Sternchemie launches lecithin for versatile applications

This product is allergen-free, non-GMO and can be used as an alternative to artificial emulsifiers

Sternchemie has launched SternPur S DH 50, a hydrolysed, de-oiled sunflower lecithin, aiming to meet current market demand for immune health, nutrition hacking and mood food.

This product is allergen-free, non-GMO and can be used as an alternative to artificial emulsifiers. Dr Waldemar Buxmann, Head of Applications and Technical Product Management, said: “With this innovation we’re expanding the functional and application scope of lecithin. Currently we’re testing various application areas and are ourselves amazed at the range of possibilities.”

Enzymatic treatment and the removal of oils and flavours has resulted in what the company claims is a pure, practically odourless and flavour-neutral lecithin. The miscible powder reportedly develops its full functionality without impairing the appearance and taste of the final product.

The product is suitable for making stable oil-in-water emulsions, instead of artificial emulsifiers or chemically modified lecithins, the latter of which are not approved in Europe.

The product also functions as a stabiliser and release agent. In baked goods, it can improve dough conditioning and machinability and give a higher yield by volume. At the same time, it can delay the ageing process of baked goods and reduce the use of mono- and diglycerides.

In deep-frozen baked goods or in the controlled interruption of fermentation of unbaked dough pieces, this hydrophilic and hydrolysed lecithin prevents the growth of large ice crystals. In this way, the product stabilises and protects the dough’s yeast cells and gluten network from mechanical damage due to temperature fluctuations.

In fat powders like instant sauces, whole milk, coconut or cocoa powders, the lecithin can improve the wetting, sinking and distribution of the powder.

The lysophospholipids in the lecithin interact with the proteins to build complexes, stabilising both emulsions and proteins during pasteurising and storage. These properties are valuable for the growing plant-based milk alternative category, Sternchemie says.

It’s also suitable for use in meal replacement products and nutritional supplements. The product’s ability to form aggregates – “micelles” – in watery environments, can potentially improve the digestibility and bioavailability of fat-soluble nutrients.