Lecithin has many different industrial applications and its top consumers are food processing industries. Lecithin helps in elevating the usual taste of certain foods and can sometimes become the missing piece of an edible recipe.
But why is lecithin added to edibles? Because it is more than an emulsifying agent. It increases the wettability of the mixture, its homogenizing characteristics help dissolve substances evenly, and its amphiphilic properties make water and oil soluble. Lecithin also keeps the ingredients from developing crumbs, increasing the shelf life of most edibles. It’s even used in many cannabis edible recipes.
In the edibles business, taste and texture are everything. They can make or break a product. Thus using lecithin has become essential. Other major reasons behind its usage are:
Lecithin’s main role, to this day, remains as an emulsifying agent. When added to any mixture it helps the ingredients become easily soluble.
One of the key benefits of using lecithin in the food manufacturing process is its behaviour with THC in the body. It is one of the few ingredients that can increase the bioavailability and infusion potency of phospholipid available in cannabinoids.
Lecithin also works as a surfactant that can reduce any solvent's surface tension. This characteristic helps with even distribution and homogeneous mixing of dry ingredients resulting in high production of edibles.
It’s also a great binding agent. Lecithin helps in binding complex ingredients that don't mix naturally. That’s mostly due to varying densities of these ingredients, like water and oil. Once you add lecithin to a recipe that carries such ingredients, magic happens and the mixture becomes more firm and uniform.
Another reason for adding lecithin to edibles is because it helps in the absorption of fats within the body. It also helps with digestion as its binding properties enhance metabolism. Most manufacturers add it to cannabis-based oils and butter which could be used as a baking catalyst.
Regardless of the type of edible produced, manufacturers want it to have a long shelf life. While consumers want such edibles to be additives-free. Lecithin caters to both needs. It is extracted from natural resources and acts as an additive that increases the shelf life of edibles and keeps them healthy and hygienic.
Now, let’s talk about the process of adding lecithin to edibles. No one formula suits all manufacturing processes. Depending on the product and its ingredients, the process can differ a lot.
The quantity of lecithin, for example, is dependent on the solvents in a recipe. depending on the solvents. The temperature and pressure stirred up in a mixture also have to be noted. Recipes will not deliver desired results if manufacturers fail to keep track of the temperature and control the moisture release.
Moreover, for vegan recipes, lecithin must match the ratio of egg yolks normally added to that recipe.
One of the most commonly used lecithins in edibles is soy lecithin. Unfortunately, its extraction process includes the use of various chemicals that can make lecithin unhealthy for consumption.
Since it is soybean-based, it also has all of soy’s allergens. According to Statista, around 1.9 million people in the US are allergic to soy. This has made the emulsifier a controversial option for manufacturers who target the United States for sales.
Sunflower is considered to be the most natural lecithin. It’s free of any chemicals and completely non-GMO. It is becoming the lecithin of choice for the edibles industry as it provides more powerful emulsification.
Another reason to opt for sunflower lecithin for edibles is that it has no allergens, and it fights bacteria and mould development better than soy lecithin.
With the varying variety of lecithin available in the market, its usage is becoming more common in various manufacturing industries. The food industry remains its top consumer and will maintain doing so in the foreseeable future.
Different forms of lecithin have different properties that serve different purposes. But its main uses remain to be as an emulsification agent and an additive to increase shelf life.
If you are looking for a global lecithin supplier that can cater to your need for all types of lecithin, connect with LECITEIN. We have no minimum order quantity requirements and we can ship to any corner of the world.