Soy lecithin is a product that is present in many foods and supplements. In addition, it also serves as an ingredient in various culinary recipes. In this content, we will show why soy lecithin is used in the food industry and in nutraceuticals, as well as homemade, in the preparation of meals.
Here are the topics that will be unraveled:
- What is soy lecithin
- Uses of soy lecithin
- Medicinal use of soy lecithin
- Organic soy lecithin
What is soy lecithin
Lecithin is a lipid that is produced in the liver, but there are situations in which its production is insufficient.
This nutrient is used in our body by the circulatory and nervous systems , and is of vital importance for the body, as it constitutes the cell membrane, which contributes to the formation of organic tissues. To supply lecithin in the body or compensate for its lack, it is possible to consume this fat through foods such as soy and derivatives or supplementation of this substance.
Lecithin is usually extracted from soybeans and is basically a fat obtained through the grain of the plant, during the process of extracting soybean oil.
This vegetable fat has several properties, benefits and uses. And that is what will be seen in the next topics.
Soy lecithin has the following health benefits:
- As a source of choline, it stimulates brain cells
- Lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations
- Prevents arteriosclerosis
- Help with weight loss regimes
- Improves blood circulation
Uses of soy lecithin
Soy lecithin has several uses, in addition to being used as a nutritional supplement, an ingredient in cosmetic products, it also serves as a vegetable emulsifier in the culinary and food industry, as it gives a better mixture to the ingredients (flours, sugars, oils, yeast, etc.) ensuring uniformity and elasticity to the dough, making the processing of these products more practical.
Because of its property , soy lecithin is used as an egg substitute in vegan recipes. Each tablespoon of soy lecithin (emulsion) replaces 1 egg in the recipe, or you can also use 1 to 2% lecithin according to the weight of the flour used in the recipe. This product is well used in breads, vegetable margarines, chocolates, cakes, pies, fillings, cookies, cookies, ice cream, creams, etc.
In cooking , soy lecithin can be used in several ways, such as:
- Emulsifier(mixing water with oil) in bread, cakes, pies, fillings, pasta recipes in general.
- In the sauce, a teaspoon of powdered soy lecithin is able to unite the particles, making it more full-bodied.
- Egg substitutein recipes for cake, biscuits and breads.
- Powdered lecithin can be used over salads.
- To incorporate fruit juices, just add a small spoonful of powdered lecithin, the fruit juice broth thickens in just two minutes. This is due to the emulsifying power of lecithin that joins the pieces of the beaten fruit to the added water portion.
Types of Soy Lecithin for Culinary Use
Soy lecithin is available in two forms for consumption:
- in powder
- and liquid (gel type)
Soy lecithin nutrients
Nutritional table of powdered soy lecithin:
- Portion of 100 g (1 tablespoon)
- Caloric Value 543 kcal
- Carbohydrates 50 g
- Proteins 4 g
- Total Fat 36 g
- Saturated Fat 9 g
- Trans Fat 0 g
- Fiber 0 g
- Sodium 3 mg
Soy lecithin has a good concentration of the following nutrients:
- Omega 3
- omega 6
Soy lecithin is mainly composed of 3 types of phospholipids:
The nutritional profile of soy lecithin is formed by the following nutrients:
- 33 to 35% soy oil
- 20 to 21% phosphatidylinositol
- 19 to 21% phosphatidylcholine
- 8 to 20% phosphatidylethanolamine
- 5 to 11% of other phospholipids
- 5% carbohydrates
- 2 to 5% sterols
- 1% humidity
- It has essential oils such as linoleic and linolenic acid, known as omegas 3 and 6
Due to the high content of phosphatidylcholine, soy lecithin is beneficial for heart and brain health .
Choline, which is produced from phosphatidylcholine, present in lecithin, acts in the formation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which performs several important brain functions, helping to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia .
Medicinal use of soy lecithin
As a supplement, soy lecithin can be used to treat:
- memory disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- liver and gallbladder diseases
- some types of depression
- high cholesterol
- skin disease known as eczema
In these cases it is usually found as a supplement, in capsules, powder or tablets.
It is recommended to follow the instructions on the product label.
If you intend to use soy lecithin, consult a doctor beforehand for further guidance and information on its proper use, considering your particular case.
Soy lecithin can have some reactions if the person is allergic or uses it improperly:
- abdominal pain
- gas sensation
- change in the level of some hormones
- pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoidusing soy lecithin or consult a doctor before using this product.
- Allergic people
- Patients who are using drugs such as diclofenac due to drug interaction interfering with the effect of this drug.
Organic soy lecithin
Due to the cultivation and indiscriminate production of soy , which leads to excessive deforestation and genetic alteration of this plant, the use of organic soy lecithin is recommended, as it is produced in a more sustainable and natural way, without genetic interference, a fact that some research on GMOs indicates that they can interfere with our health.