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Glycerol Monostearate from Palm Oil Derivative to Food Process

Glycerol Monostearate from Palm Oil Derivative to Food Process

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – One kind of fatty esters, as the derivative industry of oleo-chemical in palm oil base is GMS (Glycerol monostearate). It is engineered emulsifier to process food.

Oleochemical is compound of derivative oil / fat which is chemically processed. In general, fat or oil is the triglyceride consisting of glycerol and fatty acid, both saturated and unsaturated.

The triglyceride compound in basic oleochemical industry is synthesized to be the arrangement structure and the basic compound for the derivative industries, such as, fatty acid, glycerol, fatty ester, fatty alcohol and fatty amine.

Oleochemical in general could be divided into two, they are, basic oleochemical and the derivative products, such as, intermediate product for the further derivative industries or for the formulation in the nursery, cosmetic, food, pharmacy industries.

The main basic oleochemical industry starts from the splitting process of hydrolysis in the hydrolysis process. Fat/oil is unraveled by using water as the reactor to be the main arrangement of triglyceride: fatty acid and glycerol. The fatty acid and glycerol are the basic building blocks for the further derivative products in oleochemical industry. One important derivative product in oleochemical industry which is mostly used in food and beverage industry is fatty ester.

Fatty ester is the result of reaction between carboxylate acid and alcohol. Fatty ester is R1COOR2 - R1 and R2 are the carbon chains within different atom in length according to the fatty acid and alcohol used. R1 is the fatty acid carbon chain deriving from fat/oil or fat derivative which in general it consists of straight carbon within even numbers of atom carbon, starting from C6 to C22 and could be saturated and unsaturated chain.

In general, R2 is the alkyl group, such as, methyl, stearyl and could derive from monohydric, dihydric, tryhydric or polyhydric alcohol, such as, butanol, octanol, ethylene glycol, glycerol and sorbitol. The efficiency of fatty ester production process depends on the accuracy of choosing the reaction condition, the catalyst used, the comparison of reactor, and the ability to evacuate water produced when the process runs.

Fatty ester functions as the emulsifier in food and beverage industry. Some applications of fatty ester could be found in kinds of products, such as, bread and cake, chocolate products, fast food, nutrition food, instant cream, topping & whippings and ‘perisa’.

One derivative fatty ester product from oleochemical industry in palm oil base is GMS (glycerol monostearate). It is kind of compound having no color and smell. The organic compound is a little bit sweet. That is why glycerol monostearate is often added to food products. GMS is a product produced from the derivative stearate acid of palm oil and glycerol.

Glycerol monostearate is engineered emulsifier which is used in the food process. when making bread. GMS functions to make the complex reaction with starch, postpone the retrogradation, increase the volume of the bread, prevent the hardening process, and crumb the bread.

In the ice cream, glycerol monostearate functions as the emulsifier. The emulsifier functions to develop the distribution of fat structure and air which determine to make the smooth texture, taste and good melting process.

Ice cream has complex colloid structure for it is foam and also emulsion. Solid foam happens for the fat is emulsified and for the structure of small ice crystal and dispersed in macromolecule which has sugar in it. The emulsifier (for example: commercial glycerol monostearate) functions to help the controlled stabilization from the emulsion in the freezer. Here is the application table of Glycerol monostearate (GMS).

The import needs of GMS in 2015 reached 5.408,723 tons. Knowing that GMS is mostly used by the industries and in order to decrease the import, GMS in derivative palm oil base would be prospective.

The more society in the world and the increasing quality of life, the bigger needs and consumption of ‘fast food’ would be. Indonesia would have bigger additional value for the material of palm oil is available within enormous society and the domestic needs would be too. (*)

By: Astuti S.T./ Staff of Pusat Teknologi Agroindustri BPPT – Now BRIN