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A Complete Guide to Glycerol Monostearate (GMS)

Glycerol Monostearate (GMS) is a versatile compound widely used across various industries, particularly in food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. This article provides a comprehensive overview of GMS E471 additive, detailing its properties, features, types, and applications.

Properties of Glycerol Monostearate

GMS, chemically known as glyceryl monostearate, is a monoglyceride commonly used as an emulsifier. Its chemical formula is C21H42O4, and it appears as a white, odorless, and sweet-tasting flaky powder or wax-like solid. Here are some key properties:
Solubility: GMS is soluble in ethanol, chloroform, and hot oils but insoluble in water.
Melting Point: The melting point of GMS is approximately 58-68°C (136-154°F), depending on its purity and specific composition.
Hydrophilic-Lipophilic Balance (HLB): GMS has an HLB value around 3.8-5.4, making it more lipophilic, which is suitable for oil-in-water emulsions.
Stability: It is stable under normal conditions and exhibits excellent shelf-life properties.

Glycerol Monostearate (GMS) emulsifier

Features of Glycerol Monostearate

GMS possesses several notable features that make it valuable in various applications:
1. Emulsifying Agent: GMS is widely used as an emulsifier, helping to stabilize and maintain the mixture of oil and water, preventing separation.
2. Thickening Agent: It acts as a thickening agent, improving the texture and consistency of products.
3. Stabilizer: GMS helps in stabilizing formulations, enhancing shelf life and product performance.
4. Lubricant: It functions as a lubricant in pharmaceutical tablets and capsules, ensuring smooth manufacturing processes.
5. Controlled Release: In pharmaceuticals, GMS can be used to control the release of active ingredients, ensuring a sustained effect.

Types of Glycerol Monostearate (GMS)

There are two main types of GMS, differentiated by their purity and manufacturing process:

1. Commercial Grade GMS: This type contains a mixture of mono-, di-, and triglycerides, with the monoglyceride content typically ranging from 40% to 60%. It is commonly used in food applications.
2. Distilled GMS: This is a higher purity form, containing 90% to 95% monoglycerides. It is used in more specialized applications, such as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, where higher efficacy and purity are required.

Uses of Glycerol Monostearate (GMS)

Glycerol Monostearate (GMS) is a versatile compound with numerous applications across various industries due to its properties as an emulsifier, stabilizer, thickener, and lubricant. Below, we explore the detailed applications of GMS in different sectors:

1. Food Industry

Baked Goods: GMS improves the texture, volume, and shelf life of breads, cakes, and pastries by preventing staling and maintaining moisture.
Ice Cream: It stabilizes the mixture, prevents the formation of ice crystals, and enhances the creamy texture.
Margarine and Spreads: GMS helps maintain a smooth, spreadable consistency and prevents the separation of oil and water.

Anti-Staling Agent:
Bread and Bakery Products: By retaining moisture, GMS keeps baked goods soft and fresh for a longer period.

Fat Replacement:
Low-Fat Foods: Used in reduced-fat spreads and margarines, GMS mimics the mouthfeel and texture of fats without the additional calories.

Thickening and Stabilizing:
Sauces and Dressings: GMS is used to thicken and stabilize emulsions, ensuring a consistent texture and preventing separation.


Glycerol Monostearate (GMS) in baking

2. Pharmaceutical Industry

Tablet and Capsule Manufacturing: GMS acts as a lubricant and binding agent, aiding in the production process and enhancing the stability and bioavailability of drugs.

Controlled Release:
Sustained Release Formulations: GMS is used to control the release of active ingredients over time, ensuring a sustained therapeutic effect.

Medicinal Suspensions: It helps stabilize suspensions, preventing active ingredients from settling.

3. Cosmetics and Personal Care

Creams and Lotions: GMS is used to create stable emulsions, improving the texture and consistency of cosmetic products.
Sunscreens: It maintains the homogeneity of formulations, ensuring even application.

Ointments and Gels: GMS provides the desired thickness and stability to topical formulations.

Skin Care Products: GMS acts as a moisturizer, helping to hydrate and soften the skin.

Hair Care Products: It stabilizes shampoos and conditioners, providing a consistent texture and performance.

4. Industrial Applications

Plastics and Polymers:
Dispersing Agent: GMS is used to disperse pigments and fillers uniformly in plastic manufacturing.
Lubricant: It acts as a lubricant in the production of plastic products, improving process efficiency and product quality.

Antistatic Agent: GMS reduces static electricity in textile processing, improving the handling of synthetic fibers.
Softener: It provides a soft and smooth finish to fabrics.

Metalworking: GMS is used as a lubricant in metalworking fluids, reducing friction and wear on tools and workpieces.

Final Thoughts

Glycerol Monostearate (GMS) is a highly versatile compound with extensive applications across multiple industries. Its unique properties as an emulsifier, thickening agent, stabilizer, and lubricant make it indispensable in food production, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and beyond. Whether in enhancing the shelf life of baked goods, improving the texture of cosmetics, or ensuring the controlled release of pharmaceuticals, GMS proves to be an essential ingredient in a wide array of products.

Henan Chemsino Industry Co., Ltd is a sourcing Glycerol Monostearate supplier. We provide excellent GMS emulsifier with various forms, including GMS powder 40%/ 52%/ 60%, GMS high purity 90%, GMS liquid, GMS flake, GMS tablets, etc. Contact us to learn more about how GMS can meet your specific needs and elevate your product formulations to the next level. Reach out now and let our experts help you harness the full potential of GMS in your industry!
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