Have you ever wondered what goes inside bakery goods, confectioneries, frozen desserts, oils, and fats that gives them exemplary taste and texture? Is it a chemical compound or a natural ingredient?
Well, Glycerol monostearate (INS 471) is the ingredient that is used here.
What is INS-471?
Permitted Emulsifier & Stabilizer (INS 471) is a food additive that includes mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids which is used as a thickening, emulsifying, anti-caking, and preservative agent in food products. It is manufactured from glycerin and fatty acids and usually obtained from plant oils like coconut oil, soyabean oil, palm oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, olive oil or animal fats like tallow (beef fat) or lard (pig fat). It may vary from pale yellow-brown oily liquids to white, hard waxy solids.
Where can you find it?
Permitted Emulsifier & Stabilizer (INS 471) may be available as flaked, powdered, or in small beads(solid form).The common uses of glycerol monostearate is as an emulsifier, stabilizer, and humectant (a food additive used to keep the foods moist). It helps in improving the softness of bread and delays the breakdown of starch which further helps in extending its shelf life. Permitted Emulsifier & Stabilizer (INS 471) is also added in ice creams as it prevents the formation of large ice crystals, stabilizes the structure, improves mouth feels, and provides a creamy texture. It is often used in caramels, toffees, and chocolates to reduce stickiness and prevent sugar crystallization. It acts as a fat replacer as well and helps to hold water. It is used as a foam-promoting emulsifier in the cake to stabilize air bubbles in the batter and reduce the fat content in cakes.
Permitted Emulsifier & Stabilizer (INS 471) can sometimes be obtained from animal sources that are not suitable for vegetarians, vegans, or for those who are following a halal diet. It is vital to check the food packaging. A vegetarian product will have a special stamp indicating it is so.(1)
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