Organic lecithins for a healthier diet

Organic agriculture is the leading alternative to more conventional agriculture, which has caused soil and water pollution for decades and, in some cases, has also had an impact on human health.

The market and demand for organic food is growing steadily around the world, with consumers demanding more sustainable and healthier products than ever before. As a result, organic products are becoming increasingly popular and can now be found, not only in specialty stores, but also in almost all supermarkets.

Although the production and sale of organic food is most popular in more developed countries, less developed countries have become important producers and exporters of organic products. Research shows that organic products generate economic growth and reduce poverty levels, as well as being seen as a key tool for stimulating rural economic development.

To support this growing demand for organic products, the industry is coming together to build a secure supply chain, assisting in the development of programs to help farmers make the transition to organic.

A common legislative framework

To ensure that “organic” means the same thing in all countries, a growing number of governments began supporting organic agriculture beyond regulation, increasing the number of government policies and programs in favor of developing organic agriculture. National standards for organic products were desired by both producers and consumers to clear up confusion in the marketplace and protect against mislabeling or fraud. In this regard, the European Union and the United States are the two leading examples worldwide.

European Union
The current European requirements for organic production are established by Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, which defines the objectives and principles of organic agriculture and production, as well as by two implementing regulations (EC), 889/2008 and 1235/2008, detailing organic production, labeling, control rules and import. All products labeled organic and sold in the EU must be produced in accordance with these regulations. Although this was not initially the case as a result of their limited availability, from January 1st 2019, lecithin used in organic food products must be sourced from organic farming.

United States
In this country, certified organic foods are produced in accordance with federal standards established by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Organic Program (NOP). Thanks to a series of implemented equivalency agreements, organic products certified by the USDA or European Union (EU) can be sold, labeled and represented as organic in their respective territories, accompanied by an organic import certificate from their authorized regulatory bodies.

Organic lecithin production

The market segment for organic products is growing rapidly and, as a result, the demand for organic lecithin is also increasing.

Whereas in traditional production, lecithin is extracted from soybean, sunflower or rapeseed oil using hexane, in organic lecithin production, no solvent is permitted when extracting the oil from the original seeds.

This condition means that conventional crushing methods using hexane as solvent have to be replaced by fully mechanical processes, the most typical of which are temperature-controlled expellers.

Currently, organic lecithin production faces two main problems:

  • Organic mills are usually much smaller in size than solvent extraction machinery, and therefore the lecithin potential is quite small, which discourages CAPEX for gum production and drying.
  • In addition, purely mechanical processes reduce the lecithin yield (compared to conventional lecithin) making lecithin production even more difficult.

Lasenor’s organic lecithins

Our company specializes in the development of lecithin tailored to the needs of its customers, offering them different botanical origins as organic food manufacturers.

Lasenor’s solutions meet all the standards of the applicable regulations and allow customers present in the organic market to use high quality lecithins in the production of their products, according to the following characteristics:

  • Produced with raw materials from the EU and USA, and endorsed with the double organic certification from both territories.
  • Obtained by mechanical press and controlled refining temperature (without solvents).
  • Top quality lecithins compared to other organic lecithins on the market, thanks to SRN technology, which provides a reduced level of impurities and reduction of unwanted flavors.
  • Organic lecithins produced by the fluidized method, particularly suitable for instant powders such as dairy products, cocoa powder and baby formulas. In instant products, a low viscosity lecithin is needed to give a more homogeneous coating and a better distribution of the product, allowing water to soak into and disintegrate agglomerates. For this need, Lasenor provides the INS range.
  • Lecithins for baby food are in line with the microbiological characteristics and contaminant requirements demanded by the strict criteria of infant food regulations.

Finally, some of the competitive advantages that Lasenor’s organic lecithins offer to its customers are the following:

  • Know-how: not all companies involved in lecithin extraction have the necessary technology to obtain raw organic lecithin suitable for specialists in the food market. Lasenor provides its know-how to complete this process with all the required guarantees.
  • Pesticide control programs: to guarantee the integrity and quality of organic lecithins and their certifications, Lasenor has developed a residue analysis program that confirms reliability and compliance with organic standards.
  • Special quality and stability: all parameters (physico-chemical, organoleptic, microbiological, contaminants…) are controlled and guaranteed.
  • Innovation: continuous development of specialties that meet the needs and demands of its customers.
  • Availability: finished organic lecithin is available all year round and although the activity of the machinery is subject to seasonality, there is an extraction period of about 200 days per year