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.