What Is Sodium Caseinate?
Sodium caseinate (also known as sodium caseate or just salt) is a food additive used primarily in processed foods. It’s made from the ground up bones of cows, pigs, sheeps and goats. They are usually dried before being crushed into powder form and then powdered with other ingredients such as sugar, flour and water. Salt is one of the most common additives in processed foods because it helps keep foods moist when they’re cooked.
The main use of salt is in packaged foods since it keeps them fresh longer. It also prevents spoilage if left out on the shelf too long. Another reason why salt is so commonly used in packaged foods is because it’s cheap; many packages contain less than 1/10th of a teaspoon of salt per serving!
However, there are some disadvantages to using this ingredient:
It contains animal parts which may cause allergies and sensitivities.
Some studies have shown that eating large amounts of salt can increase blood pressure.
There are concerns over its effect on thyroid function.
It is not approved by the FDA for human consumption. However, it is allowed to be sold in Canada and Europe under different names such as potassium chloride and calcium chloride.
How Does Sodium Caseinate Work?
This food additive is a type of salt that is able to thicken or stabilize many types of foods. It is a great substitute for traditional animal-based thickening agents such as collagen, albumin and gelatin since it’s a byproduct of the cheese-making process. It helps prevent foods from separating or curdling, and gives them a creamy consistency. This ingredient works well in cooked or baked goods such as pastas, puddings, soups and even non-dairy creamers.
As a food additive, it’s fairly safe to consume in small amounts. The average person only eats about 1.5 grams of salt per day, though some may eat as much as 5 grams a day.
Are There Any Benefits?
It helps prevent foods from spoiling too quickly.
It prevents milk and vegetable oils from curdling.
It gives creams, soups and sauces a thicker or silkier texture.
It helps baked goods retain moisture.
It has no flavor of its own so it won’t change the taste of foods you use it in.
What Are The Side Effects?
Like most food additives, consuming large amounts may be unhealthy.
It can cause allergies in some people.
Cases of eczema have been reported when it’s used in infant formulas.
When Is It Bad For You?
This ingredient is often recognized as safe by health organizations such as the FDA and Health Canada, so its side effects are rare. Food manufacturers only need to use a small amount, so it shouldn’t cause any problems if used properly.
This ingredient may cause some people to get minor skin irritation, so if you notice a rash or breakout after switching from regular milk to non-dairy creamer, try switching back to the milk.
Where Can You Find It?
You can find this ingredient in most North American grocery stores in the baking aisle or with the other dairy products.
If you don’t have access to a store, then try an online retailer. Your favorite cooking website may sell it as well.
There are many names for this ingredient such as: sodium caseinate, natrium caseinate, sodium calcium caseinate, and calcium caseinate.
What Does It Look Like?
This ingredient is a white powder.
How Can You Use It?
This ingredient can be used in a variety of foods or beverages.
It’s a popular additive in non-dairy creamer and coffee whiteners, especially when people are trying to keep their weight down. It can also be used in muffins and other baked goods for a fluffier texture.
OTHER VERY COMMONLY USED FOOD ADDITIVES
DISODIUM 5′-RIBONUCLEOTIDE (DSRN)
WHAT IS IT?
Sources & references used in this article:
Microencapsulating properties of sodium caseinate by SA Hogan, BF McNamee, ED O’Riordan… – Journal of Agricultural …, 2001 – ACS Publications
Depletion flocculation of emulsions containing unadsorbed sodium caseinate by E Dickinson, M Golding – Food Hydrocolloids, 1997 – Elsevier
Sodium caseinate stabilized zein colloidal particles by AR Patel, ECM Bouwens… – Journal of Agricultural and …, 2010 – ACS Publications
Emulsification and microencapsulation properties of sodium caseinate/carbohydrate blends by SA Hogan, BF McNamee, ED O’Riordan… – International Dairy …, 2001 – Elsevier
Creaming and flocculation of oil-in-water emulsions containing sodium caseinate by E Dickinson, M Golding, MJW Povey – Journal of colloid and interface …, 1997 – Elsevier
Rheology of sodium caseinate stabilized oil-in-water emulsions by E Dickinson, M Golding – Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 1997 – Elsevier