Lecithin - HSF Nutra
Things You Need to Know about Lecithin in Food Industries

Things You Need to Know about Lecithin in Food Industries

Lecithin Supplement, Lecithin in Food, Find out more about Lecithin in HSF Biotech.

Lecithin is a mixture of fats that are essential to cells in the human body, and is a group of chemicals that belongs to compounds called phospholipids.

Have you ever noticed soy lecithin on your food’s ingredient list? It appears to be in everything at times! It makes us wonder: how could one small additive be so wide spread? Because it’s extremely useful.

Lecithin has been used in the food industry for many years. Lecithin is an important factor in the optimization of food due to its good texture-giving properties, and its harmlessness to health or even health-promoting properties in some cases.

What is Lecithin

What is Lecithin?

Lecithin acts as an emulsifier and stabilizer in foods. It’s widely used in yeast-leavened bakery products and cakes. This ingredient can be found in raw materials like eggs or soybeans, and it can be used as a clean-label ingredient.

The name “lecithin” comes from the Greek word “lekithos,” which means “egg yolk.” It was first discovered in eggs in 1846. Lecithin is now one of the most versatile and valuable oilseed byproducts.

The U.S. lecithin industry, which dates back to 1940, has seen significant growth in recent decades as lecithin has become a more common nutraceutical and food supplement ingredient, according to the book “Polar Lipids.”

Manufacturing Lecithin

Soy lecithin is extracted from soybeans at the same time as soybean oil is made by food manufacturers. To get to soy lecithin, a food manufacturer must first keep the soybeans at a constant temperature and humidity so that the hull and seed can be easily separated. After loosening the seeds, they are heated and pressed into flakes, releasing soybean oil.

This oil is distilled and then mixed with water to allow a centrifuge to spin at high speeds. Soy lecithin is the end product of this somewhat lengthy process.

The Three Main Functions of Lecithin

1. Emulsification and Stabilization

Emulsifiers help to blend liquids that otherwise would not remain blended together on their own. This is key for products that contain water and oils, such as margarine and salad dressings. Soy lecithin’s emulsifying properties also help to prevent cooking sprays and margarine from spattering when used for frying. Soy lecithin not only helps to stabilize these emulsions, it also helps blend fats and fine solids. Chocolate bars are a great example, as they often contain cocoa butter, milk, sugar and fine, solid cocoa. Soy lecithin helps to combine and stabilize these ingredients. As such, soy lecithin is a very common ingredient in the confectionery industry.

2. Wetting and Lubrication

Because of lecithin’s ability to aid in the mixing of ingredients, it is an excellent wetting agent. This property is required in instant food and beverage products that require the mixing of a solid powder with a liquid. Soy lecithin aids the dissolution of solid particles in liquids in these blends, resulting in a smooth and stable final product. In a similar way, it aids in increasing the lubricating properties of fats and oils. Soy lecithin, for example, ensures that your food binds with the oils in non-stick cooking spray rather than the surface of your pan.

3. Nutritional Supplement

Soy lecithin is a good source of choline, a nutrient that is required by all of your body’s cells. This substance aids in the formation of cell membranes and the maintenance of their porous, pliable structure. A lack of choline in the diet can cause cell membrane stiffening. Nutrient absorption, nerve function, and the metabolism of fats, cholesterol, and methyl in nutrients like B-vitamins all suffer as a result of this.

As a result, increasing choline intake may aid cognitive function, cardiovascular health, liver function, reproduction, and athletic performance.

The Uses of Lecithin in Food Industry

Emulsifiers are essential in the baking industry. Lecithin can replace synthetic emulsifiers due to its excellent properties, and it is responsible for a number of product advantages, including: increased volume yield, improved freshness, improved dough properties, optimized fat distribution, and increased fermentation tolerance. including:

  • High volume yield
  • Improved freshness
  • Better dough properties
  • Optimised fat distribution
  • Increased fermentation tolerance

Baking Substances

Lecithin, which is used in baking agents, helps to strengthen the gluten network during dough preparation. Lecithin, when combined with proteins, improves fluid retention in the dough structure, resulting in improved freshness.


Lecithins in pastry products help to distribute individual components like fat and sugar more evenly throughout the mass. They also allow for better processing properties and uniform browning of baked goods.


Lecithin is the component that ensures the best distribution of ingredients in waffles. In addition to the pleasant browning, the structure of the waffle or the contours of the corrugation are very important as a separating agent from the waffle iron. The use of lecithin also extends the time between baking plate cleanings.

The Uses of Lecithin in Food Industry

Yeast Pastry

In yeast-raised doughs, lecithin improves the adhesive’s extensibility. As a result, fermentation stability improves, resulting in finer, more even pores. Enzymatically hydrolyzed lecithins can be used to stop fermentation in the middle of making dough pieces. They are able to bring the free dough water into small, fine, uniform ice crystals during freezing, thus protecting the adhesive framework and maintaining volume, thanks to their hydrophilic properties.

Low-fat baked goods such as crackers or grissini, frozen doughs, cakes and cake mixes, and pizza bases are among the many applications.


The use of lecithin in chocolate mass enables the most expensive raw material, cocoa butter, to be saved. Furthermore, lecithin has an effect on how chocolate crystallizes on the surface. It adjusts the viscosity and flow limits of chocolate masses with its single phospho-lipids, allowing for energy and chocolate mass savings, such as in coating masses.

The use of lecithin fractions in chocolate masses, such as ice cream coatings, chocolate candies, and bar coatings, allows for significant cost savings while maintaining uniform coating.

The Uses of Lecithin in Food Industry-2


Margarine in the “light margarine” category has a fat content of approximately 40%. The splashing of water and the burning of protein components during the frying process are two major drawbacks. An increase in PC content, as well as the development of smoke over a longer frying process, can have a positive impact on this. Because of their high hydrophilicity, enzyme-hydrolyzed lecithins are also popular. Improved spreadability.

  • Reduced spattering during frying
  • Improved flavour release
  • Longer shelf life thanks to the antioxidant effect
  • Even dispersion of ingredients


Lecithin improves the dispersion ability of the individual powder forms. It shortens the sinking time and ensures a fine stable emulsion of the beverages. Furthermore, lecithins are also added during spray drying or during mixing.

Here, lecithin’s that are enriched with PC or from whom oil has been removed, are advantageous because they are absolutely neutral in taste.

Lecithin is used for optimizing:

  • Cocoa drinks
  • Milk shakes
  • Protein shakes
  • Milk powder