FAQ Food


1. Physical chemical

» What is the origin of sucrose esters?

Sisterna sucrose esters are produced inJapan, from cane sugar and fatty acids from palm oil. Sisterna sucrose esters are based on vegetable, renewable raw materials (non-GMO), and are easily biodegradable. Sisterna sucrose esters are suitable for Kosher, Halal and Vegan food products.

» What is the caloric value of sucrose esters?

Upon digestion sucrose esters are hydrolysed to their components, sugar and fatty acids, which are metabolised by the body in a normal way. The caloric value depends on the ratio sugar : fatty acids.


Sisterna PS750 6.6
Sisterna SP70 6.7
Sisterna SP50 6.9
Sisterna SP30 7.3
Sisterna SP10 7.6
Sisterna SP01 7.7
Sisterna F20W 7.6

» Can sucrose esters cause contamination (with micro organisms) of my products?

The microbiological contamination of Sisterna sucrose esters is very low (<100 cfu/gram). Harmful bacteria, yeast and fungy are absent. Sucrose esters are produced at high temperatures and then dried, the product has a very low water activity (aw) which will inhibit growth of any micro-organisms.

» Can sucrose esters be used in products with low pH?

Sucrose esters are sensitive for high acidity. You can work with the following indicative schedule:

  • pH ≥ 4: Sucrose esters can be used without problems
  • pH 3 - 4: If possible, adjust the processing: prepare the emulsion prior to adding the acid ingredients. In that way the sucrose esters are partly dissolved in the oil (droplets) and less sensitive for acid.
  • pH ≤ 3: Sucrose esters will slowly degrade to their components, sugar and fatty acids, and lose their emulsifying capacity.

For more information watch our video Emulsion stability. 

Sisterna sucrose esters - Emulsion stability from Sisterna on Vimeo.

2. Dosage & Preparation

» What is the typical dosage and sucrose ester grade in my product?

The type and dosage of Sisterna sucrose esters strongly depend on the application and processing. A common dosage is 0.1% to 1%.

» How should I dissolve Sisterna sucrose ester powders?

High HLB sucrose esters (Sisterna PS750, SP70 and SP50) are soluble in water.
Medium HLB sucrose esters (Sisterna SP30) are partly soluble in water and partly in oil/fat.
Low HLB sucrose esters (Sisterna SP10 and SP01) are soluble in oil/fat.
The higher the HLB value, the better soluble in water. Sisterna SP70 and PS750 are well soluble in cold water, the latter forming a clear solution.
An instruction video how to dissolve sucrose esters in water can be found here:

Sisterna sucrose esters - Water solubility from Sisterna on Vimeo.

3. Functionalities

» In which product categories are sucrose esters used?

Actually in most food products that have fat or oil emulsified in a water phase, and products that contain crystallised sugar or polyols. As we are unique in the high HLB-values, sucrose esters are more commonly used in oil-in-water emulsions. Typical product groups are bakery, dairy, sauces and confectionery.

» How should I use sucrose esters for emulsifying oil in water?

This depends on the product and processing. As a general rule sucrose esters should be mixed in the water phase and not in the oil phase. High HLB sucrose esters work best (Sisterna SP70, SP50 and PS750). 

Sisterna sucrose esters - Water solubility from Sisterna on Vimeo.

» How should I use sucrose esters for sugar crystallisation?

Sisterna sucrose esters promote sugar crystallisation, which result in speedy crystallisation and smaller crystals. This effect is also shown in sugar-free polyol applications. Dissolve Sisterna SP50 or SP70 in the sugar or polyol solution before crystallisation.

» How should I use sucrose oligo esters for tabletting?

Sisterna F20W acts as a lubricant in tabletting. F20W is a sucrose oligo ester and not permitted in tablets in Europe and USA. Tablets that are exported to Japan can contain Sisterna F20W.

» I need very small oil droplets, but I do not have a high pressure homogeniser. Can Sisterna sucrose esters help?

Yes, Sisterna sucrose esters can ensure very small oil droplets (< 1 µm) with only a high shear mixer, provided that you prepare a concentrated emulsion with glycerol as continuous phase. This emulsion can be applied in a food-product later. For more information contact Sisterna.

» Can sucrose esters help to aerate food products?

Yes, sucrose esters with high HLB value strongly decrease the surface tension between water and air, so aeration is facilitated. A high overrun is quickly reached.

» Can sucrose esters preserve my food product?

Sisterna sucrose esters inhibit growth of gram-positive bacteria and some gram-negative bacteria and some moulds and yeasts. Sucrose esters can't be considered as preservatives, but they can help preventing spoilage by certain micro-organisms. As an example sucrose esters are used in protecting hot stored drinks (canned coffee) against flat sour spoilage, caused by thermophilic bacteria like Bacillus stearothermophilus.

» Can I combine sucrose esters with mono-diglycerides or lecithines?

Yes, combinations of emulsifiers are frequently used, they can work synergystically. Also sucrose esters are used to solubilise lecithin or to prevent mono-diglycerides transferring to the inactive β-crystalls.

» I want to replace other emulsifiers like lecithin or mono-diglycerides. Which type and dosage of sucrose ester do I need?

It is not necessary to choose a sucrose ester with similar HLB-value as the emulsifier you would like to replace. In most cases Sisterna SP70 or Sisterna SP50 are used to replace other emulsifiers. The dosage of Sisterna sucrose esters is usually (much) lower than the dosage of other emulsifiers. For the most appropriate sucrose ester type and dosage; please see our website or contact Sisterna.

» Can Sisterna sucrose esters help to stabilise my low viscous / liquid emulsion?

Yes, Sisterna sucrose esters ensure very small oil droplets, which give a stable emulsion. Increasing the viscosity of the water phase, to improve stability, becomes unnecessary.

For more information watch our video concentrated emulsions

4. Regulatory

» Can I use sucrose esters in every product?

In Europe and the USA sucrose esters are allowed in most product groups, these groups and maximum dosages are laid down in the EU and FDA regulations. You can find the regulations on our website. 


» Do I have to declare sucrose esters on the ingredient declaration?

Yes, you can choose between either putting sucrose ester (of fatty acids) on the package or emulsifier E473. For other languages please contact Sisterna for accurate information.
In very specific cases where sucrose esters are used as a processing aid in very low dosages there is an option not putting it on the ingredient declaration.

» Can there be any allergens in sucrose esters?

According to the ALBA-list there are no allergens in sucrose esters.

» I want to use sucrose esters in my bakery product is this allowed?

In the EU, sucrose esters are allowed in fine bakery but not in bread. Each country has its own definition of bread and bakery wares. For an overview, contact Sisterna. 

» What certificates can you supply?

Of course product data sheets and material safety data sheets. We are ISO, HACCP, Kosher, Halal and RSPO certified. There is an IP-statement proving non-GMO and all our grades are allergen free (ALBA).

» How do we know additives are safe?

The assessment procedure is very stringent. All additives must be shown to be safe before they can be used in food. The safety evidence is carefully scrutinised by an independent committee of scientists and medical experts. This used to be carried out by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) but, more recently, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has been made responsible. The approval process takes into account any tests which have been conducted on the additive and, where gaps exist in the knowledge, further tests have to be carried out.

5. Sales & Distribution

» Is there a distributor in my country?

In most countries Sisterna is represented, see https://www.sisterna.com/distributors/distributors-food/. If not, you can contact us directly for samples or enquiries.

» What is the price of Sisterna sucrose esters?

The price depends on the grade of Sisterna sucrose esters and the order quantity. In most countries Sisterna is represented by an exclusive distributor. They can give an offer.

» Your product is produced in Japan, can you guarantee short lead time?

Sisterna has a warehouse in The Netherlands with stock for at least three months. Additionally our distributors have their own warehouse. In urgent cases we can airfreight product from the factory in Japan.

» Can you supply samples?

Yes, though we forward most sample requests to our distributors to ensure follow up. You can request your samples here


Questions about sucrose esters in food?

Contact our experts: +31 (0) 165 524 735 or email us