Is emulsifier 472c vegetarian?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is emulsifier 472c vegetarian?” and will discuss the application and properties of emulsifier 472c.

Is emulsifier 472c vegetarian?

Maybe, emulsifier 472c is vegetarian. E472c is citric acid esters, which are fatty acid mono- and diglycerides (CITREM) that are employed in food as an emulsifier because of their ability to disperse. Depending on the source, it might be animal or plant-based. If you need more information about E472c, please contact the manufacturer.

What is an emulsifier?

Emulsifiers are compounds that stabilize and prevent oil and water from separating in a combination, which is why they are often used. Using an emulsifier in a salad dressing prevents the oil and vinegar from separating into two distinct layers on standing.

Food emulsifiers, more correctly referred to as surfactants, are molecules, which contain a nonpolar, and one or more polar regions. In general, nonpolar groups are aliphatic, alicyclic, or aromatic hydrocarbons. Polar functional groups contain heteroatoms such as oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur. The polar functionality makes the emulsifier anionic, cationic, amphoteric, or nonionic. Anionic surfactants contain a negative charge on the bulky molecule, associated with a small positive counterion. Cationics have a positively charged molecule with a negative counterion. Amphoteric surfactants contain both positive and negative charges on the same molecule. A nonionic surfactant contains no formal positive or negative charge, but a polar heteroatom produces a dipole with an electron dense and electron-depleted region (1).

Emulsifiers are often found in foods

In addition to their major function of producing and stabilizing emulsions, food emulsifiers (or surfactants) contribute to numerous other functional roles, such as Foam aeration/ stabilization in cake toppings, as anti-staling in baked goods, crystal inhibition in salad oils, anti-sticking in candies, viscosity modification in chocolate, controlled fat agglomeration in ice cream and whipped toppings and  in coffee whiteners freeze-thaw stabilization (2).

Emulsifiers are often used in baking to aid in the incorporation of fat into the dough and to make the bread’s crumb delicate and soft. Consequently, they appear in bread and cakes as well as in cake mixes. An emulsion is formed when they are used to produce mousses, meringues, ice cream, or mayonnaise.

·         Bread

·         Cakes

·         Margarine / low fat spread

·         Salad dressings

·         Ice-cream

·         Frozen desserts eg cheesecake, chocolate mud cake

·         Coffee whiteners

·         Dried potato

·         Peanut butter

·         Marshmallows

·         Chocolate coatings eg Ice Magic

·         Caramels

·         Toffees

·         Chewing gum

Product description

Citric acid and vegetable oil fatty acid esters are the main ingredients. Glycerol is present, as well as free citric acid and free fatty acids.

Preparation of the citrate esters is carried out by reacting acylglycerol with citric acid or its anhydride in the presence of an acid catalyst, e.g., acetic acid. The anhydride method can be carried out at lower temperatures. However, this process is more expensive because of the extra step necessary to synthesize the anhydride. When citric acid is used, temperatures above 130°C must be avoided to prevent decomposition of the acid (1).

APPEARANCE: Creamy-white liquid powder. In water, it may be broken down. There are both liquid and solid oils that can be made from it

The following is the intended audience:

·         It is used in cooking oils as an anti-splash agent (Oils- Margarine).

·         A protein binding agent in flours, it is employed as a binding agent for this substance.

·         Antioxidants develop a synergy with the flour, making it more nutritious.

Area of Use:

·         Cooking oils and margarine include stabilizers.

·         Improves antioxidant stability

·         It improves the performance of flours in the dough.

·         As an emulsifier and an anti-spill agent, it is used in margarine.

·         Mayonnaise and salad dressings employ it as an emulsifier and stabilizer.

·         a substance used as a meat emulsifier in sausages

·         It is used to boost the water content of low-calorie meals (decreasing oil content in the dough).

The practitioner determines the appropriate dosage based on the intended use and expected outcome.

CITREM Is Added to Infant Formula for What Purpose?

Some of the chemicals in infant formula are water-soluble, whereas others may only be dissolved in fat (fat-soluble). It’s a tough concoction to pull off. No matter how hard you try, water and fat don’t naturally mix. Salad dressing may be made in a matter of seconds with a vigorous shake, but the components don’t remain well-mixed for long. A few minutes later, vinegar and oil had established themselves as well-defined yellow lines on the pavement of a parking lot. You’ll wind up with a greasy, unappetizing mess if you use this divorced dressing.

Infant formula, if it were like homemade salad dressing, would begin to separate into layers of water and fat. In allergy formulas, hydrolyzed proteins, such as casein hydrolysates, are especially difficult to hold together. To keep the mixture smooth and palatable, manufacturers use modest quantities of emulsifiers like CITREM.

CITREM is used in the production of infant nutritional products based on hydrolysed proteins, peptides or amino acids. Organic esters of mono-di-glycerides are widely used in the baking industry and there is not so much information in the literature on how these ingredients behave in fluid o/w emulsions. Studies demonstrated that like other surfactants, CITREM interacts with aqueous phase proteins, in this case sodium caseinate, predominantly through hydrophobic interactions. CITREM was demonstrated to be an extremely effective emulsifier in stabilizing a model ready-to-feel infant formula emulsion containing hydrolysed whey protein; emulsions made using CITREM as the only added emulsifier had small fat globules (<1μm) and demonstrated stability towards coalescence (2).

Safety and Regulations

CITREM has been studied and authorized for use in baby formula and is generally regarded as safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). DATEM has been certified as a food additive by the European Food Safety Authority and is designated as E472c. At concentrations up to 9 g/L, CITREM was judged to pose no toxicological risks by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2014, according to a joint assessment.

When it comes to the food we consume, what function does e472c play?

·         It is utilized to produce a robust gluten network in the dough.

·         It is also utilized for a variety of additional functions, such as increasing dough fermentation and dough capacity in all bread variations by stiffening the flour.

·         It increases bread volume and improves the internal bread texture.

·         The addition of an emulsifier (472c) to food extends shelf life by acting as an emulsifier (emulsifiers prevent oil and water mixes from separating into layers).

Other FAQs about Vegetarian that you may be interested in.

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In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Is emulsifier 472c vegetarian?” and discussed the application and properties of emulsifier 472c.


  1. Hasenhuettl, Gerard L. Synthesis and commercial preparation of food emulsifiers. Food emulsifiers and their applications. Springer, Cham, 2019. 11-39.
  2. Hasenhuettl, G.L. Overview of Food Emulsifiers. In: Hasenhuettl, G.L., Hartel, R.W. (eds) Food Emulsifiers and Their Applications. Springer, New York, NY. 2008.