Natural emulsifier extracted from soybean often used to shape watery solutions into airs.
Although you may not be aware of the usefulness of the lecithin molecule, your body knows very well how to use it! Lecithin is a constituent of cell membranes, specifically a phospholipid. It is like a hydrophilic pinhead with two hydrophobic fatty acid legs, which are essential properties for the formation of emulsions. Besides cells in the human body, lecithin is mainly found in egg yolks, soybeans, liver, and wheat germ. The pharmacist Théodore Gobley isolated and described egg lecithin for the first time in 1847. Gobley gave it the name lekythos, the Greek word for egg yolk. He then spotted the group of molecules in many parts of animal bodies and in large quantities in the bile, blood and brain.
Did you know?
- Soy lecithin is incorporated into many cosmetics to help soften the skin and better absorb other ingredients.
- It is used as a supplement in many types of animal food, providing fat and protein.
- It enhances the colour and forms a protective coating on painted surfaces when added to the paint.
- It prevents food from sticking to the bottom of dishes and pans when added to non-stick cooking sprays.