Polysorbates are a class of emulsifiers used in some pharmaceuticals and food preparation. They are often used in cosmetics to solubilize essential oils into water-based products.

Polysorbate 80 (C64H124O26  ) is a nonionic surfactant and emulsifier often used in foods and cosmetics. This synthetic compound is a viscous, water-soluble yellow liquid.

Polysorbate 80 is used as an emulsifier in foods. E number : E433 

For example, in ice cream, polysorbate is added up to 0.5% (v/v) concentration to make the ice cream smoother and easier to handle, as well as increasing its resistance to melting. Adding this substance prevents milk proteins from completely coating the fat droplets. This allows them to join together in chains and nets, which hold air in the mixture, and provide a firmer texture that holds its shape as the ice cream melts.

Polysorbate 80 is also used as a surfactant in soaps and cosmetics and medicine formulations.


Polysorbate 20 (C58H114O26  ) is a polysorbate surfactant whose stability and relative nontoxicity allows it to be used as a detergent and emulsifier in a number of domestic, scientific, and pharmacological applications. It is a polyoxyethylene derivative of sorbitan monolaurate, and is distinguished from the other members in the polysorbate range by the length of the polyoxyethylene chain and the fatty acid ester moiety. The commercial product contains a range of chemical species

Polysorbate 20 is used as a wetting agent in flavored mouth drops such as Ice Drops, helping to provide a spreading feeling to other ingredients like SD alcohol and mint flavor.