Surfactants have been known to mankind since the dawn of time. They have been used primarily as washing and cleaning agents. However, today they are used much more often in many fields of industry. This work focuses on two areas of surfactants use, the agriculture and the food industry due to the direct relationship between these two issues. In agriculture, surfactants play a number of important roles. One of the problems of modem agriculture is the low efficiency of spraying, associated with the low absorption of liquid utility for plants. This problem is solved by surfactants, as demonstrated by the example of glyphosate and the organosilicon compound Silwet® L-77. Nowadays, substitutes for conventional surfactants are being sought. Compounds produced by microorganisms are under great interest of scientists. It has been shown that they are characterized by the lower toxicity as well as high biodegradability, while maintaining the characteristics and properties of synthetic compounds. Directly related to the agriculture, the food industry also often uses surfactants. In the production and processing of food surfactants play the role of such compounds as emulsifiers, stabilizers, additives improving the texture of products and increasing the durability of products. Sorbitan esters, e.g. sorbitan monolaurate, their ethoxylated derivatives, e.g. Polysorbate 20, as well as sucrose esters, e.g. sucrose monostearate, are readily used for this purpose. Great emphasis is placed on the safety of compounds used in the food industry. As in the case of agriculture, biosurfactants and compounds of natural origin are tested for use in the food industry. Their use is not limited to being ingredients of products. They can play a biocidal, as well as a protecting role against surface colonization by microorganisms.