Also known as magnesium salt, this substance is found in many medicines taken today in pill form. It is regarded as safe by the Food and Drug Administration. The molecular formula for magnesium stearate consists of a single magnesium atom joined to two stearate molecules, which contain complex quantities of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. It turns solid at room temperature, typically appears as a white powder and is not soluble in water. The primary use for magnesium stearate today is in the tablets and capsules produced by the medical industry. It is a lubricant which prevents other ingredients in the tablets from adhering to compression equipment during the manufacturing process. Additionally, companies use it to bind sugars in certain candies. Magnesium salt is also produced by the combination of hard water and soap. It and calcium stearate are responsible for the appearance of most bath tub rings.
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