At the first stage, production of sorbitan was studied and in the second stage esterification of sorbitan with fatty acid and sorbitan ester production. 2-2-1. First stage: Dehydrated sorbitol preparation 91g (0.5 mol) sorbitol was fed to the flask and melting (100o C) for 6 min. Addition the catalyst with the amount of 0.072 ml phosphoric acid 85%, or sodium hydroxide solution 36N. The experimental conditions are presented in Table 1.
Sorbitan monostearate, a hydrophobic nonionic surfactant, gels a number of organic solvents such as hexadecane, isopropyl myristate, and a range of vegetable oils. Gelation is achieved by dissolving/dispersing the organogelator in hot solvent to produce an organic solution/dispersion, which, on cooling sets to the gel state. Cooling the solution/dispersion causes a decrease in the solvent–gelator affinities, such that at the gelation temperature, the surfactant molecules self-assemble into toroidal inverse vesicles. Further cooling results in the conversion of the toroids into rod-shaped tubules. Once formed, the tubules associate with others, and a three-dimensional network is formed which immobilizes the solvent. An organogel is thus formed. Sorbitan monostearate gels are opaque, thermoreversible semisolids, and they are stable at room temperature for weeks. The gels are affected by the presence of additives such as the hydrophilic surfactant, polysorbate 20, which improves gel stability and alters the gel microstructure from a network of individual tubules to star-shaped “clusters” of tubules in the liquid continuous phase. Another solid monoester in the sorbitan ester family, sorbitan monopalmitate, also gels organic solvents to give opaque, thermoreversible semisolids. Like sorbitan monostearate gels, the microstructure of the palmitate gels comprise an interconnected network of rodlike tubules. Unlike the stearate gels, however, the addition of small amounts of a polysorbate monoester causes a large increase in tubular length instead of the “clustering effect” seen in stearate gels. The sorbitan stearate and palmitate organogels may have potential applications as delivery vehicles for drugs and antigens.
Sorbitan monostearate is a waxy powder that is used as an emulsifier that keep water and oils mixed. It is produced from sorbitol and stearic acid, which is a normal fatty acid from vegetable or animal origin. The substance is used in the production of some food and healthcare products. It is a non-ionic surfactant with emulsifying, dispersing, and wetting functions. Moreover, sorbitan monostereate is used as a rehydration aid in the production of active dry yeast and as a synthetic flavoring substance and adjuvant. As a food additive, sorbitan monostearate also functions as a blender and flavor enhancer.
Sorbitan monostearate is made from corn, palm oil, and petroleum. It does not spoil, so it sometimes can be used as a replacement for dairy products in baked goods and other liquid products. This substance can be found in candy, ice cream, flavored milk, baking items, cake mix, icing, whipping cream, cake mixes, puddings, whipped vegetable-oil toppings, cookie coatings, solid-state edible vegetable fat, cream substitutes, coconut spread, beverages, confectionery, and as a protective covering on fruits and vegetables.
Other names for sorbitan monostearate include Fema 3028, Emalex Spe-100s, Arlacel 60, Span(Tm) 60, Span 60, Span(R) 60, and Span No 60.
Sorbitan monostearate has a chemical formula of C24H46O6 and has an E number of E491.