Table of Contents
ISRN Chemical Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 124767, 21 pages
Review Article

The Food Additive Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate (E-476): Structure, Applications, and Production Methods

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia, Spain

Received 27 September 2012; Accepted 4 December 2012

Academic Editors: M. Assael, Z. Fang, A. Gil, F. Lefebvre, J. Subrt, and J. E. Ten Elshof

Copyright © 2013 Josefa Bastida-Rodríguez. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The food additive named polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR) and identified with the code E-476 (PGPR) is used as emulsifier in tin-greasing emulsions for the baking trade and for the production of low-fat spreads. However, the main application of PGPR is in the chocolate industry, where, besides its action as an emulsifier, it also has important properties as a viscosity modifier and thus improves the moulding properties of the molten chocolate. An additional property of PGPR in chocolate is its ability to limit fat bloom. Known chemical methods for preparing this emulsifier involve long reaction times and high operating temperatures, which adversely affect the quality of the final product leading to problems of coloration and odors that could make it inadvisable for the food industry. As an alternative, the enzymatic synthesis of PGPR by the catalytic action of two lipases has been developed. The enzymes act in mild reaction conditions of temperature and pressure, neutral pH, and in a solvent-free system, which makes the process environmentally friendly and avoids side reaction, so that the product has a higher purity and quality.