Glycerol monostearate (GMS) is a fat which is formed when glycerol (a carbohydrate formed during the breakdown of fats in our body) is esterified with stearic acid. Stearic acid itself is a saturated fatty acid, however whereas in most cases saturated fat is bad for your cholesterol, stearic acid actually has a neutral or cholesterol-lowering effect on serum cholesterol levels in human studies. Whilst glycerol occurs naturally in the body, it can also be found in some foods where it is used as a sweetening agent, however this is in negligible amounts. It has no real health benefits to note, but its ability to prevent dehydration and maintain a lower body temperature could be useful for those in warm climates and for bodybuilders.
Glycerol monostearate is used in molecular gastronomy to make foams and emulsions and is often used to improve the texture of ice cream and aerosol whipped cream, as well as an anti-staling agent in bread.
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