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Emulsifiers for GLUTEN-FREE PRODUCTS

Producing gluten-free products without compromising the sensory properties is a true challenge for the food industry. Let’s discover the role of food emulsifiers.

On May 16th, International Celiac disease Day is celebrated to inform about this condition that affects approximately 1,4% of the world population, whose prevalence has increased over time in the last twenty-five years (Global Prevalence of Celiac Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis).

Celiac disease is a chronic digestive disease in which patients have inflammation or irritation in the small intestine, which causes difficulties with absorbing nutrients from the diet. This inflammation occurs when the person eats some cereals containing gluten. Gluten is the name given to specific proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and related grains. Foods such as pasta, cookies, bread, and certain doughs used for pastries and bakery usually contain gluten. This is due to this protein’s unique properties to foods like viscosity and plasticity.

From a technological point of view, gluten provides cohesion, viscosity, extensibility, and elasticity. This is essential in the case of pasta, bread, muffins, and some other doughs, for example. The absence of gluten in foods causes a reduction in volume and a hardening of these products over time with a consequent reduction of the shelf life.

 

In gluten-free pasta, wheat flour has been replaced by other flour (rice and corn are preferred), and the proteins contained cannot form a network like gluten does. Thanks to specific production processes, including heating and the addition of food additives, gelatinized starch substitutes protein (gluten) to create the network that provides pasta with its typical elasticity and texture. This is the reason why many gluten-Free pasta products include Distilled monoglycerides.

 

gluten-free

When substituting gluten, it is necessary to work on the nutritional profile of gluten-free products more thoroughly so that they have the same contributions as other products. This can be achieved in many ways, such as using gluten-free cereal flours like rice.

LECISOL RF (lecithinated rice flour) can be used as natural bread improver. It is special lecithin in powder form and easily incorporated into baked goods and pastries. It acts as an anti-staling agent and dough conditioner, improving machinability, loaf volume, and crumb structure. However, we recommend completing it by adding a convenient amount of L-ascorbic acid and enzymes.

 

The existence of gluten-free products of high quality and affordable price is essential for the quality of life of celiac people. In the past, there weren’t equivalents for typical wheat-based foods like bread, pasta, and all types of bakery, and people with gluten intolerance were forced to avoid these foods. Over the last decade, many alternatives emerged, and nowadays, supermarkets have experienced increased shelf space dedicated to gluten-free products.

If you’d like to learn more about how Lasenor can help you and select the right emulsifiers for your application, please contact us

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2021- LASENOR BUSINESS SUMMARY

2021 has been an unstable year, and Lasenor -as most of the companies- has had to develop its business model in the middle of different pandemic waves, facing a notable cost increase in many of the raw materials we are using in our products, and in the door of an unprecedent energy cost increase. 

Despite all these external conditions, all Lasenor sites have been working with no major setbacks, without significant problems coming from covid, and overcoming the challenges that the raw materials are creating on the supply chain. 

Lasenor portfolio has been developing according to our expectations and goals, and together with a market showing high demand for food additives, Lasenor has been able to market, for first time, more than 32 thousand metric tons of lecithin systems and food emulsifiers. 

New product families that have shown high performance and are taking weight within Lasenor portfolio are: 

At the same time, Lasenor model to develop markets, not based in an export model, but in a production subsidiary implementation, is showing reliable performance. On 2021 growth in Brazil, India and USA has been remarkable, thus we should congratulate teams from Potim, Nagpur and Salem. 

Major hurdles than have affected our growth have been: 

  • scarcity of non-GMO lecithin – Brazil supply is in its sunset, and hopes are centered in Indian soy and sunflower (Black sea, EU & Argentina) 
  • increase in price of some raw materials – which have affected to some products expected profitability 

Overall, Lasenor model is showing good health and satisfactory results. It is proving to be adaptable in current scenario of fast changes and high uncertainty. It is proving to be the right one for the company we expect to build. 

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LASENOR®TP range: THE NEW RANGE OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE ACTIVATED EMULSIFIERS FOR FOAMS AND WHIPPED DESSERTS

Lasenor offers a selection of activated emulsifier systems designed specifically for foams and whipped toppings as well as a wide range of application recipes and expertise to help our customers in the production of high-performance powdered whipping mixes.

Pastry professionals love whipping desserts because they may be used as a fat base for cake fillings, cake decoration, cupcakes, and cake layers. The variety of products and organoleptic qualities that can be achieved with them is huge and can change by the addition of different ingredients.

Lasenor® TP range is used in whipped desserts to enhance whipped cream stability giving the final product a soft and stable structure with a good distribution of air bubbles. The quality parameters of these systems are the overrun (quantity of air incorporated into the system) and firmness (the consistency of the aerated product). 

TECHNOLOGY and APPLICATIONS

Using the spray drying technology, Lasenor developed a new range of activated emulsifiers, specially designed for whipped dessert applications. Thanks to an ultra-fast process, products are vaporized while preserving their core characteristics and quality. This drying process offers the possibility of obtaining a final product in powder form, which is much easier to manipulate and transport and affects the final cost of the product.

What we get is a product in powder made by a mix of emulsifiers, protein, and fat; all supported on a carrier system of glucose syrup.

There is a suitable product of the range for every recipe, ingredients, and mixing equipment:

Lasenor® TP range for whipping creams

  • Ensures high volumes and foam stability
  • Gets the perfect texture for decorations
  • Creamy mouthfeel
  • No syneresis
  • Good cutability
whipped cream

Lasenor® TP range in mousses

  • imparts a uniform structure with a good body
  • Enhances sensorial properties
  • Soft and stable structure with a good distribution of air bubbles

Lasenor® TP range in milkshakes

  • Imparts a uniform structure with an excellent mouthfeel
  • Creamy aerated and stable foam

Lasenor® TP range in ice-creams

  • increases viscosity
  • improves aeration, cryoprotection, and melting resistance
  • Gives excellent texture

KEY BENEFITS

The use of Lasenor® TP range products supply a broad spectrum of advantages throughout the whole chain where it is used, either as a part of a mix in powder or as a direct additive:

In the powdered mix:

  • Extended storage life
  • Easy dosage

In the whipping process:

  • Short whipping time
  • Best overrun
  • Whipping tolerance

In the finished product:

  • Firm foam
  • Stability, with no syneresis
  • Smooth and soft texture

Activated emulsifiers as Lasenor® TP range play a significant role in producing whipped desserts with the attributes wished by bakers, chefs, and final customers.

If you’d like to learn more about how Lasenor® TP range can help you and select the right emulsifiers for your application, please contact us

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CHEWING GUM, SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

Who has not chewed gum in their life? Let us discover what is behind chewing gum celebrating world gum day.

FROM WHERE DOES THE CHEWING GUM COME?

Prehistoric chewing gum derived directly from plants and tree resins with medicinal properties. However, the origin of chewing gum goes back to ancient Egypt and ancient Greece, where people chewed the resin of the mastic bush. The first traces of similar use of natural rubber date back to the Mayans, who routinely chewed rubber balls. Spanish speakers called it chicle, which is, in fact, the Nahuatl name of the plant (Manilkara chicle) from which it is extracted. Chicle gum base became more popular than gums made from resins because it was smoother, softer, and held its flavour longer.

The birth of modern chewing gum is due to William Semple, who patented the first recipe. The first chewing gum went on sale in New Jersey in 1871, but they were mushy and tasteless. Semple and others improved the production techniques to obtain a more consistent product with a better flavour, noticing a remarkable diffusion in the century’s last decade. During the 20th century, remarks the establishment of the synthetic gum base (polyisobutylene) instead of the natural one, although some companies still produce the latter.

blue chewing gum

GUM BASE: THE ESSENCE OF EVERY CHEWING GUM

Gum base is the main ingredient in the production of chewing gum. It is an insoluble and non-nutritive substance that allows us to chew it for hours without experiencing substantial changes. Its composition is a secret that every manufacturer jealously protects. Nevertheless, the main components are known. We can find food-grade polymers, plasticizers, softeners, texturizers, and emulsifiers, among other ingredients. 

Occasionally, emulsifiers help to hydrate the gum base, behaving as plasticizers.

    • Acetylated Mono- and Diglyceride – ACETEM (E-472a) increases elasticity and softness of the gum base.
    • Mono- and diglycerides and distilled monoglycerides (E-471) supply suitable textural and anti-sticking properties. They also help to the dispersion of colours and flavours within the gum base.
    • Lecithin adjusts the desired consistency of the gum base, reducing toughness and stickiness. It also enhances resiliency (tendency to return to the original shape) and elasticity. For bubble lovers, it also improves flexibility and thus bubble formation. When added to the chewing gum improve flavour feeling and shelf life.

The gum base recipe may vary depending on the different types of chewing gum to produce. Bubble gum usually has 15–20% gum base, while chewing gum has 20–25% gum base and sugar-free chewing gum has 25–30% gum base. Large chewing gum manufacturers generally produce their gum base in-house, while small chewing gum producers usually buy from third-party suppliers.

HOW TO PRODUCE A CHEWING GUM

The first step to producing chewing gum is elaborating the gum base. It is introduced into a mixing machine, together with colourants, sweeteners, flavourings, and emulsifiers. In the case of a natural gum base, it should be melted previously.

A gum stick is obtained from the paste, flattened by constant rollers that refine its size and thickness. When the gum is thin enough, refined sugar or another powdered sweetener is added to prevent it from sticking. The gum is then cut into different shapes at the flattening and rolling process, either by patterns or simple bars. When the gum has its defined shape, it is transferred to a conditioned place, where the temperature, light, and air are controlled to ensure its proper texture and consistency. Then, extrusion technology is implemented to smooth, form, and shape the gum. Next, the gum goes through a shaping process that is decided by gum type and consumer demand.

chewing gum production process

Chewing Gum production process

THE CHEWING GUM MARKET CHALLENGE

The chewing gum, one of the symbols of the 20th century, is decreasing its popularity in the 21st. The Smartphone is now the winner during the waiting times, and the changes in the consumer buying habits pushed by the pandemic have contributed to the decline of sales. The market is now reacting, finding new niches, mainly focused on specialized sectors such as functional chewing gum with caffeine or others that facilitate relaxation and help to sleep.

Lasenor presented at FIE in Frankfurt

 

From 30th November to 2nd December, Lasenor exhibited at Food Ingredients Europe (FIE) in Frankfurt.

At booth number 41H80, Lasenor presented all its latest innovations on emulsifiers and their applications in the food industry.

As a specialist in the manufacture and application of food emulsifiers, Lasenor offers manufacturers in this sector a range of solutions to adapt to new consumer demands for more environmentally friendly products, allergen-free alternatives and options with a lower fat and sugar content.

Food Ingredients Europe (FIE) is one of the leading trade fairs in the food ingredients industry. It is held annually, alternating between events held Frankfurt and Paris. This 2021 edition featured the classic on-site format, yet it was also held for the first time in hybrid format through a digital platform, from 22nd November to 2nd December, 2021.

Thanks to this dual format, more than 17,000 professionals from 135 countries attended, who had the opportunity to learn about the latest trends and innovations in food ingredients, semi-prepared products, product development and services in the sector.

The event also featured a series of presentations by leading international experts who addressed issues related to topics such as: the future of nutrition and alternative proteins, sustainable food systems, innovative ingredients and technologies, as well as new food safety and supply chain management regulations.

For all these reasons, Lasenor invited its customers to attend Food Ingredients Europe (FIE) and also to visit our booth to learn about the latest developments, innovations and opportunities that our emulsifiers offer to manufacturers in the sector. These emulsifiers can be used for a multitude of food applications and, thanks to Lasenor’s know-how, are able to be perfectly adapted to production requirements.

Our sales representatives and technicians present at the stand provided all the necessary information and advice for perfect products that meet the rise in new consumer demands.

Lasenor develops innovation and research into new products and processes.

From its very beginning, Lasenor understood that its medium and long term growth required continuous evolution in research, development and technological innovation (R&D&I). 

This commitment to innovation is an intrinsic part of the company’s DNA. For this reason, the company dedicates a significant part of its economic, human and material resources to the development of new products and processes that reinforce its position in the food market.

The R&D&I technical team includes chemists, engineers and technologists. Its main objectives include the evaluation, planning and management of new projects. These are focused on the development of new products aimed at meeting market demands or improving the manufacturing processes of the company’s existing products.

This department selects the appropriate raw materials for the synthesis of any new emulsifier and carries out laboratory testing and industrial trials in pilot plants.

Such plants are available for both development and application, allowing us to evaluate the function of our emulsifiers in different finished products. We seek to offer the best solution to our customers, which is why we work closely with them to design customized products that guarantee the best results for each application and formulation.

The effect of lecithin in reduced fat cookies

Lecithin in the cookie industry

Reducing fat and sugar content are some of the current trends of the food industry to combat obesity and make its products more attractive to health-conscious consumers.

One of the products that meets the demands of this type of consumer and their needs are reduced fat cookies.

It is widely known that fat is one of the main ingredients of cookies, along with sugar and flour. This determines its qualities in terms of hardness or softness, texture, flavor, shape, appearance, etc.

In cookie dough, emulsifiers are used with the aim of achieving a homogeneous mixture of the water-soluble and fat-soluble ingredients of the recipe, improving their dispersion and, as a result, improving the viscosity of the dough. As such, the choice of emulsifier is essential to obtain the intended product. Depending on the recipe and the proposed properties of the dough, it can act as an aerating agent that traps air or forms complexes with other dough components such as starch or protein. Emulsifiers can also modify the crystallization of fats or improve the flow properties of the dough.

Throughout the cookie production process, lecithin has been widely used as a natural emulsifier. Its use makes it easier to obtain a softer dough and reduces the fat content of the cookie without compromising the quality of the product.

Hydrolyzed lecithin powder

Lecithin, in its most common form, is a highly viscous liquid that must be added to the fat phase of the cookie, as it is not fully water-soluble and cannot be mixed with flour or sugar.

To improve handling and facilitate direct addition to the dough, Lasenor has developed the LECISOL range. It is a powdered product containing 50% hydrolyzed sunflower lecithin pulverized over wheat or rice flour and an anti-caking agent. Hydrolyzed lecithin is used because it has a higher polarity than standard lecithin, which allows a seamless integration of all the cookie ingredients.

Therefore, given the hydrolyzed nature of LECISOL and its powder form, it is designed to be suitable for cookie manufacturers due to the following properties:

  • Strong emulsifying power
  • Easy to dose with optimized mixing dispersion
  • GMO-free
  • Does not contain soy allergens

The effects of LECISOL on different types of cookies

The latest technical studies carried out by Lasenor’s R&D department show that LECISOL can also help producers to reduce the fat content of cookies without compromising the hardness of the product.

This is demonstrated by the technical tests carried out on Marie cookies and Shortbread (made with butter and with palm oil), based on different percentages of fat content reduction.

Marie biscuits

These are cookies with a relatively low sugar content (20% of flour weight) and fat content (16-20% of flour weight). Sodium metabisulfite and other salts can be used to prepare the dough for its production.

Figure 1 - Effect of LECISOL on the hardness of Marie cookies

The reduction of fat increases the hardness of the cookies. However, as can be seen in the graph:

  • The addition of 1% LECISOL makes it possible to reduce the fat content by 20 to 30%, with no impact on hardness. Increasing the dosage to 2% LECISOL allows a fat reduction of up to 40%.
  • In terms of organoleptic properties, the sensory analysis concluded with a certainty of 95%, that a simple reduction of fat in the Marie biscuit can be perceived by the consumer. On the other hand, no organoleptic changes are perceived when LECISOL is added to reduced fat Marie biscuits.

Shortbread

Shortbread is a brittle cookies due to its high amount of fat, which contains a high level of saturated fatty acids (SFA). Their recipes can vary greatly depending on the fat content (ranging from 20 to 60% of the flour weight) and the sucrose percentage (ranging from 25 to 55% of the flour weight).

The main source of fat is usually butter, but to reduce costs, other oils can sometimes be used as well.

Since the dose of LECISOL can vary depending on the fat source used, two recipes were tested in the Lasenor trials: a first recipe with butter and a second with palm oil.

In both cases, a 10% and a 20% fat reduction were tested, because a higher fat
reduction (above 20%) was not taken into consideration due to the dough increasing in grittiness and losing plasticity.

The following graphs will be placed side by side with the explanations so that it is clear that one graph is with butter and the other with palm oil.

Graph 2 - Effect of LECISOL on the hardness of Shortbread - Butter Recipe

As shown in graph 2:

  • Adding 1% LECISOL to the recipe with 10% fat reduction, the hardness is reduced to almost the same level as the control.
  • Increasing the dosage to 2.5% LECISOL allows a fat reduction of up to 20%.
Figure 3. Effect of LECISOL on the hardness of butter cookies - Palm Oil Recipe

By adding 1% LECISOL, the hardness of the cookie with a fat reduction of 10% is at the same level as the control. A fat reduction up to 20% when increasing the LECISOL dosage up to 2%.

The sensory analysis concluded with 95% certainty that when LECISOL is added to the fat-reduced Shortbread, no organoleptic changes are perceived.

All the results obtained in these trials demonstrate that the use of LECISOL hydrolyzed lecithin powder allows for reduction in fat content without any modification of the process and at the same time allows for other ingredients to be added.

This is an important innovation for food industry manufacturers and customers who are aware of the need to consume more natural and healthier products.

VEROL ML-90, the power of monolaurin in the food industry

Lasenor is launching a new product to the market: VEROL ML-90. It is a distilled monoglyceride made from lauric acid known as monolaurin (M).

Its use in the food industry began in the 1960s as a nutritional supplement. Nowadays, monolaurin stands out for its use as an antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial against yeasts, fungi and protozoa found in food for human consumption. These contaminants can lead to deterioration and reduction of the shelf life of food or food poisoning. In addition, its use also extends to animal feed, mainly for swine, where lauric acid is used as an alternative to antibiotics to prevent infections caused by gram-negative pathogens.

Its bacteriostatic action acts on the cytoplasmic membrane of microorganisms, breaking down their structure and altering their functioning, creating a new inhibitory system for food pathogens.

Monolaurin can be produced from hydrogenated coconut fat or alternatively from fractionated lauric acid. In the first case, it acquires a slightly yellow color and a very unpleasant odor. However, when produced from lauric acid, the end product is white with a neutral odor.

Applications

VEROL ML-90 can be used in powder premixes that are added together with other functional ingredients to processed meat, fish and dairy products.

The main advantages of using monolaurin are as follows:

  • Inhibits or eliminates the growth of microorganisms (bacteriostatic / bactericidal).
  • Extends the shelf life of the final product (processed meat or fish).
  • It is simply labeled as E-471 (avoiding mentioning the word preservative which can have negative connotations).

Due to its antimicrobial properties, VEROL ML-90 is able to prolong the shelf life of food products. It does so by controlling the growth of microorganisms responsible for spoilage and therefore maintains the organoleptic properties of the food.

Lasenor’s new product is aimed at manufacturers of premixes, spices and stabilizers for the meat industry. By using monolaurin, they can benefit from the following competitive advantages:

  • A product free of caking. Due to its nature, this product tends to solidify and in some cases to form compact blocks. These caking problems cause poor handling and delays during the mixing process. A product in loose powder form, which does not require handling prior to use such as VEROL ML-90, makes the mixing preparation process easier.
  • The monolaurin produced by Lasenor has a white color and a neutral odor profile. These characteristics are indicative of the purity of the product. Monolaurins with a yellowish color and an unpleasant odor derive mainly from the hydrogenated coconut which gives this typical odor to the powder.
  • A product distilled to at least 90% as an alternative to non-pure monolaurin varieties (from hydrogenated and non-distilled coconut) backed by Lasenor’s extensive knowledge and experience in molecular distillation.

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

Lecithin is the most natural ingredient for a healthy and sustainable alimentation

Innovation has always been a key feature of the food industry. Indeed, the food sector is particularly known for its ability to develop new products that are able to meet the latest habits of the consumer and trends of the market.

The new demands for food ingredients are directed towards the development and implementation of healthier and more sustainable solutions. International markets are clearly geared towards clean and natural ingredients, having generalized their transversal use given their many applications and uses.

Their success is indissociable from the health and sustainability duo. indeed, for instance, one of fields where the industry is focusing a lot of its efforts, is that of the nutritional profile of the aliments, and the diminution of their salt and sugar contents, and their substitution with flavor enhancers.

Another example is the development if solutions for vegetarian and vegan alternatives, with ingredients that, beyond having the proper taste and texture, make up for their potential deficiencies with high levels of mineral proteins and other active ingredients.

Lecithin is a healthy alternative

Lecithin is a complex mix of natural phospholipids. It is found in all natural oils, but soy, sunflower and rape seed oil have the highest contents. It can also be found, though in much lesser quantities, in egg yolk.

As a natural emulsifier, lecithin boasts many different industrial and chemical uses in a wide range of businesses: human and animal foods, pharmacy, dietetics, etc.

And if there is one company that has made the processing of raw lecithin for the food industry its specialty, it’s Lasenor. Our company offers a wide range of specialized uses for lecithin which enable us to provide solutions for the latest demands of the market as well as the needs of our national and international clients.

Lasenor has standardized this natural emulsifier in order to ensure that all its parameters (physicochemical, organoleptic, microbiological, sanitary…) are under control during the production phases and guaranteed for its use and consumption.

A natural substitute

In such a demanding sector as the food industry, lecithin can be found in a wide array of products.

One of its most famous uses is in sugar cookies. Indeed, lecithin is widely used in the production in order to obtain a soft dough and to limit the fat contents of the cookies without sacrificing quality. It is a natural substitute to DATEM, also known as mono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (E472e). This synthetic emulsifier is used to compensate for the hardness due to the lack of fats during the production phase of the cookie.

For this particular case, Lasenor has a wide range of solutions of hydrolyzed soy (VEROLEC HE-60) and sunflower (GIRALEC HE-60) lecithins which offer the same porousness, hardness, and friability as DATEM, but in a much healthier and more natural form.

One of the other uses for hydrolyzed lecithin is the production of extruded cereals. Lasenor provides to the manufacturers of your typical breakfast cereal the same range of hydrolyzed lecithins as the one used for cookies (VEROLEC HE-60 and GIRALEC HE-60), which have significant advantages: they increase the plasticity of the dough during the extrusion process, they are easily diluted in water and are soy allergen free when you opt for the sunflower lecithin. Moreover, as a natural emulsifier, Lasenor’s lecithins are SOLVENT FREE, meaning that absolutely no solvent whatsoever (including hexane) is involved in their fabrication process. This type of lecithins are sold under the name GIRALEC SF (for sunflower) and VEROLEC SF (for soy).

Organic products and lecithins

Consumer demand for healthier products is causing a general increase in organic production all over the world.

These are products that are exponentially popular and that can now be found not only in specialized stores, but in almost every medium-size to large supermarket.

The latest investigations show that organic products generate economic growth, reduce poverty levels, and are seen as a key factor in rural economic development.

The industry is coming together and collaborating in order to build a supply chain that is safe and able to support demand. The law is also changing – new standards are implemented in order to protect both producers and consumers.

In the case of lecithin used in organic food products, the EU determined in 2019 that it must come from organic agriculture.

In order to confirm their origins, the organic lecithins produced at Lasenor bear a double organic certification: European and American, given they come entirely from Europe and the United States in the case of sunflower and soy lecithins, respectively. Furthermore, the entire production and manipulation process of these lecithins is carried out in Europe, and specifically at Lasenor’s plant in Barcelona.

The European organic certification was granted by the “Consell Català de la Producció Agrària Ecològica (CCPAE)” (Catalan Council on Organic Agricultural Production), an institution included in the list of public authorities and oversight bodies of the European Union.

Lasenor is further certified by the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP), a certification body accredited by the USDA (ECOCERT).

As a specialist in the development of tailor-made lecithins according to the needs of consumers, Lasenor offers different botanic origins to the manufacturers of organic food: VEROLEC ORGANIC SRN (soy-based) and GIRALEC ORGANIC SRN (sunflower-based)

Allergen-free products

One of the most popular foods in the history of our diet is milk. But in recent years, its consumption is generating controversy among consumers as they look for healthier and more sustainable options, which has increased demand for non-dairy milks. In the American market for instance, almond milk now represents 5% of the dairy market, and is a clear favorite among non-dairy milks. This type of products is also manufactured and sold in other countries like Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and Spain.

But given that non-dairy milks are linked to a healthy lifestyle, synthetic emulsifiers are not thought of as a good option, and neither is soy lecithin, given its allergens.

This is why the majority of alternative milks, almond in particular, use sunflower lecithin, and more specifically, due to its high water content, hydrolyzed sunflower lecithin.

This range of hydrolyzed lecithins made by Lasenor facilitates the emulsion and ensures its stability in almond milk in particular and non-dairy milks in general that contain fats.

The recommended products for use in this area are GIRALEC HE-60 SRN and GIRALEC H-US SRN (specifically for the American market).

Fats and sugars reduction

The reduction of fats and sugar content control are one of the main trends in the food industry to fight obesity and make products more attractive to consumers, who care about their health and well-being.

Cookies with a lower fat content are one example of this new demand of the market. Emulsifiers are used in cookie doughs in order to obtain a homogeneous mix of the polar and non-polar ingredients of the recipe, improving the repartition of all the ingredients and thus, improving the rheology of the dough.

The emulsifier is key in obtaining the desired product. Depending on the recipe and the desired properties of the dough, it can act as an airing agent which traps air or forms a complex with other components of the dough such as starch or proteins.

Lecithin, as an emulsifier, has been broadly used in the production of cookies in order to obtain a softer dough and to reduce the fat content in cookies without affecting the quality of the product.

In its most common shape, lecithin is a highly viscous liquid which must be added to the fat part of the cookie given it is immiscible in water and cannot be mixed with flour or sugar. In order to improve its manipulation and facilitate its direct integration into the dough, Lasenor has developed the LECISOL range. It is a powdered product containing 50% of hydrolyzed sunflower lecithin pulverized onto wheat or rice flour and an anti-caking agent. Hydrolyzed lecithin is used due to its higher polarity than standard lecithin, allowing for a perfect integration of all the ingredients of the cookies.

Therefore, given the hydrolyzed nature of LECISOL and its powder form, they are designed to adapt to the various necessities of cookie manufacturers. They are also adapted to gluten-free cookies, given that in the case of the pulverization onto rice flour, our company offers the LECISOL RF GLUTEN FREE option.

The latest technical studies carried out by our I&D department show that LECISOL can also help producers to reduce the fat content in cookies without sacrificing the softness of the product

Sustainability

Inextricably linked to the healthy food markets is the concept of sustainability as a reflection of the new lifestyle that is gaining ground in our society.

The fight against climate change and the preservation of the environment are strategical priorities for Lasenor. The commitment of our company to sustainability is a bet on sustainable development, social progress, environmental balance and economic growth. This commitment can be seen through different actions that aim to reduce the impact of the resources necessary to develop and elaborate its products.

This is why Lasenor has created a logo on the carbon footprint, which is a reflection of our public commitment to handle in a more sustainable manner the greenhouse gas emissions linked to our industrial activity.¡

Conclusion

Food consumption habits are changing all over the world. There is an increasing number of consumers that wish to eat healthier and more sustainable products, in line with a new lifestyle.

An alimentation that combines health and sustainability, and alimentation made of natural, organic and allergen-free ingredients, as well as with lower fat and sugar contents.

In this context, the companies of the food ingredients sector are innovating and developing new products that aim to satisfy consumer demands for more organic products.

One of the food ingredients that offers the best response to the need for both health and sustainability is lecithin, a natural emulsifier that can be used in a wide array of situations in the industry.

Lasenor’s knowledge and experience with this raw material enables us to offer a wide range of solutions that respond to the new necessities of the market as well as the particular needs of its national and international clients, along with all the guarantees offered by a human team specialized in the processing of raw lecithin for use in the food industry.