Food emulsifiers have long been a vital ingredient in processed foods. Emulsifiers perform numerous functions include aerating/foaming agents, defoaming agents, crystallization promoters, viscosity modifiers, dispersants, crystallization inhibitors, lubricants and agglomerating agents (Wilkes, 1992). Still other emulsifying ingredients occur naturally. An example is lecithin derived from soybean oil. It is lecithin’s ability to simultaneously interact with both oil and water that makes it such an effective and stable emulsifier. When introduced into a system, an emulsifier acts to help maintain a stable emulsion between two unmixable liquids. The emulsifier decreases the surface tension between the two liquids and allows them to mix and form a stable, heterogeneous dispersion

Lecithin is the collective term used for a group of substances called phospholipids. Phospholipids have strong surface active properties, which means they reduce surface tension at the interface between oil and water. If you add a lecithin to a product, therefore, you ensure a stable emulsion process, as the lectihin will disperse the oil into incredibly small droplets during the homogeneous water phase. Without the addition of lecithin, the oil and water would separate after stirring.

Chocolate Production
– Excellent flowing properties
– 0.5% lecithin addition can save approximately 6% of cocoa butter
– Enables the reduction of viscosity
– Promotes easier ingredient blending
– In chewing gums, contributes to a long lasting flavor and improves softness.

Baking – Cakes & Breads
– Improves water absorption of the dough
– Promotes ease of handling of the dough by making the dough less sticky
– Increases fermentation tolerance by acting as a natural buffer, and strengthening the gluten matrix
– Improves bread volume and bread score by acting as a dough conditioner.

Biscuit Production
– Enable good distribution of fatty material in the dough
– Reduces cracking
– Improves water binding
– Nutritional quality of the biscuits and wafer is also improved due to the reduction of fat.

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