Polysorbate 60

Polysorbate 60 is the common name for polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate, it is a hydrophilic (water-loving) surfactant.  Polysorbate 60 is made by reacting stearic acid with sorbitol and then ethylene oxide.  Poly 60 is a common food grade emulsifier used as a solubilizer and surfactant.


Polysorbate 60 is an orangish colored oily viscous liquid at room temperature. It will be a semisolid at lower temperatures.  Poly 60 has an HLB (hydrophilic/lipophilic balance) of 14.9.  It is slightly more lipophilic than polysorbate 20 and 40 due to the longer length of stearic acid.

Poly 60 is soluble in water due to its high HLB ratio and not soluble in oils. Polysorbate 60 easily blends into water.

Poly 60 is commonly used in flavors and other food products as well as cosmetics and personal care items. Polysorbate is an excellent choice to blend fat-based flavor components into a water-based emulsion type flavor.   Due to its very high HLB ratio, it helps water and oil-based ingredients blend and to prevent their separation.  It can also be used with low HLB ratio emulsifiers to assist with both oil in water and water in oil emulsions. Applications that require foaming, aeration, and blending of oils into water-based products are where polysorbate 60 excels.  Polysorbate 60 works great in cake batters to assist in aeration and also breads to create a silky smooth crumb.  Poly 60 is also commonly used in cake or buttercream type icings to assist with aeration and to help prevent water separation.


FDA approved Maximum usage levels in Foods

  • Whipped toppings 0.4% – assists in aeration
  • Yeast leavened bakery products 0.5% – improves texture
  • Ice cream 0.1% – improves aeration and texture
  • Dressings 0.3% – keeps fats from separating
  • Cakes, icings, and fillings 0.46% – assists in aeration
  • Sugar confection coatings 0.2% – improves texture

Available in 30 lb pails and 500 lb drums.