E491 - Sorbitan monostearate

Additive: E491 - Sorbitan monostearate

Functions: Emulsifier

Sorbitan monostearate is an ester of sorbitan -a sorbitol derivative- and stearic acid and is sometimes referred to as a synthetic wax. It is primarily used as an emulsifier to keep water and oils mixed. Sorbitan monostearate is used in the manufacture of food and healthcare products and is a non-ionic surfactant with emulsifying, dispersing, and wetting properties. It is also employed to create synthetic fibers, metal machining fluid, and brighteners in the leather industry, and as an emulsifier in coatings, pesticides, and various applications in the plastics, food and cosmetics industries. Sorbitans are also known as "Spans". Sorbitan monostearate has been approved by the European Union for use as a food additive -emulsifier- -E number: E 491- - Wikipedia

Risk of overexposure

EFSA evaluation: Re‐evaluation of sorbitan monostearate -E 491-, sorbitan tristearate -E 492-, sorbitan monolaurate -E 493-, sorbitan monooleate -E 494- and sorbitan monopalmitate -E 495- when used as food additives (2017-05-05)

High risk of over exposure
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has determined that some population groups have a high risk of consuming too much E491 - Sorbitan monostearate.

To evaluate your exposure to the E491 - Sorbitan monostearate food additive, you can browse our list of products that contain it. See the list of products with E491 - Sorbitan monostearate below.

  InfantsToddlersChildrenAdolescentsAdultsElderly
  < 11 to 23 to 910 to 1718 to 6465+
Most people
(over 50%)
 Groups with more than 50% of members exceeding the acceptable daily intake (ADI)Groups with more than 50% of members exceeding the acceptable daily intake (ADI)   
Some people
(over 5%)
 Groups with more than 5% of members exceeding the acceptable daily intake (ADI)  Groups with more than 5% of members exceeding the acceptable daily intake (ADI) 

Risk of exceeding the acceptable daily intake (ADI) : Risk of exceeding the acceptable daily intake (ADI)

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