What Is Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate and Is It Vegan?

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate Chemical Structure
Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate Chemical Structure

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate is a food additive that’s primarily used in processed foods to extend their shelf life. In most cases it’s vegan, but it can also be non-vegan depending on its source.

The reason it can be non-vegan as well as vegan is because it’s made from/with Stearic Acid, which can either be vegan or non-vegan. Since Stearic Acid can be Vegan or Non-vegan as outlined in the linked article above, it’s hard to know if the Sodium Stearyol Lactylate used Vegan or Non-Vegan Stearic Acid.

So Is It Vegan?

There’s no way to know for sure, however it’s more likely it is than it isn’t.

You can’t really figure out for-sure as the supply chain is too complicated to go back and figure out if the Stearic Acid was Vegan or not. Because if you did that, you’d first need to find out where the product’s manufacturer got their sodium stearyol lactylate, and generally they’ll be buying from many sources and not know what source was used for what products.

Should You Avoid Sodium Stearyol Lactylate Then?

I’d say it’s reasonable to try to avoid it, but I would say you shouldn’t stress about if a bread from a restaurant, a friend, a family member, whatever it may be like that, contains it. Veganism is about reducing harm and exploitation of animals in a practical way.

Personally, I do not believe it’s practical or reasonable, nor beneficial for the movement or the animals, to nit-pick over maybe vegan maybe non-vegan ingredients in something you’re getting from someone else.