Sodium Lactate

What is it?

Sodium lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid, and has a mild saline taste.

What does it do?

It is often used as a preservative or pH buffer in foods but has moisturizing properties that make it useful in gentle cleansers and creams. We use it in our bodywash to provide gentle cleansing and aid in preservation.

How is it made?

Our Stewardship Model guides us to select ingredients which have been processed in a manner that supports our philosophy of human and environmental health.

Sodium lactate is most often made by the fermentation of a sugar, which can come from corn or beets, to produce lactic acid. Tom’ uses a sodium lactate derived from corn. The fermentation product, lactic acid, is neutralized to create sodium lactate.

Although it can be prepared by fermentation of milk or whey protein, that is not often the case and the resultant fermentation product will not contain any residual milk protein.1

What are the alternatives?

We use a number of different natural moisturizers in our products, one of the primary ingredients is vegetable-based glycerin. There are also moisturizers on the market which would not meet our Stewardship guidelines, such as diethylene glycol.

Is this the right option for me?

Sodium lactate should not be confused with dairy or lactose. It is not chemically similar and is safe for those individuals looking to avoid lactose.

This product is often available with an added preservative to ensure stability but Tom’s partnered with the supplier to develop an ingredient that was naturally preserved to meet our strict Stewardship requirements.

Sodium Lactate is considered a GRAS food additive by FDA.2

Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with naturally derived ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.

1 Willitts, Alice. Carter Deborah (2007) Food allergy & your child. Class Publishing Ltd. P85 ISBN185959-186-8    
2 21 CFR 184.1768