Lecithin – A natural emulsifier
Marion Günther, Lecico GmbH, Germany
Lecithin is a complex mixture of different polar phospho- and glycolipids and neutral lipids (tryglycerides, sterine fatty acids). Due to its molecular structures lecithin has both hydrophilic, i. e. water-loving and lipophilic, i. e. fat-loving properties. This ability to interact simultaneously with oil and water is the reason why it works as a perfect, effective and stable emulsifier and dispersing agent.
In addition to the technological properties Lecithin offers a wide range of physiological benefits, given by the phospholipids con-
tained in it.
Phospholipids – as functional ingredients > The phospholipids are the functional ingredients of all lecithins both from a technological and physiological point of view. The broader range of processes and technologies available offer the possibility to produce tailor-made functional ingredients which are used in various special food applications especially in food supplements, functional food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical application products. Every phospholipid has its own specific application profile. Extensive scientific studies have demonstrated the effects on the human body that can result from the nutritional action of phospholipids such as phosphatidylserine as a brain cell nutrient, phosphatidylcholine for liver cell regeneration, soya phospholipids for lipid reducing effects and hydrogenated phospholipids as a basis for production of stable liposomes.