Sodium Aluminum Silicate

What is Sodium Aluminum Silicate?

Sodium aluminum silicate is a food additive. It is used to prevent caking and clumping so that powdered foods flow more easily.

Description:

picture of ingredient list with sodium aluminum silicate

Ingredients

Sodium aluminum silicate is a naturally occurring acid salt.  It is made from a combination of silicon, sodium, aluminum and oxygen.  The natural form is also known as albite feldspar. It is used by potters as a glazing and strengthening agent.

For the food industry, it is synthetically produced. The exact chemical compositions used will depend on the specific application. 

It looks like colourless, odorless crystals.[1]

Common Uses:

I first encountered sodium aluminum silicate while looking over the ingredient list of a powdered coffee creamer.

You should look for sodium aluminum silicate on the label of powdered or granulated foods.  Specifically, look for it in foods like dried or powdered milk, cake mixes, instant powdered soups, and instant chocolate milk.

Side Effects / Health Issues:

Food additives containing aluminum are coming under more and more scrutiny due to health concerns [2].

I have always heard that aluminum in food has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.  The Alzheimer’s Association says that this is a myth. They say that no studies have ever confirmed a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease [3].

E Number:

Sodium Aluminum Silicate has an E number of 554.  Other anti-caking/anti-clumping food additives are found in the range E530 to E578.

Personal Notes:

Most sources indicate that it is safe to consume in the quantities normally used in foods. But, I simply don’t like the idea of eating synthetically produced chemicals.  This is one ingredient that I’m going to try and avoid.

What are your thoughts?  

Please leave a comment. Let me know what you think about foods containing sodium aluminum silicate.

Sources:

[1] LiveStrong.com: What Is the Use of Sodium Aluminum Silicate in Food?

[2] Health Canada Requests Information from Industry on the Use of Aluminum-Containing Food Additives

[3] Alzheimer’s Myths: Alzheimer’s Association

 

 

Posted in Food Additives
22 comments on “Sodium Aluminum Silicate
  1. Lou says:

    My thought is that; although the Alzheimers Association says there is no risk from routine daily exposure; I do not consider aluminum additives to food to be routine. The aluminum pot thing was a claim by a company that sold door to door cookware to scare housewives into throwing out their aluminum ones and buying the new brand. It worked, very well. But yes, to purposefully add aluminum to my food, no thanks. 😀

    • Mark says:

      Hi Lou,

      Thanks for the comment. Interesting about the aluminum pot myth. I tend to agree with you – I simply don’t like the idea of eating synthetically produced chemicals.

    • Terry says:

      Alumininum pots tend to oxides quite quickly,
      this oxidation you don’t want to be eating.
      So, scour your aluminum pots until they are shiney
      and keep them that way.

    • Mr Khan says:

      Selicates is linked to esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Most common in the Turkmen population around Caspian sea!! You can read more in Robins Pathology book from GI section.

  2. Gary C. says:

    Found your blog while looking for information on sodium aluminum silicate. The aluminum cookware story mentioned in another comment makes more sense.

    Even so I feel the less chemical additives ion our food the better.

    Besides, many foods that have anti-caking agents really don’t need them. Does it really matter if some powders cake a little?

    • Mark says:

      Thanks for the comment Gary.

      You’re right. Look at all of the chemicals we add to food for strictly superficial reasons – anti-caking agents, artifical colours and flavours. Is it all really necessary?

  3. boytoy says:

    I have found, personally, that using Sodium Aluminum Phosphate really helps powders to disolve much easier in liquid. The inverse leaves big clumps that won’t dissolve for hours. Studies show no direct correlation between moderate ammounts of this chemical and the disease Alzheimers. Can a product containing this be considered organic because even though I think so, I’m not sure?! Thanks!

    • Mark says:

      Well, I’ve never had a question like this before.

      You’re asking whether a food to which you’ve added Sodium Aluminum Phosphate can be considered organic. I would say that organic food can be defined as food that is produced without using any synthetic chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) and are not processed using artificial chemical food additives. Wikipedia has a similar definition of organic food

      By this definition, I would say no. Anything to which you’ve added Sodium Aluminum Phosphate cannot be considered organic.

      Thanks for the comment

      • Lindsay Leavitt says:

        I believe it can be considered organic, I’m currently studying an organic coffee that lists this as an ingredient. Interesting, huh.

  4. Blumesa says:

    I wonder what are the different effects that aluminum has on our body. I was recently introduced to Organo Gold (a pyramid type company that “sells” coffee), and realized the Coffee had Sodium Aluminum Silicatein the ingredients. After watching all th seasons of Breaking Bad, I know that aluminum is key to the actors cooking methamphetamine. I bet the full effects of aluminum are still unknown.

  5. Edward says:

    Yes. I agree, I’m an Organo Gold Distributor also. I really don’t like synthetics in my food. Just try our Organo Gold Black Coffee, It is pure coffee and Ganoderma lucidum It’s main Ingredients.

    • Vicki Benson says:

      It is the coffee *creamer* that is present in their Latte and Cafe Mocha products that contain the Sodium Aluminum Silicatein (found in parenthesis after ‘Coffee Creamer’ in the ingredients list, not the plain coffees (like the Organo Black coffee). Not one to prefer creamer in my coffee (because of the additives), I just add milk :)

  6. Cheryl says:

    I also ran across this blog while searching the ingredient. I tend to end up with these Organo Gold packets all the time, and I try to give them away. In response to the commenter who may have thought this is organic coffee, it only lists the Ganoderma extract as organic. Even possibly the coffee is organic, but that doesn’t mean the product is organic. When I read the label, I did not get that message whatsoever, only that the Ganoderma extract is, which means little to me. I’m used to reading labels, though.

    I think anytime I see aluminum in a product, there is a concern. From my understanding, it settles in the brain, and I think there is a lot more information out there if you dig. I once attended a lecture about the effects of metals in our bodies from a very enlightening doctor at a Weston A Price conference in San Francisco. She lives in Northern California also. There are probably articles by her and other researchers on the westonaprice.org website with great information about how metals affect us. I believe the conference was 2009 or 2010, so you may find the transcript.

    • Mark says:

      Hi Cheryl,

      Thanks for the comment. You’re probably right that only some of the ingredients are organic.

      Thanks for the tips for more information. I’ll definitely look into it, and maybe post an update if I get some time.

  7. Ed says:

    Just a note – Sodium Aluminum Silicate is not a synthetic chemical. Its proper name is common mud. Mud forms by the breakdown of feldspar, which is effectively composed of sodium (or calcium), aluminum, and silica. The aluminum is bound so strongly to the structure of the mud, that your body cannot separate it for use in metabolism. As a result – even if aluminum was a culprit in Alzheimer’s disease, mud would not be a donor of that aluminum….

  8. Denise says:

    I have a strong suspicion that when I consumed organo gold hot chocolate which contains sodium aluminium silicate, it interfered with my parkinsons medication. (Levodopa) Also have seen articles on websites that back up my experience.

  9. Cliff says:

    Comment Made By Sarah 3/30/2011

    Also, take a glace at the ingredients on the side of the bottles or boxes. You’ll notice that E554 or Aluminum Silicate is also a surprise guest in the products. If you know nothing about that, consuming it could potentially cause placental problems in pregnancy and/or has been linked to Alzheimer’s. http://organogoldscam.blogspot.com/2011/03/dont-drink-coffee.html

    Comment Made By Cliff 2-6-14

    Patricia
    “I have an Organo Gold package in front of me and it has aluminum sodium silicate.”

    Patricia I have a complete shipment of OG products that include their tea and I can’t find any such mention of aluminum on any of the packets or bottles. Your post was made in 2011 and mine of course 2014. Do you think that OG has taken the aluminum out of their products or worse failed to list the aluminum on it or hidden it in another name?

    I am an investigator and I am trying to get feed back on OG for my report. Any of the others on this blog who may know something more on this please make contact with me through this blog. Thanks. http://www.mushroomcoffeecanada.com/organo-gold-ingredients/comment-page-1/#comment-11779

    Perhaps OG was smart enough to not put aluminum silicate on their products and just hide it in the cream they use. Any comments would be appreciated here for clarification.

    Cliff

    • Jain says:

      Aluminum doesn’t leave the body and it is hard to remove. Get your hair analyzed to see the damage ingesting aluminum has done.

  10. Jaycen says:

    Aluminum silicate is oxidized aluminum silica. That means it is inert.

    I’ve never understood what the hang up is with man-made chemical compositions. They’re identical to the same compositions in nature. That means atom-for-atom, molecule-for-molecule, the chemical is identical. No difference.

    Also, food companies aren’t helping themselves if they kill their customers, so the idea that evil corporations are adding things to your food to make you sick is beyond silly. It’s always possible someone’s taking a short cut to save money, but that’s what the court system is for. Sue them.

    Of course, you must first prove what you claim, so it helps to have at least a passing familiarity with chemistry.

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