What are acetylated monoglycerides? – Their Functions, Advantages and Regulations

What are acetylated monoglycerides?

Acetylated means having an acetyl group in a compound, Mono means one & Glyceride means a fatty acid ester of glycerol. Thus, Acetylated Monoglycerides are the compounds used as food additives which act as an emulsifier to improve the texture of food.

In this compound acetic acid is bounder with monoglyceride, having sharp melting point. AMG is insoluble in water, but soluble in alcohol. They are nonionic oil soluble surfactants and are only sparingly soluble in water.

Now the question arises, what is an emulsifier?

Emulsifier is a substance that stabilizes an emulsion or an additive used to stabilize processed foods.Food emulsifiers are indispensable ingredients in most processed foods containing fats and oils. Food emulsifiers must have surface activity and edibility.

Chemistry of Acetylated monoglycerides

Source: Animal, Plant & chemical source (can be natural or synthetic)

Chemical name: Acetic acid esters of mono and di glycerides

Molecular weight of AMG: 1742.582 g/mol

Appearance: White to pale yellow in colour

Commercial Production of Acetylated monoglycerides:

Acetylated monoglycerides are sold in the United States under the tradename “Myvacet” by Eastman Chemical Products Inc. They are made by reacting fats with glycerol and triacetin.

Uses and applications of Acetylated monoglycerides:

  • Helps in prevention of sticking during processing.
  • Found application in whipped creams and toppings.
  • Used as an emulsifier and stabilizing agent in food products.
  • It helps cake to attain a smoother texture when baked as well as a more stable frosting.
  • It prevents the product from being rancid.
  • It has an bactericidal effect as protective coating on frozen film.
  • It is used as a film forming agent as they are served as a protective covering on various food materials for e.g. meat products, nuts & fruits.
  • It is extremely stable oil.
  • The combination of liquid acetylated monoglyceride and hydrogenated fats can improve the quality of fats.

Advantages & Disadvantages:

  • Acetylated monoglycerides are available at Low cost.
  • They are good solvents for cyclosporins, thus reducing the amount of lipophilic solvent required and/or reducing the need for a hydrophilic co- solvent to maintain the cyclosporin in a stable solution.
  • They are readily inter-dissolved with preferred hydrophilic co-solvents. For example, they are entirely miscible with propylene carbonate.
  • They become readily dispersible into emulsions or microemulsions upon inclusion of a suitable surfactant.

Acetylated monoglycerides act as an emulsifier and these emulsifiers are having two types of groups present in their structure: Hydrophilic group and Lipophillic groups (Hydrophobic groups).

Hydro means water and philic means lover, hydrophilic group thus refers to those groups which are water loving, means they have strong affinity towards water and they love to stay in the vicinity of water.

Similarly, Lipo means lipid and philic means lover, lipophilic group thus refers to those groups which are lipid loving and water hating, means they have strong affinity towards lipids and they love to stay in the vicinity of lipids.

Hydrophilic and Lipophilic groups are present according to hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) value which is an indication of solubility of an emulsifier, and the value is between 0 and 20.

Adverse Effect of having extra dose of acetylated monoglycerides:

According to registered dietitian Mary Beth Sodus of the University of Maryland MedialCenter, trans fats have been associated with increased risk of numerous diseases, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Promote inflammation and obesity
  • Raise Low density lipoprotein levels or bad cholesterol levels
  • Lower High density lipoprotein or good cholesterol levels.

Functions of Acetylated monoglycerides:

  • They are used in aeration, agglomeration and emulsification of food products.
  • They have an effect on gluten protein in baked products. When bread dough is formed, the gluten forms an elastic network to trap leavening gases, causing the dough to rise.
  • They are addedformulation to aid in the prevention of sticking during processing.

FDA regulation on Acetylated monoglycerides:

AMG may be used safely in or on food if its manufacturing and the content of non-fat components meet the FDA requirement in article 21CFR172.828 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

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