Food: Polysorbate 80
is used as an emulsifier in foods.
For example, in ice cream, polysorbate is added up to 0.5% (v/v) concentration to make the ice cream smoother and easier to handle, as well as increasing its resistance to melting. Adding this substance prevents milk proteins from completely coating the fat droplets. This allows them to join together in chains and nets, which hold air in the mixture, and provide a firmer texture that holds its shape as the ice cream melts.Health and beauty use
: Polysorbate 80 is also used as a surfactant in soaps and cosmetics (including eyedrops), or a solubilizer such as in a mouthwash. The cosmetic grade of polysorbate 80 may have more impurities than the food grade.
Polysorbate 80 is an excipient that is used to stabilize aqueous formulations of medications for parenteral administration, and used as an emulsifier in the manufacture of the popular antiarrhythmic amiodarone.It is also used as an excipient in some European and Canadian influenza vacci Laboratory nes.Influenza vaccines contain 25 μg of polysorbate 80 per dose. It is also used in the culture of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Middlebrook 7H9 broth. It is also used as an emulsifier in the estrogen-regulating drug Estrasorb.Laboratory
: Use some mycobacteria contain a type of lipase (enzyme that breaks up lipid molecules); when these species are added to a mixture of polysorbate 80 and phenol red, they cause the solution to change color, so this is used as a test to identify the phenotype of a strain or isolate.