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Sodium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate. A widely used dough conditioner (q.v.) that is a sodium salt of stearoyl lactylic acid, a compound that is obtained by reacting stearic acid (q.v.) with lactic acid (q.v.). The product is a free-flowing powder, insoluble in water but readily soluble in hot fats (q.v.) and oils (q.v.). When used at the recommended levels, with a maximum of 0.5% based on flour, it measurably increases dough absorption (q.v.), strengthens the gluten structure (q.v.), and improves mixing tolerance (q.v.), machinability (q.v.), and the overall quality of the baked bread (q.v.) product.