Polysorbate 20

Polysorbate 20 has various roles in biotechnical, pharmaceutical, personal care, industrial, and domestic uses.  It acts as an emulsifier to bind ingredients securely together; for instance, it impedes oils from separating from water.  Another function is as a surfactant, or a substance that reduces a liquid’s surface tension, thereby acting as a dispersing agent.  This ability allows foods to become easier to spread more evenly, either within a liquid or atop a solid surface.  These two functions – surfactant and emulsifier – give Polysorbate 20 the dual uses of industrial cleaner and personal care product ingredient. Among other locations, Polysorbate 20 can be found at a personal raw care materials supplier.

  • Biotechnical - Biotechnological applications of Polysorbate 20 are many and varied, ranging from use as a washing agent in immunoassays to prevent non-specific antibody binding; to saturating surface binding sites; to lysing animal cells; and to solubilizing membrane proteins within cells.

  • Pharmaceutical - The pharmaceutical industry relies on Polysorbate 20 to act as an excipient in the stabilization of suspensions and emulsions.  This power allows the same amount of liquid or solid to be released with every dosage.

  • Personal Care - In the personal care industry, Polysorbate 20, as found at a personal raw care materials supplier, acts as an emulsifier with fragrances or essential oils since it keeps these products from separating once they are combined with water or alcohol.  Mouth drops, for instance, employ the powers of Polysorbate 20 as a wetting agent as well as an emulsifier to evenly spread minty flavor throughout the tablet.

  • Industrial Use - Industrial uses for Polysorbate 20 take advantage of its powers to both emulsify and act as a detergent in floor cleaners and other cleaning products.

  • Domestic Use - Lastly, philatelists list Polysorbate 20 as their preferred medium to remove the adhesive backing of stamps from envelopes because it does not harm the paper stamp’s integrity.

Polysorbate 20 has a variety of uses and is nonionic and nontoxic.  Its suffix of “20” derives from the amount of ethylene oxide added (the polyoxyethylene) to the base sorbitan monolaurate; in this case, a chain of twenty.

If you have any questions regarding this highly versatile and fully functional substance, contact Bell Chem, a personal raw care materials supplier.  Call us today at (407) 339-BELL.