Sorbitan Monostearate (SMS)-E491

Product Specification

HLB 4.7
Form Hard, waxy solid
Colour Light cream to Tan
Acid Value Max 10 mgKOH/gm
Hydroxyl Value 235-260 mgKOH/gm
Melting Point 54-60 C
Moisture Content Min 1%
Sorbitol, Sorbitan and Isosorbide esters content Min 95%
Saponification Value 145-157 mgKOH/gm
Heavy Metals (as Pb) Max 10mg/kg
Arsenic Max 3 mg/kg
Cadmium Max 1 mg/kg
Mercury Max 1mg/kg


Sorbitan Monostearate is produced by the esterification of Sorbitol with commercial Stearic acid derived, and consists of approximately 95% of mixture of esters of sorbitol and its mono- and di-anhydrides. It is a light cream to tan coloured hard, waxy solid with a slight characteristic odour and bland taste. It is insoluble in water and dispersible in hot water.

Application in Food

  • Instant Active Dry Yeast

    Sorbitan Monostearate is widely used in the production of instant dry yeast. Yeast is treated with SMS prior to drying. SMS protects yeast cells during the drying process and aids in the rehydration of yeast cells upon usage of yeast.

    Yeast cells have a membrane which is located on the inside of the cell wall and this consists of lecithin and proteins. The membrane acts as a natural barrier that keeps the essential yeast cells required for fermentation within the cell. During the drying process this membrane becomes porous, the lecithin undergoes a liquid to solid transformation and makes the cell membrane less effective. SMS acts as an alpha crystalline barrier and support for the cell membrane preventing the rupture of the membrane during the drying process as well as when the yeast is rehydrated.

  • Cakes and Fine Bakers Wares

    SMS, when used in conjunction with Mono and Diglycerides and Polysorbate 60 provides cake batters with lower specific gravity, less gluten development, resulting in softer cakes with a uniform crumb structure.

  • Non Dairy Whipped Toppings/ Imitation Whipped Cream

    Non Dairy Whipped Toppings are oil-in-water emulsions that contain lower quantities of fat and higher quantities of water. It is imperative that the fat phase be dispersed evenly within the water phase to allow a smooth creamy aerated cream which can maintain a stable stiffness after being whipped and used to decorate cakes. Sorbitan Monostearate, in synergy with other emulsifiers like Polyglycerol Esters and Monoglycerides are able to perform these functions. Sorbitan Monostearate also retards the crystal formation of fat due to the free-thaw that this produce goes through.