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Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate(SSL)

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate(SSL)

  • Sodium stearoyl lactylate or SSL is a versatile, FDA approved food additive used to improve the mix tolerance and volume of processed foods.
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  • Description
Sodium stearoyl lactylate or SSL is a versatile, FDA approved food additive used to improve the mix tolerance and volume of processed foods. It is one type of a commercially available lactylate. SSL is non-toxic, biodegradable, and typically manufactured using biorenewable feedstocks. Because SSL is a safe and highly effective food additive, it is used in a wide variety of products ranging from baked goods and desserts to pet foods.

As described by the Food Chemicals Codex 7th edition, SSL is a cream-colored powder or brittle solid. SSL is currently manufactured by the esterification of stearic acid with lactic acid and partially neutralized with either food-grade soda ash (sodium carbonate) or caustic soda (concentrated sodium hydroxide). Commercial grade SSL is a mixture of sodium salts of stearoyl lactylic acids and minor proportions of other sodium salts of related acids. The HLB for SSL is 10-12. SSL is slightly hygroscopic, soluble in ethanol and in hot oil or fat, and dispersible in warm water. These properties are the reason that SSL is an excellent emulsifier for fat-in-water emulsions and can also function as a humectant

Sodium stearoyl lactylate specifications
Acid value (mgKOH/g) 60-70
Ester value(mgKOH/g) 150-190
Heavy metals As Pb (mg/kg) 10 Max
Arsenic(mg/kg) 3 Max
Total plate count(per gram) 5000 Max
Yeast & Mould(per gram) 100 Max
Coliforms(gram) Absent in 0.1
Salmonella(gram) Absent in 25

Food applications and maximum use levels
SSL finds widespread application in baked goods, pancakes, waffles, cereals, pastas, instant rice, desserts, icings, fillings, puddings, toppings, sugar confectionaries, powdered beverage mixes, creamers, cream liqueurs, dehydrated potatoes, snack dips, sauces, gravies, chewing gum, dietetic foods, minced and diced canned meats, mostarda di frutta, and pet food. Approved uses and maximum use levels in the United States are described in 21 CFR 172.846 and 21 CFR 177.120. In the European Union, the approved uses and maximum use levels are described in Regulation (EC) No 95/2
The largest marketed use of SSL is in yeast-raised bakery products. SSL is used in the majority of manufactured breads, buns, wraps, tortillas, and similar bread-based products to ensure consistent product quality. Use levels for baked goods will vary between 0.25 - 0.5% based on flour. The typical application level is 0.375% and will be adjusted depending on the type and quality of flour used.
United States
Application Maximum use level
Baked goods, pancakes, waffles 0.5% of flour
Icings, fillings, puddings, toppings 0.2%
Beverage creamers 0.3%
Dehydrated potatoes 0.5%
Snack dips 0.2%
Sauces and gravies 0.25%
Prepared mixes of above As indicated above
Cream liqueurs 0.5%
Cellophane 0.5% weight of cellophane
European Union
Application Maximum use level Application Maximum use level
Fine baked goods 5 g/kg Bread 3 g/kg
Fat emulsions 10 g/kg Desserts 5 g/kg
Beverage whiteners 3 g/kg Hot powder beverage mixes 2 g/l
Quick-cook rice 4 g/kg Breakfast cereals 5 g/kg
Cereal-based snacks 2 g/kg Cereal- and potato-based snacks 5 g/kg
Minced and diced canned meats 4 g/kg Mostarda di frutta 2 g/kg
Chewing gum 2 g/kg Sugar confectionery 5 g/kg
Emulsified Liqueur 8 g/L Spirits <15% alcohol 8 g/L
Dietetic foods 2 g/L    

Sodium stearoyl lactylate(SSL) health and safety
Lactylates, including SSL, have been subjected to extensive safety evaluations prior to being FDA approved for use as a food additive. The oral LD50 of SSL for rats was established by Schuler and Thornton in 1952 as being over 25 g/kg body weight. In 2010, Lamb established the no-observed-adverse-effect level of SSL at 5% of the total diet and recommended an acceptable daily intake of 22.1 mg/kg bw/day for human consumption.

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