Mono- and diglycerides are emulsifiers, which means they help oil and water to blend. As a result, they’re commonly used as food additives. Small quantities are often added to packaged and frozen foods to improve texture and stability, prevent oil from separating, and extend shelf life.

Mono- and diglycerides are primarily used as surfactants, usually in the form of emulsifiers. Together with diglycerides, monoglycerides are commonly added to commercial food products in small quantities as “E471” (s.a. Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids), which helps to prevent mixtures of oils and water from separating.

The values given in the nutritional labels for total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat do not include those present in mono- and diglycerides as fats are defined as being triglycerides. They are also often found in bakery products, beverages, ice cream, chewing gum, shortening, whipped toppings, margarine, and confections.

In bakery products, Mono- and diglycerides are useful in improving loaf volume and texture, and as antistaling agents. Mono- and diglycerides are used to enhance the physical stability towards creaming in milk beverages.