What is Polysorbate 60 (E435) in Food? Uses, Safe, Side Effects

What is Polysorbate 60 (E435) in Food? Uses, Safe, Side Effects

what is polysorrrrrbate 60

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Polysorbate 60, also known as polysorbate E435 or Tween 60, is a nonionic surfactant that belongs to the family of polyethoxylated sorbitan esters. It is an emulsifier used in food to stabilize food products and enhance their flavors.

Polysorbate 60 is a food additive commonly added to liquid (such as milk) or soft gel capsules to increase their solubility in oil. It is also used as a foaming agent and surfactant, and can be found in ice cream flavorings. Furthermore, it can be found in bakery products, beverages, baking mixes, canned frosting, sauces, instant foods and soup mixes.

What is polysorbate 60?

Polysorbate 60 is also known as polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monostearate, ethoxylated sorbitan monostearate, Tween-60, or PEG 400-60. It’s a white or yellowish powder that’s soluble in water and alcohol.

Polysorbate 60 is a manufactured food additive with the E number E433. It is a nonionic surfactant, which prevents ingredients from separating in liquid foods. It is also used as an emulsifier, which helps to keep oil and water blended together. It has been used in ice cream, cakes, pie fillings and mayonnaise.

Polysorbate 60 helps keep the oil and water in the mixture of ingredients blended together and stops them separating during storage. This additive also helps prevent ice crystals forming in frozen products such as ice cream or sorbet by keeping the mixture smooth and creamy.

The chemical name for Polysorbate 60 is polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monostearate; it is made from sorbitol (a sugar alcohol), ethylene oxide (a detergent) and stearic acid (a fatty acid).

How is polysorbate 60 made?

Polysorbate 60 is a polysorbate surfactant that is used as an emulsifier, thickener, and stabilizer in food and cosmetics. Polysorbate 60 is a polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate (Tween 60), made by the ethoxylation of sorbitol with ethylene oxide.

The raw materials used to make polysorbate 60 are sorbitol and ethylene oxide. First, the raw material is mixed in a reactor. Then it is heated to about 230°F (110°C) where it stays for about 1 hour. This process removes water from the mixture by evaporation leaving behind a syrup-like mixture called “wet cake”. This wet cake is then cooled down to about 160°F (70°C), which causes it to become firm again due to its higher melting point; this step is called crystallization. 

The crystals are then filtered out of the liquid using filters that allow only large particles to pass through while blocking out tiny ones like crystals; this step removes any remaining water or other impurities in your product that may cause problems if left there when using your finished product later on in manufacturing or when using your product directly after making.

What is polysorbate 60 made from?

The polysorbate 60 is made from natural fatty acids and ethylene oxide. The fatty acids that are used to make these chemicals are vegetable oils or animal fats. Ethylene oxide is a chemical compound that is made by reacting ethylene with oxygen under high pressure and temperature.

Polysorbate 60 has many uses in food products because it can help to stabilize mixtures and prevent separation of ingredients such as water, oil and fat. It also helps to keep flavorings evenly distributed throughout the mixture so that they don’t separate out into layers on top of each other. 

In addition, this emulsifier prevents separation of ingredients by keeping them suspended together in the same solution without forming droplets or settling at the bottom of the container where they would be difficult to use or taste unpleasant if eaten.


Other Names Tween 60
CAS Number 9005-67-8
Chemical formula C64H126O26
Molecular Weight 1312



A lemon-to-orange-colored oily liquid or semi-gel at 25 degrees Celsius.



  • Hydrophilic groups: long polyoxyethylene groups
  • Lipophilic group: stearic acid

Hydrophile-Lipophile Balance (HLB)

14.9, this gives oil-in-water emulsions, or O/W.

Polysorbate 60 is more lipophilic than polysorbate 20 and 40 due to the long length of the fatty acids – stearic acid, compared with other fatty acids, lauric acid (C14) and palmitic acid (C16) that linked to the polyoxyethylene sorbitan part of the molecule, respectively.


  • Soluble in water, insoluble in mineral oil, vegetable oils.
  • Soluble in ethyl acetate, toluene.

What are the application of Polysorbate 60?

Polysorbate 60 is a water-soluble type of surfactant. It can be used as an emulsifier to blend oil and water products, and it can also be used in cosmetics as a thickener and stabilizer.

Polysorbate 60 Uses

Polysorbate 60 in Food

In food production, polysorbate 60 is often used in combination with other food additives to help make processed foods taste better and last longer on the shelf. When used in combination with other compounds, it can also prevent ice crystals from forming in frozen desserts like ice cream or frozen yogurt as it freezes. This can help prevent damage due to freezing and create a more consistent texture in the final product.

Polysorbate 60 in Skin Care

Polysorbate 60 is used in many skin care products to help their ingredients blend together easily and evenly on your skin. It can also be used to help sunscreen ingredients spread onto your skin evenly so they don’t leave streaks behind when you apply them.

Polysorbate 60 in Cosmetics

Polysorbate 60 is often used as an emulsifying agent to blend together different types of oils and liquids into creams, lotions and other cosmetics products. Because it has high tolerance for heat and high pH levels, it can be used effectively to blend ingredients even when heated during manufacturing processes.

The following cosmetic products may contain it:

  • Lotions
  • Creams
  • Hair products
  • Skin care products
  • Makeup products


It gives lubrication to joints in order to reduce friction between moving parts like bones, tendons, muscles, etc., thus reducing wear and tear on those tissues over time.

Is polysorbate 60 safe to eat?

Yes, it has been approved as a safe ingredient by the United States, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).


Polysorbate 60 may be safely used in food with multifunctions, such as an emulsifier, foaming agent, dough conditioner, dispersing agent, surfactant & wetting agent.

There are the following foods that may contain it and the maximum amount that can be consumed:

  • Whipped edible oil topping 0.4%
  • Shortenings and edible oils 1%
  • Ice cream 0.1%
  • Dressings 0.3%
  • Cakes, cake mixes, icings and fillings 0.46%
  • Sugar confection coatings 0.2%
  • Vegetable fat-water emulsions 0.4%
  • Yeast-leavened bakery products 0.5%


According to Regulation (EU) No 231/2012, polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monostearate (E435) is an authorised food additive and can be found in the “Additives other than colours and sweeteners” category.

Safety re-evaluation in 2018

2018 marked the review of its safety along with that of the other polysorbates (20, 40, 65, 80).

UK Food Standards Agency

In the category “Emulsifiers, stabilisers, thickeners, and gelling agents”

Food Standards Australia New Zealand

According to its code number 435, it is an approved ingredient in Australia and New Zealand.


Function Class: food additives and emulsifier.

Acceptable daily intake:   The ADI “0-25mg/kg bw” was set in 1973.

What are the side effects of polysorbate 60?

Polysorbate 60 is a food additive that is used to stabilize ingredients and help them blend together. It’s also used in cosmetic products as an emulsifier, which means it prevents water from separating from oil-based ingredients. The FDA has approved Polysorbate 60 as safe for use in foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Polysorbate 60 Side Effects

The most common side effects of Polysorbate 60 include skin reactions like contact dermatitis, rashes and hives. Other possible side effects include nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. In some cases, side effects may be life threatening if an individual has an allergy to the substance or if they’re taking other medications that interact with Polysorbate 60.

If you experience any of these symptoms after using a product containing Polysorbate 60, stop using it immediately and consult your doctor right away:

  • Rash or hives (raised, red bumps) on the skin or in the mouth
  • Itching or burning sensations on the skin where you applied the product containing Polysorbate 60
  • Swelling of the face or lips
  • Difficulty breathing due to swelling in your throat or nose area

Difference between polysorbate 60 and polysorbate 80

Polysorbate 60 and polysorbate 80 are two similar emulsifiers that are used for many different things in the food industry. They are both commonly used as emulsifiers in ice creams and other frozen desserts, as well as in baked goods and frostings.

Polysorbate 60 vs 80

The most obvious difference between these two types of emulsifiers is their molecular structure. Polysorbate 60 is a synthetic compound made from sorbitol and ethylene oxide, while polysorbate 80 is made from sorbitan monostearate. However, both polysorbates have similar properties and can be used interchangeably in most recipes.

The main difference between these two compounds comes down to the size of their molecules. Because polysorbates 60 and 80 have different molecular structures, they behave differently when they come into contact with water or oil-based liquids. Polysorbate 60 has larger molecules than polysorbate 80; therefore, it can hold more water than polysorbate 80 when mixed together. In addition, because its molecules are larger, polysorbate 60 will not dissolve in oil-based liquids as readily as polysorbate 80.

Difference between cetearyl alcohol and polysorbate 60

Cetearyl Alcohol and Polysorbate 60

Cetearyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol used in cosmetics and personal care products. It helps to thicken, emulsify and stabilize formulations. Cetearyl alcohol is derived from coconut oil or palm oil. The name “cetearyl” comes from the fact that it contains cetyl (a fatty acid) and ethylene glycol (i.e., antifreeze).

Polysorbate 60 is a nonionic surfactant often used in cosmetics and personal care products as an emulsifier, wetting agent, thickener or lubricant. It can also be used to preserve the fragrance of a formulation by preventing oxidation of the essential oils it contains. Polysorbate 60 is often combined with other ingredients such as propylene glycol, sorbitan stearate, sodium lauryl sulfate, PEG-6 caprylic/capric glycerides and others to create complex formulations with multiple functions in one product such as shampoos, conditioners and body washes.

Is polysorbate 60 safe?

Polysorbate 60 is a common food additive that is used in many foods, including ice cream, cake mixes, salad dressings and frozen desserts. It is also used in drugs to help them dissolve in water.

Polysorbate 60 is produced by reacting sorbitol with ethylene oxide. It is a non-ionic surfactant that acts as an emulsifier and a solubilizer. The emulsifying properties of polysorbate 60 allow it to be used in foods such as ice cream to prevent separation of the ingredients. The solubilizing properties allow it to dissolve ingredients that would otherwise not dissolve well in water, such as vitamin E acetate or vitamin A palmitate.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified polysorbate 60 as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). This means it can be used without prior approval from the FDA or any other government agency.

There are no known side effects associated with using polysorbate 60 at normal levels found in foods or medications.

What are the benefits of polysorbate 60?

Polysorbate 60 is a common emulsifier and surfactant in shampoos, conditioners and other personal care products. It is used to disperse oil and water-soluble ingredients in skin care products, lotions and creams.

Benefits of Polysorbate 60 for hair:

  1. Hair loss treatment – Polysorbate 60 helps prevent dandruff in people with scalp conditions like psoriasis. It also helps remove excess sebum from the scalp, thereby preventing dandruff formation.
  2. Anti-aging benefits – Polysorbate 60 has antioxidant properties that help reduce damage caused by free radicals in the body and protect cells from oxidative stress.
  3. Moisturizing benefits – Polysorbate 60 has humectant properties that draws moisture from the air into the skin or hair shaft, keeping them hydrated for longer periods of time than usual.

Is polysorbate 60 toxic?

No, polysorbate 60 is not toxic. This ingredient is used in many cosmetics and personal care products because of its emulsifying properties. It is a mixture of sorbitan esters, which are derived from corn or soybeans and are used as food additives.

Polysorbate 60 is also known as a surfactant, which means it helps other substances mix together. In cosmetics, it can be found in hair conditioners and shampoos, moisturizers and sunscreens, bath oils and lotions, shaving creams and aftershave lotions.

The FDA has approved polysorbate 60 as safe for use in foods and drugs. While some people may experience mild skin irritation after using products containing this ingredient, it is not considered to be toxic or harmful to your health when used at recommended levels in personal care products.”

What are the polysorbate 60 allergies?

Polysorbate 60 Allergy

Allergies to polysorbate 60 are rare. However, if you have a known allergy to ethoxylated ingredients and you have a reaction after using a product containing polysorbate 60, stop using it immediately and seek medical attention.

Polysorbate 60 is an ingredient found in many products that are used for personal care and beauty. It is also used as an emulsifier in food products.

If you have a known allergy to ethoxylated ingredients, your risk of developing an allergic reaction to polysorbate 60 is higher than that of the general population.

Polysorbate 60 allergies are not common but they do occur in some people with known allergies to ethoxylated ingredients such as:

  • Ethoxylated plant oils (palm kernel oil)
  • Ethoxylated castor oil

Where to buy polysorbate 60?

You can buy Polysorbate 60 online(such as Amazon ) or at any local pharmacy or grocery store. You can also find it at health food stores if you want to avoid the chemicals found in processed foods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Difference Between Polysorbate 60 and Polysorbate 65

Polysorbate 60 and polysorbate 65 are surfactants used in the food industry. They are also used for other applications, such as personal care products, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. The two compounds have a similar chemical structure, but they have some important differences.

Chemical Structure

Polysorbate 60 and polysorbate 65 are both composed of a long chain of ethylene glycol molecules with an attached hydrophobic tail of diethylene glycol. The difference between the two compounds is that polysorbate 60 has an average of 60 ethylene glycol units per molecule whereas polysorbate 65 has an average of 65 ethylene glycol units per molecule.


Both polysorbates are surfactants that can reduce surface tension between water and oil-based solutions. They can also enhance solubility by lowering the interfacial tension between two substances that do not mix well together on their own, such as oil and water-based solutions. Polysorbates may also be used as emulsifiers in some types of foods and beverages to prevent separation or curdling during production or storage.

Is polysorbate 60 natural?

In fact, it is not natural because it is made from a chemical synthesis of sorbitan fatty acid and ethylene oxide.

Is polysorbate 60 halal?

Polysorbate 60 is a synthetic emulsifier, which means that it helps other substances to stay mixed together. It is often used in cosmetics and food products.

Polysorbate 60 is made from sorbitol and lauric acid, which are both halal.

Is polysorbate 60 vegan?

Yes, polysorbate 60 is vegan. It’s a common ingredient in cosmetics, personal care products and foods. It’s used for its emulsifying properties — it helps water and oil-based ingredients blend together. Polysorbate 60 does not contain animal products or by-products.

Is polysorbate 60 kosher?

Polysorbate 60 is a kosher food additive. It is used as an emulsifier, dispersing agent, stabilizer and solubilizer in many foods. It can be found in ice cream, salad dressings, sauces, processed cheese and many other foods.

Is polysorbate 60 gluten free?

Yes, polysorbate 60 is gluten free. It is a polysorbate used in food products to improve the texture and mouthfeel of foods. It is also used as an anti-microbial agent.

This ingredient helps prevent the growth of molds and bacteria in food. It is also used to stabilize emulsions and improve texture by increasing viscosity.


Although Polysorbate 60 is considered to be safe for use in foods, some consumers may not like the fact that it is derived from animal sources. Such sources include the livers of cows and sheep, as well as eggs and soybeans. If you do need a stable fat substitute for your food, however, then this ingredient might be useful for your purpose. One benefit to Polysorbate 60 is that it can help bind together ingredients during the cooking process, resulting in a product that has a better texture.

if you have any questions about polysorbate 60, please contact us in the below comments.

Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng is the author of gradechemical.com, she is the co-founder of the grade chemical network. She has been in grade chemical company since 2017, with a working knowledge of food chemical .

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