Sodium lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid that has a mild saline taste. It is produced by fermentation of a sugar source, such as corn or beets, and then, by neutralizing the resulting lactic acid to create a compound having the formula NaC3H5O3.
As a food additive, sodium lactate has the E number E325 and is naturally a liquid product, but also is available in powder form. It acts as a preservative, acidity regulator, and bulking agent.
Sodium lactate is used in cold process soap to harden the soap. It also serves as an anti-microbial agent, increasing the shelf life of plant-derived surfactant cleaners. In emollient shampoos, sodium lactate helps distribute the oils used, in part, to relieve itchy skin.
Sodium lactate is sometimes used in shampoo products and other similar items such as liquid soaps as it is an effective humectant and moisturizer. Sodium lactate is used to treat arrhythmias caused by overdosing of class I antiarrythmics, as well as pressor sympathomimetics which can cause hypertension.