Polysorbate 80 is widely used to protect biopharmaceutical products from protein misfolding, aggregation, and precipitation during transportation and handling. Polysorbate 80 is a nonionic surfactant with amphiphilic properties, made from the fatty acid esters of polyoxyethylene sorbitol. Polysorbate 80 is one of the most commonly used surfactants for formulating protein-based biopharmaceuticals.
Polysorbate 80 is one of the main components of protein formulations. The drug can inhibit interface damage of protein molecules subjected to mechanical stress during transportation and handling. Polysorbate 80 also affects the formulation's photostability. Exposure to light in an aqueous solution of polysorbate 80 may produce peroxides, which could cause the oxidation of sensitive amino acid residues in protein molecules.
Peroxides produced by auto-oxidation and degradation of polysorbate 80, apart from hydrolysis, can induce auto-oxidation of the alkyl polyoxyethylene chains, leading to the formation of hydrogen peroxide derivatives. Peroxides can cause oxidative damage to protein molecules constituting the formulation. Residual peroxides and peroxide generation rates were found to vary with light exposure for different grades and sources of polysorbate 80.
Polysorbate 80 is a nonionic surfactant and an emulsifier, derived from polyoxyethylene sorbitol and oleic acid, commonly used in food. Polysorbate 80 can be used as a foaming agent to create foam or air. Polysorbate 80 is also added as an emulsifier to food, especially in ice cream where its concentration reaches up to 0.5%, making ice cream smoother, easier to handle, and increasing its resistance to melting. Polysorbate 80 can prevent complete coverage of fat droplets by milk proteins. This allows them to connect together in chains and webs, retaining air in the mixture and providing a more robust texture, maintaining its shape when ice cream melts.
Polysorbate 80 acts as a surfactant, emulsifier, and solubilizer improving product texture. In cosmetics and personal care products, polysorbate 80 can be used as a surfactant, emulsifier, and solubilizer. In addition, polysorbate 80 has been approved by the FDA as a component of eye drops.