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LASENOR LECITHIN FOR INSTANT POWDERS

Instant products are becoming increasingly popular among consumers due to their extensive range and optimal results obtained after reconstitution. Milk, coffee, cocoa drinks, desserts, soups, and health supplements are examples of foodstuffs available in the supermarket that suit our modern way of life. In addition, various functional ingredients in the food industry undergo the instantizing process to achieve a technological effect, such as proteins, whey powder, cocoa powder, caseinates, and many others.

IN SEARCH OF INSTANT PROPERTIES

Instant products are manufactured using technological components such as Lasenor’s specialty lecithin that play a crucial role in providing instant properties:

  • Once the powder is poured over the water or milk in the case of cocoa powders or beverages, it must be covered by the liquid. This property is called wettability.

 

  • These wet particles must become submerged. The capacity to go down below the surface is called sinkability and allows the entire powder to drop downwards.
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  • Lecithin improves the powder’s sinkability and enhances the particles’ distribution in different directions to obtain good solubility or dispersibility.

 

  • If the mechanical energy is exerted with a spoon and a solution (or dispersion) is obtained, it is crucial to maintain it firm and homogeneous. Lecithin is again acting to give the desirable stability.

The selection of the most appropriate lecithin for the instantazing is not apparent at first sight. Optimal performance can only be achieved through combining several factors, the most important being the production process of the instant powders and the correspondent application.

PRODUCING INSTANT POWDERS

It is essential to know if the lecithination process will occur in a dry mix (simple mechanical mix) or if the lecithin is sprayed together with the product to be powdered in a spray-drier or sprayed in a fluid bed after spray drying.

In a dry mix case, all the powder-form ingredients are mixed in a blender (ribbon blender, V-blender, cone blender…), and lecithin is added in powder form or liquid form diluted in oil. The mix is homogenized, and the particles are covered with a thin layer of phospholipids.

For the spray-drying process, a solution is prepared with all the required components (such as proteins, caseinates, and glucose…) and is atomized through nozzles in a tower. In the fluid bed, fine particles can be recovered in cyclones and returned to the drying chambers to carry out agglomeration. This process fuses the particles into agglomerates with capillary channels, allowing the liquid to flow inside, producing a wetting action. It is in this second drier where lecithin is usually sprayed, either in an aqueous solution or in oil-diluted form.

APPLICATIONS

It is also essential to know the type of product to be instantized to maximize the effect of the lecithination. Its hydrophilic nature determines the degree of polarity of the lecithin to be used.

High polarity lecithin is recommended for products with high-fat content:

  • Whole milk powders
  • Buttermilk powders
  • Cocoa powders

Lower polarity lecithin is recommended for products with lower fat content:

  • Skimmed milk powders
  • Whey protein concentrates
  • Caseinates
  • Drinks powders containing cocoa
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No matter the source or the polarity, the product’s viscosity can be adjusted to satisfy the equipment’s restrictions.

Infant formula

Lecithin is used in baby food mainly for the production of infant formula. These are usually prepared for bottle-feeding in a powdered form that is mixed with water or another liquid and is generally considered a substitute for breast milk (Mian K. Sharif, … Faiz-ul-Hassan Shah, in Food Processing for Increased Quality and Consumption, 2018).

The microbiological and contaminant parameters are the main difficulties associated with producing baby food lecithin. In our factories in Barcelona (Spain) and Nagpur (India), the presence of a wholly equipped “clan room” allows us to ensure that, once the lecithin has been prepared via a unique thermal treatment process, no subsequent microbiological contamination of the product will be possible.

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Clean room – LASENOR Olesa de Montserrat 

OUR SOLUTIONS

Lasenor is a specialist in developing tailor-made lecithin according to consumers’ needs regarding the vegetable source (soy or sunflower), degree of polarity, and viscosity.

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

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LECITHIN NEWS - H1 2022

The market outlook of the non-GMO lecithin has changed substantially in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  We will try to shed some light on the situation in this new edition of the lecithin news. 

MARKET OVERVIEW

The market outlook of the non-GMO lecithin has changed substantially in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a result of the war, sunflower lecithin production in Ukraine has dropped approximately 50%, which represents a reduction of 25% of the Global non-GMO lecithin market.

This setback has sharply increased the non-GMO IP soy lecithin demand, which is considered the only real natural alternative to sunflower lecithin. We believe that a third alternative, such as rapeseed lecithin production is insufficient to represent a robust alternative to those above.

Even though rice and oat lecithin are often mentioned as possible substitutes in terms of quality and production volumes, they fall short and cannot play a significant role for the time being. Synthetic emulsifiers such as Ammonium Phosphatides and Citric Acid Ester could be an option for chocolate application, but the installed capacity worldwide is saturated due to the strong demand. On the other hand, in the eyes of the consumers, the perception of non-natural alternatives is negative compared to lecithin.

In such a condition, the global non-GMO lecithin market is unbalanced, which puts pressure on the supply chain and has triggered unprecedented price levels for all lecithin products.

Uncertainty and volatility are the keywords, but some positive signals can be found in these challenging market conditions. Lasenor strives to secure additional volumes of raw materials and encourage crushers to install additional drying capacity.

NON-GMO SOYA LECITHIN - IDENTITY PRESERVED

India

In the current economic recession, the Indian Government has been battling rising inflation for over one year. To fight against this and to protect the domestic feed market, the government authorized Autumn 2021 the importation of soya meals to encourage the farmers to release soybeans at a lower price level.

The effect of this measure has been counterproductive as it led to uncompetitive Indian production for the soy complex, thus contributing to reduced domestic crushing and ultimately no price decrease from the farmers. 

To keep fighting against high prices of locally produced edible oils, India has cut import duties on crude soya and sunflower oil for the next two years since the 24th of May. The annual volume of imported oil is estimated at 2 million Ton for each of these two oils. This represents 50-55% of soya oil imports in India.

This measure supports imports of soya oil from Russia and Argentina. It seems to positively impact soyabean oil and sunflower oil prices for the domestic wholesale market. It now remains to be seen if the lifting of import duties will force the farmers to sell the beans of both remaining 2021 crop volumes and the coming 2022 crop in September – October at a more affordable price for the crushers or if it will continue to worsen competitiveness of the local crushing. 

Regarding the monsoon, conditions are currently favourable, and sowing acreage may increase, supported by the high prices of the beans. Nevertheless, planting is slow at this moment. To be continued, as it is still too early to make any projection.

Brazil

Brazilian soya bean crop is estimated at 126 Mn T in the current year, compared to 138.15 Mn T in 2021. China is not actively acquiring soybeans to be processed locally as the Chinese economy has slowed down. Thus, Brazilian exports are estimated to drop to 9.4 Mn T. In this scenario crushing ratio will be higher compared to 2021´s. The total amount available for crushing is projected at 114 Mn T (other uses than crushing are usually around 2.5-2.6 Mn T).

An estimated 2% of the Brazilian crop is non-GMO nowadays; this means 2.280.000 tons of soybeans for 2022´s harvest. It is considering that Lecithin content in soybean is approx. 0.55% of the potential production of non-GMO lecithin is 12.500 tons for 2022.

Pressure to get Brazilian non-GMO lecithin is exceptionally high due to the situation in India and supply disruption of sunflower lecithin due to the war in Ukraine. This creates additional tensions regarding availability and pricing.

SUNFLOWER LECITHIN

Ukraine

Most of Ukraine’s crushing plants are in the south-eastern part of the country, where heavy fighting with Russian forces occurs. A limited number of crushing plants are operating in the western region, leading to a steep decline in Ukrainian exports of sunflower oil, meal, and lecithin.

Even if seaports are closed, Ukrainian sunflower seeds are being exported by truck or railway and delivered to Romania, Hungary, France, Spain, and Bulgaria. Export figures exceeded expectations in May, so trade continues, although limited, despite the conflict.

Regarding sowings, the war has prevented planting in many areas of Ukraine, and the total acreage should be reduced by 27-28% compared to 2021´s crop. In addition to this, treatment of crops will not be possible in many regions due to a lack of fertilizers and insecticides, so productivity is expected to be lower than average. We are uncertain about future availability and crushing activity in Ukraine for this year’s crop. We will monitor the situation closely in the coming months.

Russia

Sowings are expected to decline this year, and existing seed stocks are relatively high. Crushing and subsequent availability of Lecithin will depend on the farmers’ willingness to release the seeds and on the Russian government’s export tax policy. 

Export taxes on edible oils have been in place for several months already, which has curbed returns for Russian sunflower oil processors and led to a slowdown in crushing. Taxes are expected to be lifted shortly in August this year, potentially boosting sunflower oil crushing and subsequent lecithin production and availability. 

Sanctions from the EU against Russia will play a significant role in the coming months. If Sunflower complex imports are banned or restricted, it will negatively impact sunflower processing.

European Union

Amid availability concerns, the planting surface has increased in Spain, France, Bulgaria, and Romania, and it is estimated that sunflower oil production will increase by 6.5% this year. Unfortunately, the projected extra volumes are not big enough to significantly increase lecithin production, which should remain at the current level.

PALM OIL: A KEY DRIVER FOR LECITHIN PRICING IN 2023?

Being the most efficient source of vegetable oil globally, Palm is considered a significant driver of the oils global market. Despite not being directly linked to Lecithin, as it is not extracted from palm fruit, the price split between palm and sunflower or soy production may have a bearing effect on future Lecithin prices.

The past week’s downtrend in Palm oil prices is due to the release of Indonesian oil to the market after the ban on palm oil exports in May. After a three-week ban imposed by the government to reduce the domestic price for cooking oil, restrictions were lifted as local storage capacity was exceeded, and quality issues were becoming a concern due to late processing.

Concerning production in Malaysia, the labour shortage seems to be on the right track to be solved by 2023. This sends a positive message for 2022 and 2023. Consequently, palm oil prices are expected to ease further. The demand for less expensive palm oil will rise at the expense of price-prohibitive soyabean oil and sunflower oil. It stands to reason that both will follow the downtrend of palm oil.

Driven by this downtrend and given the dramatic price hike on lecithin that happened in Q2/Q3 2022 that may curb lecithin demand, it is possible that lecithin prices can ease during the second half of 2023.

For a better understanding of the lecithin market evolution, have a look over our previous edition of the Lecithin News ( Lecithin News Q4 – 2021)

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LASENOR USA SPECIALIZES IN NON-GMO PRODUCTION

Good news for The Lasenor Group, as its subsidiary in United States, has obtained the Food Chain ID and the non-GMO project certifications that support its production of non-GMO products.

Genetic Modified food has raised consumer concerns about its impact on the environment and human and animal health. As a result, many countries require mandatory labeling of foods having genetically modified ingredients when the percentage exceeds a certain threshold. 

To meet consumer transparency demands and to be able to produce our VEROLEC NON-GMO IP range of products, Lasenor USA has worked extremely hard to be Food Chain ID and the non-GMO project certified. 

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization focused on genetically modified organisms. Founded in 2007, thanks to an initiative of a group of foods retailers of the United States and Canada, it is now a recognized entity to create a standardized definition for non-GMO products in the North American food industry.

NON GMO PROJECT

Food Chain ID (a leader in non-GMO certification) launched the first Non-GMO Certification and Non-GMO Mark (product seal) in 1999 to quickly identify non-GMO products in the marketplace. Today, the Global Food Chain ID Non-GMO Standard is recognized as the benchmark for a production system that does not genetically modify its products, as it applies a quality management system approach to identity preservation.

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Lasenor USA, based in Salem, Ohio, was created in June 2019 to introduce Lasenor Group’s extensive lecithin and emulsifier product lines to producers in the North American marketplace. In its desire to offer the highest possible quality standard, Lasenor USA is also FSSC22000 certified, guaranteeing its food safety management system.

Thanks to these certifications, Lasenor USA strengthens its presence as a manufacturer of food emulsifiers in North America, where it supplies local support to customers in the region.

Many congratulations to the entire Lasenor USA team!

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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.

 

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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
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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
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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
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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.

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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.

FI EUROPE 2021

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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%.
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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.