In a world dominated by the internet, information streams faster than anything else. While it may have its own advantages, sometimes it does more harm than good.
Food and beverage manufacturers have especially been on their receiving end where their production lines have been significantly victimised by myths and misconceptions about certain ingredients.
This is particularly true for versatile ingredients like lecithin, whose multi-faceted properties often spark confusion and doubt. Today, we're shedding light on the truth behind some of the most pervasive lecithin myths, empowering you, the discerning manufacturer, to make informed choices for your creations.
This myth likely originated from the initial confusion surrounding the extraction process of lecithin. While early lecithins were extracted from animal sources like egg yolk, modern production primarily utilises plant sources like soybeans, sunflowers, and rapeseed. The natural phospholipids within these plants are carefully extracted and concentrated, leading to the misconception that it is a synthetically created additive.
Plant-based lecithin, the type most commonly used in food, is entirely natural. Derived from various plant sources, it is simply a concentrated form of phospholipids, which are naturally occurring fats found in plant tissues. It is not synthetically produced, nor is it a chemical additive. However, it is a powerhouse of natural functionality.
This myth may have stemmed from early studies focused on animal-derived lecithin, which is known to contain high levels of saturated fats. These studies wrongly attributed the negative cholesterol effects of saturated fat to lecithin itself.
The opposite is actually true. Lecithin contains choline, a vital nutrient that helps regulate cholesterol levels and prevent bile stone formation. In fact, studies have shown that soy lecithin can contribute to lowering LDL or bad cholesterol while increasing HDL or good cholesterol.
This misconception might have stemmed from the association of lecithin with mass-produced foods, where its emulsifying properties are often utilised. However, this overlooks its diverse applications.
While lecithin is indeed a valuable ingredient in processed foods, its applications extend far beyond. Bakers rely on it for improved dough elasticity and crumb texture in breads and pastries. Confectioners utilise its emulsifying power to create smooth, creamy chocolates and frostings. Even in healthy snacks and plant-based alternatives, lecithin plays a crucial role in binding ingredients and ensuring optimal shelf life.
This myth likely arose from a lack of awareness about the different types and sources of lecithin.
While the basic functionality of different lecithins is somewhat similar, their origins, processing methods, and even specific properties can vary greatly. At LECITEIN, we understand this nuance and offer a diverse range of plant-based lecithin options tailored to specific food and beverage applications. From liquid sunflower lecithin for smooth sauces to granular soy lecithin for enhancing bakery textures, we provide solutions that optimize your creations.
The focus of manufacturers on cost-efficiency and a lack of understanding about the ethical implications of ingredient sourcing have birthed this myth.
Responsible sourcing is paramount for today's conscious consumers and manufacturers. LECITEIN prioritises partnerships with farmers and remains committed to sustainable agriculture, ensuring minimal environmental impact and fair treatment for their communities. We also offer certified organic and non-GMO lecithin options, aligning with your ethical and brand commitments.
Debunking the myths surrounding lecithin is just the first step. Leveraging its true potential as a natural, functional ingredient is the next exciting chapter.
As a leading supplier of all forms of plant-based lecithin, LECITEIN is dedicated to empowering your success. We not only offer the highest quality lecithin solutions but also provide expert guidance and technical support to help you unlock the full potential of this versatile ingredient.
Contact us to discover how our lecithin solutions can elevate your food creations while aligning with your sustainability and ethical commitments.