[usually as modifier] Any of a group of compounds that are cyclic ethers derived from sorbitol or its derivatives.
- ‘Therefore, it is inadvisable to add sorbitans to the solutions used in the investigation of the brain mechanisms.’
- ‘Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate is widely used as an emulsifier or solubilizer in a variety of foods, cosmetics and other commercial Products.’
- ‘However, again just glycerol, sorbitol and sorbitans were used in the capsule shell, because propylene glycol results in the above-described undesirable tackiness.’
- ‘For mixed films containing sorbitan trioleate and polyoxyethylene sorbitan monoleate, condensation is observed for films of nearly equimolar composition.’
- ‘Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate was obtained from Aldrich Chemical Company (Milwaukee, WI).’
1930s: blend of sorbitol and anhydride.