Pantry-friendly lecithin

by Laurie Gorton
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Lecithin's proven functionality fosters a back-to-the-basics approach.

When it comes to clean label, lecithin is hard to beat. “Bakers are looking for pantry-friendly ingredients that they can highlight, not hide from,” said Bill Gilbert, certified master baker, principal food technologist, Cargill. “Thus, many bakers now rely on natural lecithin from egg yolks or vegetable origins for multiple functions rather than using multiple co-emulsifiers for each desired functional attribute.”

Its proven functionality fosters a back-to-the-basics approach.

“Lecithin has always been perceived as a cleaner emulsifier,” Mr. Gilbert added. Commonly used in bread, lecithin can replace two components (monoglycerides and DATEM) without adding to the ingredient list. “Our customers are very excited at the opportunity to have a shortened label without impacting the overall quality of the final product or increasing cost in use,” he said.

Europe’s Sternchemie focuses on sunflower and rapeseed lecithin. “Both types offer peace-of-mind about their non-GMO status, traditionally required by the majority of European market, a few markets in Asia-Pacific and an evolving market in the US,” said Marie-Kristin von der Heide, junior marketing manager, Sternchemie. Both sources are both recognized as non-allergenic, addressing another consumer concern.

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