With the world becoming more aware of the benefits of healthy living, clean label products have garnered a lot of popularity. That means that food product manufacturers are now looking for emulsifiers acquired from organic resources, for example, lecithin.
Despite lecithin gaining popularity recently as an emulsifying agent in clean-label processed food, it is not new in the industry. It has, in fact, long been an alternative to a rising agent or yeast, as it is more commonly known, for bakeries that produce large amounts of leavened products. It acts as a stabilising agent in the mixture and keeps it from separating.
But that’s not all. Its emulsifying properties also make lecithin a great natural preservative that extends the shelf-life of packaged baked goods. Lecithin is specifically a mainstay ingredient in recipes that use eggs for binding other ingredients together. Since it can be used as an alternative to eggs for most baking recipes, it is also easier on the pocket.
If you are in the baking business, however, you already know what lecithin does. What you might not know, or maybe be confused about, is which type of lecithin is best suited for baking?
Well, the answer to this can vary depending on the specificity of the use case, or in this case, the item being baked. Lecithin can be acquired in various forms like powdered, granulated or liquid. Let’s look at each of these forms:
Powder lecithin is colourless and odourless. It is acquired by extracting all of the oil from its base. Powdered lecithin is the easiest to use.
Granulated lecithin is somewhat hard to use as it needs to be dissolved to yield the desired results. This makes it a baker’s least preferred lecithin form to use.
Liquid lecithin resembles motor oil in colour and viscosity. But it is much more sticky and messy to use.
For bakers that condition their dough with lecithin or use it as a preservative, powdered form is preferred. It is used in very small quantities for both these purposes. Nonetheless, when you use it for eggless baking, its liquid form is more fancied.
Regardless of its form, lecithin has the same properties, unless it is extracted from a different resource, like plants, eggs, rice, animal fat, and fish.
Not all resources are entirely organic. Most are genetically modified. Going into the detail of that will be of no use here. You can run an internet search anytime to learn all about GMO and non-GMO lecithin.
The most common lecithin used in commercial bakeries is plant-based. More specifically, derived from either soybeans or sunflower seeds.
Soybean lecithin is considered to carry some minuscule amount of allergens. Either that or some of its properties cause an allergic reaction in some people. That is, however, a special case scenario.
Lecithin extracted from sunflower seeds carry all the properties of soy lecithin, minus the allergens. Meaning, it is preferred over soy lecithin, especially in the baking business and can be bought in the various forms discussed above.
Again, the answer to this is subjected to the item being prepared, the ingredients being used, and the purpose of the lecithin being added. The measure also highly depends on the form of lecithin being used. Do remember that the measure has to be quite accurate or the whole recipe can be ruined.
Since there’s too much discrepancy here, giving an accurate answer is nearly impossible. However, Lecitein Limited does know that this dilemma is very common among new users of lecithin. That is why we offer custom formulations to our clients.
So, if you are confused about the right quantity of lecithin to use in your mixtures, feel free to reach out to us. Our technical support team can help develop a sustainable custom blend of lecithin that is perfectly suited for your needs.
Lecithin is not an off-the-shelf item. You cannot find it in retail stores. But it can be bought from some wholesalers as lecithin is sold in bulk quantities. The best place to buy them would be to directly go to a source, as it would save you loads in price.
Nevertheless, you need to find a supplier that can cater to all quantity needs. If you are running a small bakery, chances are that you might not want to order lecithin in tonnes.
The good news is that Lecitein Limited entertains orders of all sizes and provides Grade A quality lecithin to a global clientele. We handle everything from packaging to logistics. And, to keep our customers in the know, we give them exclusive access to our customer portal. Contact us anytime to learn more.
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