Do You Know What is Lecithin ?

Lecithin is a group of fatty substances composed of glycerol, fatty acids, phosphoric acid, choline, glycolipids, triglycerides, and phospholipids (e.g., phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, and phosphatidylinositol) that's found in nearly every living cell. Though the word lecithin is derived from the Greek "lekithos", which means "yolk of an egg," the primary commercial source of lecithin comes from the soybean. It is commonly referred to as soya or soy bean lecithin.
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SoyBeans8.pngWidely lecithin found in snack, for example, soy lecithin keeps the chocolate and cocoa butter together, preventing natural separation from occurring. It works the same way in foods such as peanut butter, ice cream, and margarine, where fats and waters would otherwise typically separate. In breads, it can help improve texture and size during baking.

Although many people believe that many soy lecithin dangers exist, the product has been largely found to be nontoxic and safe for human consumption. Some people are concerned that, as a byproduct of soybeans, it contains pesticides and solvents, such as the hexane used to produce the product, that could be harmful when eaten.


Why is there so much controversy about lecithin?

There is a lot of misinformation going around the net about soy and some other substances like canola oil. People make up rumors about these things and since human nature tends to be to focus on the negative they accept these rumors without question and pass on the rumor.

Some sites consider soy bad other people say the liquid is better and the granules useless, is there any differences?

Soy is not bad in general other than being a common allergen. And then there is the GMO thing, but this applies to other foods as well. A lot of these rumors were started by industries that soy competes with such as the meat and dairy industries.

Granule Lecithin

Liquid Lecithin

As for liquid vs. granules the granules are definitely better. If you ever saw crude liquid lecithin it is very thick and extremely sticky. Properties that don't make it easy to work with in machinery for bottling or soft gel technology. For this reason the crude lecithin is highly diluted with soy oil to thin it out enough to run through the processing machinery. Therefore the liquids have very little lecithin and are primarily soy oil. The granules are produced by removing the oil component from the lecithin. This concentrates the active components such as phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylethanolamine.

Lecithin can be found in a wide variety of foods. Nature puts it there as a natural emulsifier. Unfortunately, many of the richest sources of lecithin are also high in cholesterol and fat. For example, egg yolks and meats are good sources of lecithin. Grains, fruits and vegetables are much poorer sources. Because many people have decreased consumption of fatty foods, their intake of lecithin may be inadequate. Technical Specifications, Lecithin is also used in foods and in industry because it has very special properties. Did you know that over 99% of the lecithin used commercially comes from soybeans?

The lecithin is removed from soybean oil by injecting the oil with water, and then separating the lecithin-water mixture from the oil in a centrifuge (like the spin cycle in your washing machine), and drying the lecithin.
As an emulsifier, it plays an important part in obtaining the right texture for a variety of applications, including chocolate and confectionery, margarines and spreads, bakery, beverages, convenience foods, processed meats and ice cream.

Although many people believe that many soy lecithin dangers exist, the product has been largely found to be nontoxic and safe for human consumption. Some people are concerned that, as a byproduct of soybeans, it contains pesticides and solvents, such as the hexane used to produce the product, that could be harmful when eaten. Many sources of the soybeans used to make lecithin are genetically modified, which also worries many people. The use of unfermented soybeans is also a potential concern, as it has been linked to health issues, such as reproductive problems and allergies.

Lecithin has so many benefits in the body including helping cell membranes, bile formation, myelin formation, keeping the organs supple, fat absorption or diet supplement, etc. a tablespoon 3 times daily on a regular basis as long as the person is not allergic.


Lecithin Applications

Lecithin can be very useful for the human life because it is not only used in food, but also in several areas. Here is the more complete explanation:

Lecithin in Cooking

Beside the used of lecithin which have been mention several above, lecithin is also used in food preparation to create products such as baked goods and mayonnaise because of its ability to moisturize, preserve, and emulsify. It is a key ingredient in cooking spray—the substance used to replace oils, margarine, and butter in sautéing and baking.
Produced from soybeans, lecithin is a healthy and priceless culinary component. It's used in vegan or low fat cookery as a replacement to fat in baked foods, and improves texture and moisture at the same time. It can be mixed with an assortment of baked foods including breads, casseroles, cakes, and cookie dough as a pan release, anti-caking, and moisturizing agent.

Bakers also utilize lecithin for its power to create uniformity and helps dough rise. It also helps to lessen the dough’s tendency to be sticky while working. For the same emulsifying and suspending properties, it is mixed with assorted sauces including, gravies, nut butters, soups and gravies. Lecithin is also a crucial ingredient in caramels, chocolate and confectionary coverings for spattering control. Last but not least lecithin is a dispersing, wetting and emulsifying tool for powderized products, like cake mixes, instant powder mixes and cocoa powder.

When used in food products, soy lecithin is found in very small amounts. The typical component of the compound within a food product is one percent of the product's weight. It is often used to thin out candy, and reduce the stickiness of food ingredients. It can increase volume and shelf life, help ingredients mix cohesively, reduce potential batter spray during cooking, and enhance food texture.

Lecithin in Cosmetics
Lecithin powder being an emollient, is a soothing and softening agent. It also has excellent moisturizing attributes, and aids in hydrating your skin. In addition, lecithin has the unequaled power to deeply penetrate your skin. Due to this, it is thought that it may assist the body in drawing other properties into it as well. So if a product with natural healing ingredients then had the addition of lecithin, it is thought that it would actually bestow those helpful properties to a cellular level. With these amazing attributes, the addition of lecithin could aid in the medicinal and therapeutic properties of some body care products.
Cosmetically, it can be added together with shampoos, moisturizers, lip balms, makeup, conditioners, body washes, and a lot of other products. It's a excellent alternative to other stabilizing and emulsifying agents, a few of which are taken from petrochemical origins.

Lecithin in Health

Lecithin is a phospholipid which occurs naturally, and is a great source of choline. Lecithin is produced in our liver, and is essential for every cell in our body. If we didn't have choline, then the membrane of our cells would go hard thus preventing nutrients from entering and then leaving the cell. Lecithin also helps stop cholesterol deposits from accumulating in our blood vessels, and aids in the process of moving cholesterol around our bodies. Soy lecithin binds with cholesterol at a molecular level, and its in this way that it helps reduce the amount of cholesterol in our bloodstream, thus reducing cholesterol levels. It also assists with neurotransmitters which is essential for muscle control, memory and brain functions. Research has suggested that lecithin may possibly be helpful for repairing liver damage, and also protecting your body from liver damage.

For decades, lecithin has been a popular treatment for high cholesterol (although there is surprisingly little evidence that it works). More recently, lecithin has been proposed as a remedy for various psychological and neurological diseases, such as Tourette's syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, and bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression).
Lecithin contains a substance called phosphatidylcholine (PC) that is presumed to be responsible for its medicinal effects. Phosphatidylcholine is a major part of the membranes surrounding our cells. However, when you consume this substance it is broken down into the nutrient choline rather than being carried directly to cell membranes. Choline acts like folate, TMG (trimethylglycine), and SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) to promote methylation. (See the article on TMG for further discussion of this subject.) It is also used to make acetylcholine, a nerve chemical essential for proper brain function.

Besides that, lecithin also used in coatings (paints, magnetic tape coatings, waxes, polishes, wood coatings), plastic and rubber industry, glass and ceramic processing, paper and printing, masonry and asphalt products, petroleum industry, metal processing, pesticides, adhesives, textiles, and leathers (Stanley 1950; Brekke 1980; Szuhaj 1980, 1983). And in animal feed, it serves as a cheap source of protein.

Okay, because we're curious of the product in the market which contain lecithin, so we have done a small-scale observation to the nearer market and took the photos of them. Here they are :)

in butter

click to the thumbnail for larger image!

we also do expert visit that you can see on youtube.com and find the video with keyword lecithin expert visit

Lecitihin Functions


The unique surface-active properties of lecithin make it ideal for emulsification. An emulsion is a stable blend of materials that do not mix easily, tending to separate.
Emulsions are produced through dispersing one immiscible phase in another by mixing, colloidal milling or homogenization. The presence of emulsifying agents maintains the stability of this dispersion.

Margarins and Spreads
Infant Formulas
Icings and Frosting
Hand and Body Lotions
Petroleum Emulsions

Typically, lecithin products are added to the oil phase for oil-in- water emulsions. In water-in-oil emulsions, they must be added to the oil phase. Depending on the type of lecithin being used, heating to 120°f will aid in dispersion and can improve handling and mixing characteristics.