Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate – Chances are You’ll be Eating it Today

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate

The above humorous poster, spotted on Food Renegade‘s Facebook page, immediately led us to explore said ingredient. Turns out it’s not as bad as one would think. Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate is an additive used in the food industry, mostly in baking. Also known as SSL, it is a lightly colored powder that works various wonders:

Emulsifying – it helps keep oil and water mixed together. As you probably know, many baked good include both. Using SSL allows for more water to be used. And water is a cheap ingredient.

Increased shelf life – keeps mold away.

Dough conditioning – makes the gluten in bread stronger, it also increases the volume of the loaf.

If you are vegetarian, take note. SSL can be sourced from both animal and vegetable sources.

SSL is not something you can pick up in the baking section of your supermarket. But you can order a 50 gram pack for just $7.99 online.

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  • TJ Wright

    I don’t feel very fooducated. What is SSL? How is it made? Is it vegan? Who produces it? It is genetically modified? When was it introduced? Any known health risks? 

  • XX

    “Turns out its not as bad as one would think.”


  • Irma J.

    Your just telling us what it does to food, but what does it do to our bodies?

    • Ryan P

      Nothing, according to countless clinical research. SSL is just a type of fat that is both attracted to water and oil. Its use in foods is actually healthy because it allows us to get away from using heavy fats such as shortening and lard and allows us to thicken healthy oils.

  • Counselor42

    Anything that can have a chemical-sounding name MUST be deadly toxic, right? Who wants any of that sciency crap in their bodies, stuff like sodium stearoyl lactylate or sodium bicarbonate or dihydrogen oxide…any of that scary sounding poison?

  • Dr CFarlow

    Sodium stearoyl lactylate may be derived from corn, soy, milk or peanuts. If from corn, soy or milk, it could be GMO. This additive and more are listed in the book, Food Additives: A Shopper’s Guide To What’s Safe & What’s Not, which rates about 1000 food additives according to safety. You can carry it in your pocket or purse and take it with you to the grocery store when you shop.

  • Lara Bar lover

    I agree with the others…you missed some educating us here!

  • salestechnician

    a note from a food professional: it doesn’t keep molds away. it is keeping the bread softer by keeping the starch in gelatinized form. it has really nothing to do with molds. keeping the molds away is the job of preservatives (mostly calcium propionate in bread).

  • Marty Stamm

    Sodium stearoyl actylate is also a chemical used in beauty products! How could this be “not so bad for you”???? I mean really….go ahead and eat some!

    • Ryan P

      You do eat it, it’s in a lot of food. And it is heavily tested and researched. And it is a component of many natural foods. Despite the scary name, it is an extremely safe ingredient.

    • Ryan P

      Furthermore saying it is unhealthy because it is used in beauty products is like saying olive oil is unhealthy because it is used in beauty products. In fact, SSL IS a natural oil. And it is one of the reasons usage of shortening and lard is waning: SSL is a far healthier and cheaper alternative.

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  • disqus_JoTWA3QGu9

    Thats the point to scare people amazing what a simple google search would do. Its like the old dihydrogen monoxide joke my Environmental science teacher told us.

    • Ryan P

      It’s amazing what a name will do in the minds of some of these people. Use a chemistry name: Must be dangerous. Use a non-scientific name: Must be safe.

  • maureen donhuysen

    Problem.Person lactose intolerant.If it is animal sourced and not defined it can over time cause severe problems.I am getting tired of this.It should specify origin.Can we have honesty and safety please.