Polyglycerol Esters – Bakery Ingredient – Uses, Advantages & FDA Approval

What are Polyglycerol esters?

Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids (PGEs) are used in food as an emulsifier. Their amphiphilic character enables their use in the stabilization of various suspensions. It is light yellow to amber coloured and oily to very viscous liquid.

Polyglycerol esters find utility in a wide variety of food products including beverages, desserts, topping and baked goods. They are thermally stable and find application in several industrial systems. They are known to food technologist by E475 identity.

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Polyglycerol esters are a class of food emulsifiers used extensively within the food industry because of their amphiphilic nature in various types of food.

Synonyms: Polyglycerol fatty acid esters, glycerin fatty acid esters

Commercial Production of Polyglycerol Esters

These compounds are formed chemically by esterification of fatty acids, largely saturated or mono-unsaturated, to one or several hydroxyl groups of polyglycerol. They are produced by polymerization of glycerol in the presence of an alkaline catalyst followed by esterification with fatty acids.

Uses of Polyglycerol esters in Food industries:

  • Polyglycerol esters are used as emulsifying agents in the production of baked goods, chewing gums.
  • They can be used to modify rheological characteristics of chocolate based coatings.
  • They notably function as dispersants, thickeners.
  • They find their uses as solubilizers, spreading agents, or emollients.
  • They are used as spreading agent in some salad dressing.
  • It improves volume of bakery products (cakes, biscuits).
  • They are used as anti-clouding agent in certain vegetable oils.
  • They are used as greasing oil to reduce the stickiness of pan in bakery industries.
  • They are used as an aerating agent in non-dairy icing and toppings.
  • They are used as a good lubricating agent
  • They are used as preservatives, colorants in beverages.
  • They act as bacteriostatic agent and find their use in chewing gum also.


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  • Polyglycerol esters are hydrophilic and possess strong emulsification effect.
  • They reduce the interfacial tension between two different phases and allow them to retain stable because of their hydrophilic and lipophilic nature.
  • They reduce the viscosity of chocolate.
  • They are 100% safe as they are from natural origin.


  • Consuming larger of it can imbalance the fat content in body.

FDA Approval

PGEs are permitted for direct addition to food as additives for human consumption, which is regulated by FDA in the Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR172.854.3


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