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Organic Lecithin Has Health And Food Processing Benefits
Lecithin or phosphatidycholine (PC) is a phospholipid, first discovered in the 1800s by a French scientist called Maurice Gobley. He extracted the compound from an egg yolk and in 1850 the compound was named lecithin from the word lekithos, which is the Greek term for egg yolk.
This lecithin was first used commercially as an emulsifying agent for a number of years. It could extend the life of many processed foods so the food industry began to add it to all kinds of food products including baked goods, nut butters, candies, chocolates, protein drinks, prepared foods and instant soups. The lecithin would also be added to recipes for flavor and also to be an emulsifying agent.
In the 1930’s when there was a boom in soyabean consumption, the byproduct of the soyabean processing was discovered to include 1.8 percent of hydrophosphatides. If this sludge was put through a process called “degumming” organic lecithin could be extracted and it would be an alternative to the lecithin from eggs. With this new development, lecithin really gained in popularity.
In fact the organic lecithin from the soybean turned out to be a safer product. The animal’s lecithin goes through the kidneys and may come in contact with all sorts of toxins. The soyabean lecithin hasn’t got that kind of potential pitfall so presently soybean lecithin makes up the main part of lecithin sold commercially.
Aside from food, organic lecithin has a multitude of other uses and has been added to paints, metal tape, animal feeds and cosmetics. In addition to that, it is sometimes used as a supplement in things such as capsules, granules or pills.
There are a number of effects that are related to lecithin. For one, it keeps fat dispersed in food. It prevents the oils from separating. In fact, one theory is, that it in this way it may help keep the cholesterol levels in a body low in the same way. This is still a theory though. Lecithin allows the fat content in foods to be reduced while maintaining the taste.
Organic lecithin is comprised of ethanolamine, insotil, phosphatides of choline and other lipids. All living organisms have these substances which are necessary in the human for the muscles, liver and the reproductive tract.
Lecithins must be studied further by the medical research community. It may be a potential treatment for high cholesterol. It keeps the fat in the bile and disperses cholesterol. Right now lecithin has been added to a number of dietary supplements for weight loss.
Organic lecithin holds great promise in the weight loss and cholesterol control fields of medicine. In addition it is very important to modern day food processing.
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