Sorbitan monostearate

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Sorbitan monostearate
Sorbitan monostearate.png
IUPAC name
Octadecanoic acid [2-[(2R,3S,4R)-3,4-dihydroxy-2-tetrahydrofuranyl]-2-hydroxyethyl] ester[citation needed]
[citation needed] 1338-41-6[citation needed] YesY
ChemSpider 16736467 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image
PubChem 16218600
Molar mass 430.62 g/mol
Appearance Waxy powder
Except where noted otherwise, data is given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 YesY verify (what isYesY/N?)
Infobox references

Sorbitan monostearate is an ester of sorbitan (a sorbitol derivative) and stearic acid and is sometimes referred to as a synthetic wax.[1] 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[citation needed]. 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)[citation needed].


Compendial status[edit]


  1. ^ Ingredients – Sorbitan Monostearate at
  2. ^ The British Pharmacopoeia Secretariat (2009). "Index, BP 2009". Retrieved 18 March 2010.

See also[edit]