What Is Sorbitan Monostearate?

Are you curious to know what is sorbitan monostearate? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about sorbitan monostearate in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is sorbitan monostearate?

In the world of food and pharmaceuticals, various additives and emulsifiers play crucial roles in enhancing product quality and stability. One such additive is Sorbitan Monostearate, commonly known as Span 60. Widely used in the food industry as an emulsifier, Sorbitan Monostearate offers numerous benefits in food processing and product formulation. In this blog post, we will explore the properties, applications, and safety considerations of Sorbitan Monostearate, shedding light on its role in the production of our favorite foods and other consumer products.

What Is Sorbitan Monostearate?

Sorbitan Monostearate is a compound derived from the reaction between Sorbitol (a sugar alcohol) and Stearic Acid (a saturated fatty acid). It belongs to a class of emulsifiers called sorbitan esters, which are widely used for their emulsifying, stabilizing, and anti-foaming properties. Sorbitan Monostearate is typically a light yellowish waxy solid that is odorless and tasteless.

Food Applications:

Sorbitan Monostearate finds extensive use in the food industry due to its emulsifying properties. It is commonly used in baked goods, dairy products, confectionery, and processed foods. Some specific applications include:

  1. Baked Goods: Sorbitan Monostearate helps improve the texture and shelf life of baked goods by enhancing emulsion stability, preventing oil separation, and promoting even distribution of fat.
  2. Dairy Products: It is used in the production of ice creams, whipped toppings, and dairy-based desserts to stabilize emulsions, prevent whey separation, and improve texture and mouthfeel.
  3. Confectionery: Sorbitan Monostearate is employed in the production of chocolates, coatings, and confectionery fillings to prevent fat bloom, improve consistency, and stabilize emulsions.
  4. Processed Foods: It is used in various processed foods, such as dressings, sauces, and spreads, to prevent oil separation, improve stability, and maintain uniform texture.

Non-Food Applications:

Beyond the food industry, Sorbitan Monostearate also finds applications in other sectors:

  1. Pharmaceuticals: It is used as an emulsifier and stabilizer in pharmaceutical formulations, helping to achieve uniform dispersion of ingredients and improve the stability of medications.
  2. Personal Care Products: Sorbitan Monostearate is utilized in cosmetics, skincare, and personal care products as an emulsifier, helping to stabilize oil-in-water emulsions and achieve desired texture and consistency.

Safety Considerations:

Sorbitan Monostearate is considered safe for consumption by regulatory authorities when used within the prescribed limits. It has been evaluated by organizations such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which have established acceptable daily intake levels.

However, as with any food additive, it is essential to note that individual sensitivities or allergies may exist. Consumers with specific concerns or allergies should refer to ingredient labels and consult healthcare professionals when necessary.


Sorbitan Monostearate, or Span 60, is a versatile emulsifier with widespread applications in the food, pharmaceutical, and personal care industries. Its ability to stabilize emulsions, improve texture, and prevent oil separation makes it a valuable ingredient in numerous food products. When used within regulatory guidelines, Sorbitan Monostearate is considered safe for consumption. Its presence in our favorite foods and consumer products enhances their quality, stability, and overall sensory experience.

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What Is Sorbitan Monostearate Made From?

Sorbitan monostearate, often abbreviated as SMS or Span 60, is an emulsifier made from sorbitol and stearic acids. Emulsifiers are often used to stabilize oil and water mixtures, allowing the two ingredients to combine.

Is Sorbitan Monostearate Natural?

Sorbitan monostearate is a synthetic ester that is commonly used in the manufacture of food and health care products as a surfactant with emulsifying, dispersing, and wetting properties. It is used in yeast manufacturing to protect the yeast from excess drying and also helps rehydrate the yeast cells.

What Is Sorbitan Monostearate Also Known As?

Sorbitan monostearate is an ester of sorbitan (a sorbitol derivative) and stearic acid and is sometimes referred to as a synthetic wax.

What Are The Side Effects Of Sorbitan Stearate?

Side Effects of Sorbitan Monostearate

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.


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