Sodium Lactate from Beets
Sodium lactate is natural salt that is derived from a natural fermentation product, lactic acid. Lactic acid is produced naturally in foods such as cheese, yogurt, hard salami, pepperoni, sour dough bread and many others by the action of lactic acid starter cultures (also known as a "good" bacteria) on the sugars that are naturally present in the food products. The production of the lactic acid increases the acidity of the product, flavoring the product with a desired taste characteristic and offering some protection from spoilage. Salts of lactic acid are a more powerful pathogen inhibitor than the lactic acid itself. Since salt is the best preservative that can be used in food products by creating an undesirable environment for bacteria, sodium lactate has a distinct advantage over sodium chloride since it contains 50% less sodium. This gives us the pathogen inhibiting characteristics needed, while keeping sodium levels low when compared to traditional meat products. Sodium Lactate should not be confused with lactose, the sugar found in milk products. This same lactic acid and the lactate salts of lactic acid naturally occur in all animal and human muscle tissue. The production of lactic acid is as important part of the energy metabolism of muscle tissue. During the normal metabolic cycle in our body, about 120 grams of lactic acid is produced daily (Ir. J. T. De Koos, Die Fleischerei, 1/1993). Sodium Lactate is a known component of the stratum coreum layer of the skin. (Cosmet and Toilitries 93, 85, 1978). Sodium lactate is produced by the natural fermentation of the sugars from corn or beets. These sugars are fermented with lactic acid starter culture, similar to those used for cheese or yogurt production. The fermented solution is mixed with caustic soda (same used in pretzel and bagel manufacturing to coat the outside) to form sodium lactate in the same fashion soy milk is mixed with Calcium Sulfate to form tofu. These natural salts were the first natural ingredients found to inhibit the growth of botulism causing bacteria (Clostridium botulinum).