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Highest-quality lecithins
and phospholipids
for use in food, nutrition,
industrial, personal care
and pharmaceutical production.


How Lecithins Work

Lecithins are used mainly as emulsifiers. They are surface active: simultaneously hydrophilic (water-loving) and hydrophobic (water-repelling).

This unique quality enables them to make stable blends of materials that otherwise do not mix easily and tend to separate.

Emulsions are produced by dispersing normally unmixable material into another by mixing, colloidal milling or homogenization. The surface-active properties of lecithins reduce mixing time and maintain the stability of the dispersion. The amount of lecithin needed to blend substances depends on the overall fat content in the end product.

In addition to emulsifiers, lecithins can be:

Wetting and Instantizing Agents
Lecithins provide fast, complete wetting of powders into aqueous systems.

Viscosity Modifiers
Lecithins greatly reduce the surface tension of fats, enabling particles of chocolate, sugar and milk products, for example, to be coated, improving flow and mixability. Typical usage levels are 0.2 – 0.6% of total product weight.

Release Agents
Lecithins promote separation of food from contact surfaces in dip tanks and spray applications. Water-filled dip tanks usually contain up to 10% de-oiled lecithin; pan or belt-release applications consist mainly of vegetable oil with approximately 2% lecithin.

Separating Agents
When applied directly to products such as processed cheese slices, lecithins help form a stable film barrier that prevents them from sticking together. When used directly in products such as baked goods, they enhance the ability to cut and shape products and reduce sticking to mixing vessels.

Extrusion Aids
Extrusion technology uses lecithin as a processing aid to enhance extrusion rates and throughput, resulting in more economical production. Examples of extruded products include fat-free pretzels, reduced fat snacks and pastas.

Anti-Dusting Agents
Lecithins enhance wettability; they reduce static interface and prevent fine dust particles.

Shelf- Life Aids
Lecithins can help prevent product degradation. They can, for example, interact with the amylose portion of wheat flour to slow starch retrogradation. This process helps extend shelf life.

Nutritional Supplements
Lecithins have nutritional value of their own. The phospholipids they contain, such as phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylserine (PS) and derivatives such as glycero-phosphocholine (alpha-GPC) have been widely acknowledged by nutritionists, and substantiated by numerous human clinical studies, as beneficial to the function of the liver, brain, heart, and other organs. American Lecithin Company offers three products, ALCOLEC® PC, ALCOLEC® PS and ALCOLEC® GPC, specifically for use in softgel, tablets, and hardcap nutritional supplements.

Delivery Systems
Lecithins enriched in phosphatidylcholine (PC) can be used in technologies that maximize the bioavailability of the vitamins and nutrients in tablets, granules, pellets and extruded shapes, liquid formulations, liposomal dispersions and micro-emulsions.