Wax-like creamy white powder.
Sorbitan monostearate is an ester
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
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
Similar molecules can be made using other fatty acids, such as the
shorter chained lauric acid.
An emulsion is a mixture of oil and water. Some emulsions like
butter and margarine, have tiny droplets of water in the oil.
Others, like cream or mayonnaise, are droplets of oil in water.
The choice of emulsifier has a large part to play in which kind
of emulsion you get. Emulsifiers that are soluble in water
generally have shorter chains of fats. These make emulsions of oil
Emulsifiers that have long chain fats, or several chains, are
more soluble in oil than they are in water. These make emulsions
of water in oil.
is at the water-soluble end of the spectrum, making good emulsions
of oil in water.
is closer to the oil soluble end of the spectrum, making good emulsions
of water in oil.
Somewhere in the middle are soy
which make good foam stabilizers in whipped cream and similar products.
sorbitan monostearate: InChI=1/C24H46O6/c1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-22(27)29-19-21(26)24-23(28)20(25)18-30-24/h20-21,23-26,28H,2-19H2,1H3/t20-,21?,23+,24-/m1/s1
polysorbate 80: InChI=1/C32H60O10/c1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-30(36)40-25-24-37-26-28(38-21-18-33)32-31(41-23-20-35)29(27-42-32)39-22-19-34/h9-10,28-29,31-35H,2-8,11-27H2,1H3/b10-9+
stearic acid: InChI=1/C18H36O2/c1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18(19)20/h2-17H2,1H3,(H,19,20)/f/h19H
By Simon Quellen Field