What is Lecithin Used for in Food?

Trying to read the ingredients list on some foods can feel like reading a passage from a science textbook or even a sci-fi novel. It is important to know the ingredients in food not only because of potential allergies but also to have an awareness of how ingredients work, so we can make our own as well. Lecithin has been an ingredient in human food dating back to the 1800s. It helps to create the textures of foods and preserves and keeps the cost of food lower.

What Is Lecithin?

Lecithin occurs naturally in foods such as soy, sunflower seeds, canola, egg yolks, and corn. It is most often used as an emulsifying agent but can be used to preserve and protect flavor as well as add an antioxidant component. It is a fatty substance that attracts both water and fats, allowing them to mix. This helps to smooth food textures, homogenize liquid mixtures, and repel materials that normally stick.

Common uses of lecithin include: 

  • Prevents spattering when you fry certain foods
  • Helps create a better chocolate texture
  • Reduces friction in baking and candy making
  • Facilitates homogeneity in mixing
  • Produces better texture in dressings

Keep reading to learn about how lecithin emulsifies and preserves ingredients in commercial food products.

How Is Lecithin Used to Emulsify in Foods?

What is lecithin used for in food? This additive is commonly used to help ingredients mix smoothly. If you have ever made your own vinegar and oil dressing, you know the two ingredients mix for a moment, then separate. Lecithin makes those ingredients bind together and stay mixed. Other examples of foods that use lecithin are cocoa and butter in chocolate, caramels, and sauces such as béarnaise and hollandaise.

How Is Lecithin Used as a Preservative in Foods?

Innovative ways to preserve foods were necessary in the days before people had refrigeration in their homes. Preservatives are not all chemical compounds created in a lab. Lecithin, citric acid, sugar, vinegar, and salt are naturally occurring preservatives. Lecithin allows for foods like bread to be kept for longer because it holds the ingredients together and preserves the water, so the bread does not dry out. 

How Does Lecithin Help Keep the Price of Food Lower?

What is lecithin used for in food? Lecithin is easy to obtain from many foods, making it a sustainable ingredient. The foods that it naturally occurs in, such as soy, are also inexpensive to grow. Also, because it improves the shelf life of food, it helps eliminate the waste of food and money. 

What Your Body Uses Lecithin For?

Your body breaks down lecithin into choline, which has the following benefits: 

  • Facilitates nerve functions
  • Transports fat
  • Regulates metabolism
  • Maintains cells

Your body does not readily produce choline on its own. So, you need to get it from the food you eat.

Lecithin facilitates the treatment of several health conditions, including:

  • Enhances athletic performance
  • Alleviates anxiety
  • Improves sleep patterns
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Improves liver function

The benefits of lecithin include improving the texture and quality of food products, but they are also good for human health. Find out how your company can benefit from adding lecithin to food products.

Our Services 

National Lecithin has been a trusted supplier of soy lecithin and sunflower lecithin for over 45 years for commercial and industrial businesses. We supply our product to various industries, such as powdered food and drink mixes, chocolates and confectionary treats, edible cannabis, cosmetics, and painting and caulking. We have warehouses in both New Jersey and California, making it easier to get our products to you.

Contact us today for all your lecithin needs. We can supply small quantities or truckloads for larger needs. We are your number one lecithin supplier, shipping all over the United States and Canada.