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What Is Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL E481) Used For

SSL emulsifiers are widely used in the food industry for their versatile functionality. They play a crucial role in various food products, including bread, cakes, pastries, ice cream, margarine, and more. In this blog post, we mainly discussed the primary applications of SSL emulsifiers and common FAQs.

What Is SSL Emulsifier?

SSL emulsifier stands for Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate. It is a food additive that is commonly used in baking and other food manufacturing processes. Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL) is produced by the esterification of lactylate polymers and lactic acid with stearic acid, after full or partial neutralization to form sodium salts.

SSL emulsifier appears as a white or pale yellow-white powder, with a slight caramel flavor and slight hygroscopicity. The molecular structure of SSL E481 contains both lipophilic and hydrophilic groups, allowing it to form an adsorption layer at the interface between immiscible water and oil phases. It exhibits typical surfactant properties. Its hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB value) is 8.3, making it an anionic food emulsifier of the water-in-oil (O/W) type. It has a melting point of 39°C to 43°C. Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate emulsifier is insoluble in water, but dispersible in water upon stirring, and is soluble in hot fats/oils.


what is ssl emulsifier

What Is the Function Of SSL In Baking?

SSL emulsifier can strongly interact with proteins in wheat. Its hydrophilic groups can bind with gliadin in wheat gluten, while its hydrophobic groups can associate with glutenin, forming gluten-protein complexes. This results in a finer and more elastic gluten network, enhancing the gas retention during fermentation and increasing the volume of baked goods. This interaction also yields good whipping and aerating properties when interacting with milk proteins.

Additionally, the fatty acyl groups of such emulsifiers can penetrate the helical structure of linear starch, forming stable helical complexes. Therefore, these emulsifiers can promote the formation of a tighter, more intact, and mechanically resistant state between gluten proteins and starch in flour. This enhances the elasticity, extensibility, and toughness of dough during preparation, thus strengthening the dough.


SSL emulsifier in Baking

What Is the Use Of SSL In Food?

SSL Emulsifier In Bread, Steamed Buns

SSL E481 is widely used in bread, steamed buns, noodles, dumplings, and other food products. It serves as an excellent dough strengthener and softener for bread structure. Through its interaction with proteins, starch, lipids, and water in flour, it effectively improves both the production process and the quality of the finished bread.

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate emulsifier enhances bread volume by forming stable complexes with linear starch, thereby increasing the gelatinization temperature of starch. This allows the dough to maintain extensibility during the initial stages of baking, facilitating bread expansion. Additionally, its interaction with gluten proteins improves dough gas retention, aiding in oven spring during baking.

SSL e481 also improves bread softness and extends its shelf life by forming stable complexes with starch during baking, preventing starch gelatinization and hardening. These complexes inhibit the leaching of water-soluble components from starch during baking, reducing gluten hydration and contraction, thus maintaining bread softness.

During cooling, the complexes formed between SSL emulsifier and linear starch inhibit starch retrogradation, preventing bread staling by delaying the transition from disordered, non-crystalline starch to ordered crystalline states. This extends the storage freshness of bread.

Use Of SSL Emulsifier In Ice Cream And Non-dairy Creamer

SSL e481 is a relatively safe anionic surfactant with a molecular structure consisting of hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts, with an HLB value of approximately 8.3. It can adsorb at the interfaces of oil and water phases, which are mutually repulsive, forming a thin molecular layer to reduce interfacial tension and enable the uniform mixing of previously immiscible substances.

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate emulsifier alters the original substance state, thereby modifying the internal structure of food, enhancing sensory perception, and improving food quality, especially in high-fat foods. Therefore, it yields good results in products such as non-dairy creamer and ice cream, which contain high levels of fat.


SSL in Ice Cream And Non-dairy Creamer


SSL emulsifiers are highly favored food additives, with broad utility across food production. Chemsino(food emulsifier supplier) proudly offers a variety of SSL emulsifiers, such as SSL 80 and SSL 100, presenting diverse options to meet your unique needs. Buy SSL emulsifiers now and request free samples for testing.

SSL Emulsifier e481 FAQs

Is Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate Vegan?

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL) is typically considered vegan as it is derived from plant-based sources. It is commonly produced through the esterification of lactic acid with stearic acid, which can be derived from vegetable oils.

Is Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate Natural Or Synthetic?

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate can be classified as a synthetic food additive. Its components, such as lactic acid and stearic acid, can be derived from natural sources. The process of combining them to produce SSL emulsifier typically involves synthetic chemical reactions.

Is Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate Healthy?

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate is considered safe for consumption by regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It has been extensively studied and has a long history of safe use in food products. Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate e481 is primarily used as an emulsifier and dough conditioner in food products.

Does Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate Contain Dairy?

No, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL) does not contain dairy ingredients. It is derived from plant-based sources and is not made from dairy products. Therefore, it is suitable for individuals with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies.
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