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Why is Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate in Food?

Sodium stearoyl lactylate is composed of lactic acid, stearic acid, sodium, and other compounds. In the realm of the food industry, SSL emulsifier plays a vital role in enhancing the stability, taste, and shelf life of food. In this article, we are going to focus on emulsifier 481 in food products, covering what it is and its characteristics. In addition, this blog will also shed light on its multiple uses.

What is Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate?

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate is abbreviated as SSL and is also known as e481 emulsifier. Its molecular formula is C21H41O3Na. SSL emulsifier belongs to a class of food additives that are made by synthesizing the sodium salt in stearic acid and lactic acid. Emulsifier 481 is found in a wide variety of products such as baked goods, dairy products, desserts, candies, jams, pet food, and more.

ssl emulsifier

What is Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate Made of?

Typically, the manufacturing process of sodium stearoyl lactylate is accomplished through an emulsification and esterification reaction. To be specific, a solution of stearic acid and sodium lactate is first prepared, then they are mixed in a certain proportion and a catalyst is added. Under appropriate temperature and pressure, the esterification reaction is carried out to produce SSL emulsifier. Finally, dehydration is carried out to remove excess water and impurities to obtain pure sodium stearoyl lactylate. It is then marketed as pure SSL powder or granules.

What are the Features of SSL Emulsifier?

Appearance: Sodium stearoyl lactylate is a white or light yellow powder or brittle solid with a slightly acidic odor.

HLB: SSL emulsifier has a HLB of 10-12. Sodium stearoyl lactylate has a slight hygroscopic property, making it ideal for forming water-in-oil emulsions (O/W) and for use as a moisturizer.

Solubility: Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate is poorly soluble in water, but can be completely dispersed in water with vigorous stirring. And SSL emulsifier is soluble in ethanol, hot oil, shortening, fat, etc.

Safety: Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL) has been approved by the FDA as a safe and multifunctional food additive. Also, emulsifier 481 is non-toxic and biodegradable. To put it simply, vegetable emulsifier 481 is a positive ingredient that offers a range of benefits to the food industry.


What is the Use of SSL Emulsifier in Food?

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, as an emulsification complexing agent, can be used in bread, cakes, biscuits, noodles, and other products, especially in bread production. SSL emulsifier has a unique effect. The main functions of Emulsifier 481 in Bread are as follows:

Delay Bread Aging: While baked bread is delicious, it will eventually show signs of aging over time. By adding Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL) emulsifier, the process of bread aging can be delayed while also increasing the volume of the bread. E481 emulsifier can form complexes with starch, slowing down the rate of starch crystallization and therefore postponing bread aging.

Increase Bread Volume: During the process of dough preparation, SSL emulsifier can combine with wheat gluten to form complexes, improving the structure of the dough and increasing its gas retention properties, resulting in a larger bread volume and better texture. Therefore, the use of emulsifier 481 in bread is crucial in making high-quality baked products.

Strengthen the Dough: Adding SSL food additive can make the dough more stable and elastic, which is highly beneficial for the mechanized and automated production of bread. Additionally, the E481 emulsifier can also pair with starch to act as a bread softener.

In summary, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL) emulsifier 481 in bread is a reliable dough enhancer and softening agent. SSL emulsifier can increase the yield of yeast-raised bakery products while ensuring their uniform quality.

emulsifier 481 in bread

Here are some common foods where emulsifier e481 is found:
# Baked products, pancakes, waffles
# Non-Dairy Creamers
# Icing, Fillings, Puddings
# Cookies and Crackers
# Drinks, Coffee
# Canned Preserved Fruits
# Meat Products
# Pickled Food
# Sauce or Gravies
# Instant Products
# Fruit and Vegetable
# Pet Food

Is Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate Dairy?

No. Sodium stearoyl lactylate is not a dairy product. SSL emulsifier is a food additive that is commonly used in processed foods such as bread, pastries, and biscuits. Sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate itself is a lactate compound, but it does not contain dairy ingredients.

The Bottom Line

In a nutshell, The use of SSL emulsifier in baked goods is a great way to improve the quality of baked products, enhance textural properties, and extend shelf life. And E481 emulsifier makes our food taste better and look more appealing.
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