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CAS Number: 9000-59-3
Shellac is an organic substance obtained from resinous secretion of the insect called Kerria lacca. This insect lives and breeds in the bark of trees in India, Thailand and southern China. This secretion accumulates and covers the bark of these trees and is collected manually.

The crude shellac is separated from the bark, ground and then washed. It is then left to dry in the sun. The material thus obtained is a granulated resin, reddish brown, and the starting material for refining processes using different grades of shellac. The final product can be processed and presented as solid (mainly flakes) or liquid (in solution of different concentrations).

A first division corresponds to the qualities of wax and dewaxed. The most common are dewaxed. The dewaxed shellacs are classified according to colour and the lighter in colour, the more appreciated they are. The number contained in the product description indicates lightness, so lower numbers indicate more clear shellacs.

A critical aspect in shellacs is the influence of the temperature that produces its caking and that is why it is recommended to transport and store under a controlled temperature. Most shellacs are soluble in alcohol but there are soluble references in aqueous medium.


- Food industry: as a coating on fruit (preservation), pastry (brightness and conservation), candy (conservation and preservation of flavors)

- Pharmaceutical industry: as tablets and tablets coated with a dual objective which is the protection and controlled release of active ingredients once the drug enters the patient’s digestive system

- Cosmetics industry: as a binder substance that provides protection and gloss to the final product (hair spray and cosmetic facial)

- Paints and varnishes industry: as a substance that adds strength, insulation and shine

- Textile Manufacturer: as a coating to provide rigidity and durability (both in fabrics and leather).