Organic Sunflower Lecithin
What is Sunflower Lecithin?
The naturally occurring Sunflower Lecithin belongs to the group of phospholipids. It is ideal for a variety of applications in the organic food and beverage industry, including infant formulas, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics where it is used as an emulsifier and antioxidant. It is is also highly valued as a daily nutrient, and is much used in the nutraceutical industry.
Benefits of sunflower lecithin
Organic sunflower lecithin has a similar fatty acid composition to soy lecithin with added benefits of low odor and a more neutral taste. Additionally it is lactose-free, gluten-free, vegan, and can be used for kosher and halal products.
- Phosphoric acid
- Fatty acids
- Phospholipids (phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol)
Given the GMO-controversy and the growing awareness of food allergies, we believe that organic sunflower lecithin will become increasingly more important in the food and food supplements industry. It is also a a GMO-free, hypoallergenic alternative to traditional lecithin obtained from soybeans. Today, only 7% of the soy farmed in North America is non-GMO!
Mesko Health sells to both Canada and the USA. Our liquid organic sunflower lecithin has the added advantage is that it is not extracted with chemical solvents. Do contact us if you require it in powder form.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recognized Choline in 1998 as an essential nutrient. Being part of the B-vitamin complex, Choline was found to have various roles in human metabolism from cell structure to neurotransmitter synthesis. Choline is the precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in many functions including memory and muscle control. Lacking choline has also shown to impact the liver, atherosclerosis and potentially neurological functions.
Choline must be consumed through the diet for the body to remain healthy. Once entered in the cell Choline converts to PC (= aka lecithin) the predominant phospholipid in most mammalian membranes or oxidized to betaine such as hepatocytes. Betaine is important as it provides methyl groups to homocystein to form the essential amino acid methionine.
According to the US Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board the Adequate Intake (AI) for choline for women aged 19 and older is 425 mg/per day, and 550 mg/per day for men aged 19 and older.
Lecithin can be extruded from soybeans, eggs, milk, marine sources, rapeseed, cottonseed, and sunflower. Commercial Lecithin is extracted by using hexane, ethanol, acetone, petroleum ether, benzene etc., or applying a mechanical process.
Our Organic Sunflower Lecithin is free from the above and is gently extracted through water.
Organic Sunflower Lecithin is a great alternative for consumers concerned about genetically modified food.
In 2000, in Europe regulation was passed which required labelling of food containing additives derived from GMOs (see Regulation (EC) 50/2000).
Organic Lecithin in Europe requires to follow a meticulous system of identity preservation (IP) which tracks and documents the seed’s characteristics, its planting, growing conditions, all the way to the processing, packaging and sale.
For Ashkenazy Jews soy-derived lecithin is not allowed on Passover. Sunflower lecithin is therefore a great alternative.
For Muslims, lecithin derived from plants and egg yolks as well as that derived from animals slaughtered according to the rules of dhabihah is permissible.
In the food industry, lecithin’s main use is as an emulsifier or lubricant with a variety of application such as controlling sugar crystallization and the flow properties of chocolate, stabilization of emulsion, improving textures, even distribution of ingredients in doughs to only name a few.
In the United States, Lecithin is considered GRAS (generally recognized as safe) and therefore approved for human consumption.
In the EU, lecithin is designated as E322 and classified as a food additive.
Research has shown that Choline benefits acne, improves liver function and can lower cholesterol.
Lecithin was discovered by Theodore Gobley in 1847. The French chemist and pharmacist named the substance phosphatidylcholine he found in egg yolk lecithine according to the Greek word “lekithos” (egg yolk). Besides establishing the complete formula of phosphatidylcholine in 1874, he proved the presence of lecithin in various matters such as blood, bile, human brain tissue, etc.