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What is Potassium Stearate Used for?

Potassium stearate is the potassium salt of stearic acid. It is often used as an emulsifier, helping to mix water-based and oil-based ingredients together. Potassium stearate is also regarded as a thickener and stabilizer. These advantages enable it to be used in a wide range of industries including food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. In this blog, Let's explore the world of potassium stearate in many industries.

What is Potassium Stearate?

Potassium stearate is the potassium salt of stearic acid, which is a saturated fatty acid. When stearic acid reacts with potassium hydroxide, the result is potassium stearate. This compound is a white powder with the chemical formula C18H35KO2. Its structure consists of a long hydrocarbon chain (from stearic acid) and a potassium ion. Its E-number is E470a, CAS number is 593-29-3 and HS Code is 291570. Its surfactant properties make it useful in formulations where emulsification and stabilization of mixtures of oil and water are necessary.

potassium stearate surfactant

What is Potassium Stearate Made From?

Potassium stearate is a type of salt made from the combination of stearic acid and potassium hydroxide. Stearic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid found in animal and vegetable fats and oils. Potassium hydroxide, on the other hand, is an inorganic compound commonly used in the production of soap and detergents.

To create potassium stearate, stearic acid is first extracted from animal or vegetable fats and oils. It is then combined with potassium hydroxide in a chemical reaction known as saponification. This process breaks down the fats and oils into their component fatty acids and glycerol and turns them into potassium stearate.

What is Potassium Stearate Used for?


In Food Production

Potassium Stearate is used as an emulsifier and stabilizer in a range of products, including baked goods, dairy products, and processed foods. In food products like salad dressings, mayonnaise, and certain sauces, potassium stearate prevents the separation of oil and water components, maintaining a homogeneous and stable texture. Potassium stearate surfactant is also used as a coating for confectionery products, such as chocolates and candies, to improve their appearance and texture.

potassium stearate in food

In the Rubber and Plastics Industry

Potassium stearate acts as a release agent during the molding process. When rubber or plastic materials are shaped in molds, there is a risk of the finished product sticking to the mold surfaces. Potassium stearate forms a thin, lubricating layer between the molded product and the mold, facilitating easy release without damage to the product.
Moreover, potassium stearate plays a role in improving the processing properties of rubber and plastic, such as plasticity and flowability. Its addition to rubber manufacturing significantly raises product quality and stability.

In plastic processing, potassium stearate can serve as an anti-blocking agent. It helps prevent the adhesion of plastic films or sheets during the manufacturing process.

In the Pharmaceutical Industry

Potassium Stearate is also used in the pharmaceutical industry, where it is often used as a lubricant for tablets and capsules. It can also be used as a binder in these products, which helps to improve their stability and consistency.

In Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

One of the most common applications of Potassium Stearate is in the production of cosmetics and skincare products. It is often used as a thickening agent or emulsifier in lotions, creams, and other skincare products. Potassium stearate is also commonly used as a carrier for active ingredients in these products, which helps to improve their absorption into the skin.

Potassium Stearate in skin care

Is Potassium Stearate Safe?

While potassium stearate is a synthetic ingredient, it is generally considered safe for use in cosmetics and skincare products. It is non-toxic, non-irritating, and generally well-tolerated by most skin types. Additionally, it is biodegradable and not harmful to the environment.

The Bottom Line

Potassium stearate surfactant is a versatile and beneficial compound that has a wide range of applications in various industries. Its ability to improve the stability, texture, and appearance of products makes it a valuable ingredient in many formulations.

Potassium Stearate supplier CHEMSINO provides high-quality products to our clients around the world. Importantly, we can offer competitive pricing and timely delivery, as well as a wide range of packaging options to suit your needs. If you are interested in Potassium Stearate, feel free to contact us for specific quotes and complimentary samples.
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