Ingredient Information

Polysorbate 60

Function

Polysorbate 60 is a molecule that keeps oil from separating from water in desserts and creams. Natural heavy cream has a structure that prevents the fat in it from separating from the water, but imitation cream that can be found in coffee-creamers or oil-based imitation whipped cream needs chemical assistance to keep the ingredients well mixed. Polysorbate 60 is also used in baked goods and frozen dessert where it is also used to retain moisture.

Polysorbate 60 is also known as polyoxyethylene-(20)-sorbitan monostearate, PEG-60, TWEEN-60

Other Use and Industries

Polysorbate is used in hair loss prevention, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.

Health Effects

Though ethylene oxide, an ingredient used in this product’s manufacture, is cancer-causing, Polysorbate-60 itself is very safe. Hypersensitive allergic reactions have been noted in individuals who use cosmetics with polysorbate 80. Otherwise, no negative health effects have been found from even excessive amounts of polysorbate 60.

Origins

Polysorbate 60 is produced in a chemical reaction between ethylene oxide, sorbitol, and stearic acid. Depending on the way the molecule is engineered other types of polysorbate can be created including polysorbate 20, 40, 65, and 80. Polysorbate comes in the form of a yellow paste, which can be added to water-based products to allow for their mixing with oils and fats.

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