Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate also known as SSL is a very functional and versatile substance with a wide range of application in not just the food industry but also in the personal care industry. It is a food additive which is FDA approved and EU permitted and has an E no. of E481. The product is available in powder form with a tinge of yellow colour which can be removed by bleaching the additive with Hydrogen peroxide. SSL is a commercially acceptable powder used in the replacement of palm oil.
The palm oil is a natural source which is very good but a very quickly depleting source becoming endangered. The SSL is made from the sodium salt of lactic acid and stearic acid and is non-toxic, biodegradable, bio renewable, safe and a very powerful food additive. SSL due to its versatile nature has been used in various products like baked products (bread, buns, wraps, tortillas, and etc.), cream liqueurs, toppings, puddings, cereals, icings, canned meats, dietetic food, waffles, chewing gum, pancakes, desserts, pasta, fillings, pet foods, sour cream, cheese products, crackers, cookies etc. Apart from food products SSL is also used in other products like hand, foot and facial moisturiser a shaving creams.
The dosage of SSL is varied upon the application for example in baked goods it is used in the range of 0.25 - 0.5% in relation with the flour, 0.3% in beverage creamers, 0.25% in sauces and gravies, 0.2% in icings and fillings and 5-10% by weight in moisturizers and shaving creams.
SSL is used for the following reasons:
- Disperses and hydrates more readily in water which reduces the fats and makes the overall
- Crum softening effect
- Dough strengthening thus, reducing the amount of sugar and fats, increasing the volume,
uniform texture and resist abuse.
- Hygroscopic nature soluble in water as well as oils and fats.
- Dough conditioning which makes the bread stronger and also increases the volume of the
- Increases shelf life and slows down the process of staling and hardening. Also maintains the
freshness and prevents crystallization.
- Reduces the sugar requirement due to its sweet taste.
- Highly functional in fermentation.
- Emulsifying agent, improves water absorption and retains the suspension under high
temperatures of baking and long period of time.
- Foaming properties with stabilization of the foam trapping air bubbles making the end
product fluffy and airy.
- Replacing the fats improving the quality, texture and consistency of the product.