Essays by the halaal foundation pakistan


Polysorbate is a liquid that is used as emulsifier in cosmetic and food items. An emulsifier is a substance that mixes oil and water in the form of cream and lotion. The class of polysorbate has hydrophilic and nonionic properties. Polysorbates are produced by the reaction of ethylene oxide

with sorbitol and fatty acids.

Types of Polysorbate:

Polysorbates are divided into 5 main types, depending on which type of fatty acid they are attached to. The description is as follows:


Sr No E- Number  Name  Natural Fatty Acid
1 E 432 Polysorbate 20 Lauric acid
2 E 433 Polysorbate 80 Oleic acid
3 E 434 Polysorbate 40 Palmitic acid
4 E 435 Polysorbate 60 Stearic acid
5 E 436 Polysorbate 65 Stearic acid



  1. Different plants, for example, palm, olive, bay tree, etc.
  2. Different animals like cow, sheep and pork fat.
  3. Synthetic


It is used in the food, medical, pharmaceutical products, cosmetic products, etc. Details are as under:

Use in Food:

Polysorbates are used in imitation cream, baked goods and frozen desserts. It helps whiteners dissolve in coffee, solubilizes oil in pickle jars, and prevents baked items from going stale. It is well-known as an additive in the popular snack cakes. It is used as an emulsifier in foods, particularly in ice cream. Here, it makes the ice cream smoother and easier to handle besides increasing its resistance to melting.

Medical and Pharmaceutical Use:

Polysorbate 20 is used as an excipient in pharmaceutical applications to stabilize emulsions and suspensions. Polysorbate 60 is used in medical products, such as cream treatments for acne, and topical treatments for mouth sores. People trying to stimulate hair growth might use the chemical to break up sebum, which can prevent new hair from growing.

Use in Cosmetics:

Polysorbates are used in numerous cosmetic products, including shampoos, skin softeners, scented powders, makeup bases and foundations, and anti-aging creams. The polysorbate ingredients help other ingredients dissolve in a solvent in which they would not normally dissolve.


Some oils, such as coconut oil and turkey-red oil, can serve as an alternative to polysorbate 20 due to their emulsifying properties. Coconut oil is a safe, all-natural alternative to polysorbate 20. It keeps oil and water from separating and also has a pleasant scent.

Borax is a natural alkaline mineral. It is also known as sodium borate. Borax, when combined with beeswax, serves as a natural alternative to polysorbate.

Shariah Status:

Polysorbate is prepared from fatty acids, and the ruling principle for a fatty acid is that if it is derived from plants or animals slaughtered according to the teachings of the Shariah , it is undoubtedly Taahir(pure) and Halaal; and if it is derived from haraam animals or animals not slaughtered according to shariah , it is Najis(impure) and forbidden. However, if change of state occurs, they will be declared lawful and pure. But it is extremely difficult to prove this. Therefore, it is better avoiding use of the fatty acids derived from such sources.
Moreover, if it could not be found whether the fatty acid in a specific product is from a permitted source or from a forbidden one, the decision can be made on the basis of what is generally the most widely used source (Az-zun-ul-Galib). So, if it is most likely from a Halaal source, it should be considered Halaal, and in order to declare it unlawful or filthy, we will need to produce the evidence; but if it is most likely from forbidden sources, it will be considered impure and forbidden, and a solid argument is needed to declare it Halaal.
In light of the information available so far with us regarding food ingredients, according to a reliable website, now-a-days fatty acids are often prepared from vegetable oils. If this is true, the rule of Az-zun-ul-Galib can be applied.
Despite this, a person avoid the use of such doubt fatty acid on the basis of piety, it is better. It is also worth-mentioning that the rule of Az-zun-ul-Galib is for consumers. So, Muslim manufacturers should use the fatty acids derived from halaal sources so that consumers use their products with satisfaction.