NUMBER OF WORDS: 518
KEYWORD: "Organic Lecithin" = 14
Lecithin, sometimes referred to as phosphatidylcholine (PC), is a type of phospholipid that is used for a variety of purposes. It was first discovered in 1846 after French scientist Maurice Gobley extracted the compound from an egg yolk, but was only given its present name in 1850, coined from lekithos, Greek word for 'egg yolk.' For several years after that, organic lecithin sold commercially was derived entirely from eggs.
As a powerful emulsifying agent and an additive that could extend the shelf life of processed foods, the commercial food industry used the product in baked goods, chocolates, salad dressings, nut butters, candies, protein drinks, instant soups, and prepared foods. Organic lecithin could also be added into recipes to improve flavor and to act generally as an emulsifier.
Then, in the 1930s, soybean consumption experienced a boom and that when it was discovered that the sludge that was the by product of soybean processing actually contains about 1.8% hydrophosphatides, which consist of organic lecithin. Through a process called 'degumming,' organic lecithin was extracted from the sludge and sold as an alternative to egg lecithin.
Organic lecithin that comes from plants is generally regarded as safe. That is because animal lecithins are often excreted through the kidneys which may contain toxins and harmful substances, whereas you will never face that kind of danger with organic lecithins from plants. As a result, majority of the organic lecithin sold commercially in the market consist of soybean lecithin.
Besides being used in foods that we generally consume, organic lecithin has also expanded its function to include animal feeds, cosmetics, paints, and metal tape. The compound is even available as a supplement in capsules, pills, or granules.
Effects and Benefits
There are several functional effects associated with lecithin. First, it is an emulsifier, capable of keeping oils from separating and keeping fat molecules dispersed in food products. This ability of organic lecithin to keep essential oils and disperse fats is the basis of the scientific premise that the compound may have positively affect those with high cholesterol levels in the blood stream. But while there is very little evidence to prove that scientific claim, there is however enough proof of organic lecithin's emulsifying action to go around the commercial food industry. Lecithin can be used to lower the fat content of some foods at the same time enable them to still taste good.
Organic lecithin sold commercially is composed of a naturally occurring mixture of the phosphatides of choline, ethanolamine, and insotil, with smaller amounts of other lipids. This compound is present in every cell of all living organisms, but is especially vital in organs such as the liver and the reproductive tract and muscles containing high concentration of phospholipids.
The function of organic lecithin in the liver bears much attention from the medical field. Its role in keeping the fats in the bile and dispersing cholesterol is one of the many reasons why people believe that organic lecithin may be a potential treatment for high cholesterol. Even now, supplements of this compound is used as a quick fix to weight loss.