What can I use instead of polysorbate 80?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “What can I use instead of polysorbate 80?” and answer other related questions like “should you use a polysorbate 80?” and “what other alternatives can be used instead of polysorbate 80?”.

 What can I use instead of polysorbate 80?

‘You can use many other options instead of polysorbate 80. And yes one can use polysorbate 80 and there are many other alternatives that can be used instead of polysorbate 80.

The recipe of some dishes calls for the use of a certain specific type of ingredients. Polysorbate 80 is one such ingredient.

It is a type of surfactant. Food surfactants are materials that are used for the preparation of many different types of food products, such as emulsions, suspensions, and gels.

A surfactant could be either natural or artificial. It is always best to opt for natural surfactants.

Artificial surfactants should be used in small quantities, they are synthetic in nature, for example, polysorbate 80 is commonly used in many foods such as ice cream, frozen custard, ice milk whipped toppings etc.

Lecithin from egg yolk, various proteins from milk, are all naturally occurring surfactants. They are used in many food products such as mayonnaise, salad creams, dressings, and desserts. Polysorbate 80 is a synthetic emulsifier- surfactant compound.

Now that we know what surfactants are, let us now answer ‘what can I use instead of polysorbate 80?’.

As talked about in the earlier section, polysorbate is a synthetic compound that is used as an emulsifying agent in many different types of dishes. Many recipes use this surfactant to enhance the taste of the dish.

However, because of its artificial nature, it is always recommended to use it in limited quantities. It should not exceed 0.1% of the finished product.


It is the ingredients when used in the right quantity and composition. Too little or too much of anything can spoil the mood surrounding a dish. Each recipe calls for the use of all ingredients in the correct way.

A lot of dishes are prepared with the help of emulsifying agents. This helps add a unique savory flavor to the dishes.

Having said that, let us have a look at a few of the best alternatives which can be used instead of polysorbate 80:

      1.    Mono-and diglycerides

  1. Glycerol monolaurate
  2. Ethoxylated monoglyceride
  3. Diacetyl tartaric acid esters of monoglyceride
  4. Succinylated monoglyceride
  5. Calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate
  6. Sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate
  7. Propylene glycol esters
  8. Sorbitan esters
  9. Polysorbate 60
  10. Polysorbate 65
  11. Sucrose esters
  12. Lecithin 

These emulsifiers are commonly used in food products such as bread, cake, pasta, frozen dessert, icing,, peanut butter, margarine, potatoes, shortening, coffee whitener, pasta etcetera.

An emulsifier has one end compatible with oil and the other compatible with water. It can link with both. This makes it easier to prepare an emulsion.

Some emulsifiers will also stabilize, so the emulsion doesn’t separate over time. In many food items, stabilizers are added as well to maintain the emulsion. Many common manufactured foods contain emulsifiers.

No matter how good taste enhancers they may be, it is still always best to use natural emulsifiers because any food item which is homemade and home-cooked is always the best substitute.

Alternatively, taste-enhancing emulsifiers can also be made using common household food items and are much healthier and tastier as compared to artificial surfactants.

Few of the most easily available ingredients which are common in every household can be used as substitutes such as:

Tomato pastes

Tomato paste can be used in small quantities in recipes to add a delicious savory element to the flavor. It is a very thick paste of tomatoes and has a slightly sweet flavor, and is commonly used in every household.  

Mustard powder

Mustard powder also adds a great flavoring taste in baking, pickles, cheesy pasta bakes and toast etcetera.


Miso is a popular traditional Japanese seasoning. The paste is similar to the texture of peanut butter. It is typically a mixture of soybeans, a grain (like rice or barley), salt, and koji.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “What can I use instead of polysorbate?” and answered other related questions like “should you use a polysorbate 80?” and “what other alternatives can be used instead of polysorbate 80?”.

 If you have any questions, drop them in the comments section. 



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