Lecithin is a substance of natural, mainly of vegetable origin. «Lekithos» - in Greek means egg yolk. It is a natural product, rich in lecithin. Hence the name «lecithin» appeared. In the food industry it is used as a supplement emulsifier Е322.
The major natural sources of lecithin are products, which contain large number of fat. Among them are eggs, meat, liver, peanuts, some vegetables and fruits. In the industrial production lecithin is extracted from the soybean products and oil waste.
Lecithin possesses a high surface-active property, that’s why it is often used in food industry as an emulsifier. Also food additive Е322 can be used as an antioxidant.
Lecithin can be found practically in all cells of the human body. It performs necessary functions of renovation and restoring of damaged cells. About 50% of the cells of the liver contain lecithin. Also lecithin is essential to the body for full-fledged functioning of the nervous system and brain. Moreover, lecithin is a vehicle for delivery to the cells of the body vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Lack of it can cause reduce of absorption of medicines. Lecithin helps to prevent the formation of highly toxic compounds in the human body, because by its nature it is a strong antioxidant.
What is about the dangers of food additives Е322? As you have already read, reasonable intake of lecithin is not only harmless, but useful. In large quantities and in a certain category of people with allergies lecithin can cause an allergic reaction.
Most often the addition of Е322 is used as an emulsifier during the production of margarine, dairy products, bakery products, chocolate and glazes.
This additive is permitted in many countries, including Russia and Ukraine.