Soy Lecithin Fact Sheet
COMPOSITION Soy lecithin consists of three types of phospholipids; phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphotidylinositol (PI). It is extracted fromsoybean oil and is generally used as a natural emulsifier or stabilizer in various food applications. PROCESSING Lecithin is a combination of naturally-occurring phospholipids, which are extractedduring the processing of soybean oil. The soybeans are tempered by keeping them at a consistent temperature and moisture level for approximately seven to 10 days. This process hydrates the soybeans andloosens the hull. The soybeans are then cleaned and cracked into small pieces and the hulls are separated from the cracked beans. Next, the soybean pieces are heated and pressed into flakes. Soybeanoil is extracted from the flakes through a distillation process and lecithin is separated from the oil by the addition of water and centrifugation or steam precipitation1. FUNCTIONAL BENEFITS Lecithinis utilized in a wide variety of food and industrial applications. The French scientist, Maurice Gobley, first discovered the substance in 1850, and named it "lekithos," the Greek term for egg yolk.At the time, eggs provided a primary source of commercially-produced lecithin. Today, the majority of lecithin used in food applications is derived from soybeans. Soy lecithin offers a multifunctional,flexible and versatile tool. It is probably best known for its emulsifying properties, which help promote solidity in margarine and give consistent texture to dressings and other creamy products.Lecithin is also used in chocolates and coatings and to counteract spattering during frying. Additionally, its unique lipid molecular structure makes lecithin useful for pharmaceutical and cosmeticapplications and various industrial uses such as paints, textiles, lubricants and waxes. HEALTH BENEFITS & CLAIMS Lecithin provides an excellent source of choline, which is essential to every living cell...
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