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Common Uses of Glycerol Monostearate in Food and Cosmetics

Glycerol monostearate (GMS) is an organic compound that belongs to the glycerol ester family. It is composed of glycerol and stearic acid. This compound is commonly used as an emulsifier and stabilizer in food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and industrial sectors. This article will deepen your understanding of Glycerol Monostearate, focusing on its characteristics and versatile uses.

Understanding Glycerol Monostearate


1. Glycerol Monostearate Structure

The chemical structure of glycerol monostearate (GMS) consists of glycerol esterified with one molecule of stearic acid. The stearic acid component contributes to the fatty acid composition of GMS. The chemical formula for glycerol monostearate is C21H42O4.

2. Glycerol Monostearate Solubility

Glycerol monostearate (GMS) has limited solubility in water due to its hydrophobic nature. It is more soluble in organic solvents, particularly oils and fats, and can form stable emulsions.

3. Glycerol Monostearate HLB

Glycerol monostearate‘s HLB value can vary depending on the specific composition and degree of esterification. Generally, GMS Glycerol monostearate has an HLB value ranging from approximately 3 to 4. The relatively low HLB value of GMS makes it more lipophilic. This property makes glycerol monostearate suitable for the emulsification of oil-in-water systems.

Glycerol Monostearate powder

What Is Glycerol Monostearate Used For?

Food Industry:

Bakery Products: Glycerol monostearate GMS is used in baked goods like bread, cakes, and pastries to enhance texture and moistness.
Confectionery: In chocolates and confectionery items, Glycerol monostearate GMS prevents fat bloom and contributes to a smoother texture.
Dairy Products: GMS emulsifier is added to ice cream and dairy products to prevent crystallization, improve creaminess, and act as a stabilizer.
Processed Foods: Glycerol monostearate e471 is utilized in a variety of processed foods, including soups, sauces, and dressings, to improve emulsification and texture.

Cosmetics and Personal Care:

Creams and Lotions: GMS e471 acts as an emulsifier in creams and lotions, ensuring the stable combination of water and oil components.
Shampoos and Conditioners: GMS emulsifier contributes to the thickness and consistency of hair care products.
Makeup Products: Glycerol monostearate is used in the formulation of makeup products like foundations and lipsticks.

Plastic Industry:

Glycerol monostearate GMS can act as a plasticizer in the production of plastics. A plasticizer is a substance added to a polymer to increase its flexibility, durability, and workability. In plastics, GMS emulsifier helps enhance the flexibility and malleability of the material, making it more pliable and easier to process during manufacturing.

Glycerol Monostearate in ice cream

Glycerol Monostearate VS Glycerol

1. Chemical Composition:

Glycerol, also known as glycerin or glycerine, is a simple polyol compound with the chemical formula C3H8O3. 
Glycerol Monostearate (GMS) is an ester of glycerol and stearic acid, with a more complex chemical structure represented by C21H42O4.

2. Source:

Glycerol is commonly derived from plant and animal fats and oils. 
Glycerol Monostearate (GMS) is typically obtained from plant or animal fats and oils as well.

3. Function and Uses:

Glycerol is a versatile compound with diverse applications. It is employed as a sweetener in the food industry, a moisturizer in cosmetics and personal care products, and a humectant in pharmaceuticals. Additionally, it finds uses in various industrial processes.
Glycerol Monostearate (GMS) is primarily employed as an emulsifier, stabilizer, and thickening agent in the food industry. It is often added to food products to improve texture, enhance mixing, and increase shelf life. It is especially useful in applications where emulsification of oil and water is required.


Glycerol is a viscous, colorless liquid with a sweet taste. It is hygroscopic, meaning it attracts and holds water molecules.
Glycerol Monostearate (GMS) is a white, waxy powder or flakes, and it is known for its emulsifying properties.

Why is Glycerol Monostearate Added to Chocolate?

Glycerol monostearate (GMS) is commonly added to chocolate for several reasons, primarily related to its properties as an emulsifier and stabilizer. Here are some of the key reasons for incorporating GMS into chocolate:
Emulsification: Glycerol monostearate GMS serves as a potent emulsifier. It facilitates the uniform dispersion and stabilization of fat-based ingredients, ensuring a consistent texture in chocolate.
Texture Enhancement: Glycerol monostearate contributes to a smooth and creamy texture in chocolate. It prevents the undesired crystallization of cocoa butter, enhancing overall mouthfeel.
Extended Shelf Life: Glyceryl monostearate helps maintain the homogeneity of chocolate. It can minimize the risk of fat bloom, contributing to increased stability over time.
Processing Facilitation: Glycerol monostearate e471 assists in the tempering process during chocolate production. It makes chocolate more manageable, aiding in achieving the desired crystalline structure.
Viscosity Control: Glycerol monostearate acts as a viscosity modifier. It influences the flow characteristics of chocolate during manufacturing processes, ensuring consistency.

Glycerol Monostearate in chocolate

Is Glycerol Monostearate Natural?

Glycerol monostearate (GMS) can be both natural and synthetic, depending on its source and production method.
When derived from natural sources such as plant or animal fats and oils, GMS emulsifier is considered a natural ingredient. GMS Glycerol monostearate can also be produced synthetically through chemical processes, involving the reaction of glycerol with stearic acid.

Is Glyceryl Monostearate Good Or Bad For You?

Glyceryl monostearate (GMS) is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by regulatory authorities when used in accordance with established guidelines. It is commonly used in various industries, including food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, due to its emulsifying, stabilizing, and thickening properties.

What Types of Glycerol Monostearate CHEMSINO Can Provide?

If you're wondering where to buy glycerol monostearate, look no further than Chemsino Enterprise. We can provide an extensive range of glycerol monostearate (E471) options to meet diverse industry requirements. We offer GMS with high purity levels, including 40%, 52%, 60%, 90% and GMS high Iodine value. Our product forms include GMS in flake, liquid, and tablet forms.
What’s more, CHEMSINO food ingredients distributor and supplier has obtained certifications for both Halal and Kosher, as well as ISO22000 and ISO9001. Welcome to contact us for detailed quotes and free samples.
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