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What are the Uses of Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate?

Sodium stearoyl lactylate is primarily used for its emulsifying and stabilizing properties in food and cosmetics. In food, SSL mixes water and oil together and mostly used as a dough strengthener and crumb softener in bakery; in cosmetics, it is a viscosity enhancer and conditioner.

SSL is mainly used in high fat & yeast-leavened bread as a dough conditioner/emulsifier for the purposes of:
  • dough strengthening: increase volume and obtain a better crumb structure
  • crumb softening: interacts with flour to form gluten proteins/starch/lactylate complex which produce a soft and elastic bread and prevents bread retrogradation (aging)

If without SSL, the loaf will become hardened.

It is also used in cookies, crackers, pastries, noodles, and the like to improve the texture, mouthfeel and prolong the freshness or shelf time. In cookie and cracker, SSL is used to distribute shortening uniformly in the dough.

SSL can be directly added to flour or dispersed in warm water and then blended with flour for use.

Other food may contain with SSL:
  • Whipped toppings and desserts (an aerating agent)
  • Non-dairy coffee creamers (a complexing agent stable the emulsion)
  • Whitening powder ( a fat replacer)
  • Spreads

Sodium stearoyl lactylate is used as an emulsifying agent (3) to stabilize oil-in-water formulations of cosmetics and personal care products.

SSL may be found in the following cosmetics:
  • Skin care products
  • Shampoo
  • Lotion

Is Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate Safe to Eat?
Yes, it has been approved as a safe ingredient by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), as well as Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).

FDA has approved SSL as a direct multifunctional food additive that can be used as an emulsifier, stabilizer, surface-active agent in the following food categories with the maximum usage (4):
  • Baked products, pancakes, and waffles 0.5%
  • Icings, fillings, puddings, and toppings 0.2%  
  • Beverage coffee as substitutes for milk or cream 0.3%
  • Dehydrated potatoes 0.5%  
  • Snack dips 0.2%  
  • Cheese substitutes and imitations 0.2%  
  • Sauces or gravies 0.25%   
  • Cream liqueur drinks 0.5%

Approved uses
Its application is listed together with calcium stearoyl lactylate (E482) with the maximum permitted levels (MPLs) from 1000 to 10000 mg/kg in foods. The following food may contain it
  • Flavoured fermented milk products
  • Beverage whiteners   
  • Fat and oil emulsions
  • Mostarda difrutta
  • Sugar confectionery  
  • Chewing gum
  • Desserts, decorations, coatings and fillings  
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Quick-cook rice
  • Bread and rolls  
  • Fine bakery wares
  • Minced and diced canned meat products
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