Understanding the Reasons Behind the Rising Popularity for Sunflower Lecithin

6 Feb



  • Introduction
  • Advantages of sunflower lecithin over soy and egg yolk lecithin
  • Health benefits of sunflower lecithin

In the past few years, there has been a widespread growth in awareness regarding the importance of having a healthy lifestyle. As a result, various products and services which are good for health and promote overall well-being have been launched in recent years. One such product is sunflower lecithin which has experienced a huge surge in demand owing to its natural and plant-based origin.

Lecithin is a mix of various fatty substances which have plant or animal origin; they can be obtained from various sources such as egg yolk, soy, and sunflower. These fatty acids are essential to the human body. For instance, choline, an essential body nutrient similar to vitamin B, is produced in the body by lecithin. Also, acetylcholine, a compound necessary for nerve impulses is produced by lecithin.

Why is sunflower lecithin preferred over soy-lecithin and egg yolk-lecithin?

Lecithin has been used as a natural emulsifier in the food and beverage industry for a long time. It has been historically used in the production of confectionery items and sweets for enhancing their shelf-life. Egg yolk was the main source of lecithin then; over a period, soybeans replaced egg yolk as the primary source of lecithin. Even today, soybeans are the most prominent source of lecithin. However, in the past few years, sunflowers have been increasingly preferred for lecithin production.

The increasing preference for sunflower lecithin is owing to a rather new trend. People across the globe have started to shift away from products sourced from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Hence, people are increasingly demanding nutrition-related products that are non-GMO alternatives to traditional sources. As a result, soybeans, being generally genetically modified, are being replaced by sunflowers for lecithin production. Also, soybeans are one of the biggest sources of food allergen; this has further brought down the demand for soy lecithin.

At the same time, egg yolk lecithin is gradually falling behind sunflower lecithin owing to the rise in veganism across the world. There is a growing consumption of plant-based products such as plant-based meat, plant-based milk, plant-based seafood, etc. This growth in consumption of plant-based products is anticipated to result in a surge in demand for sunflower lecithin powder. In fact, the sunflower lecithin powder segment is predicted to be the fastest growing with a CAGR of 6% by 2032. Another important reason why this organic product is preferred over egg yolk lecithin is that lecithin production from egg yolk involves use of dangerous chemicals which might cause health problems for sensitive people.

Crucial health benefits of sunflower lecithin

Sunflower lecithin has some inherent advantages which makes it a preferred choice for fitness freaks and gym enthusiasts. Some of these are discussed below:

Regulates cholesterol levels

Sunflower lecithin has proved to be one of the best nutrients to bring down cholesterol levels. Medical studies have shown that it has been able to reduce cholesterol by around 40%; especially bad cholesterol can be reduced by around 50% with its regular consumption. Thus, it can significantly improve heart health and lower the chance of cardiovascular diseases.

Improves brain functioning

As said earlier, sunflower lecithin aids in production of choline and acetylcholine. These two compounds are beneficial for the human brain and neural development. Medical research has shown that both these compounds improve cognitive functioning and boost memory. Certain fats in lecithin enhance the neural structure, thereby improving learning capabilities.

Betters digestive health

Digestive problems and diseases including irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc., are caused by presence of harmful bacteria in the gut. In order to prevent their invasion and proliferation, the gut naturally produces a mucous layer which forms a protective barrier against these bacteria. This mucous mainly consists of lecithin; decrease in lecithin levels, thus, results in increase in presence of harmful bacteria. Hence, regular consumption of sunflower lecithin is necessary for proper functioning of the digestive system.

Helps in breastfeeding

Most lactating mothers face problems such as clogged breasts while breastfeeding. In extreme cases, clogged breasts might also cause mastitis. Lecithin reduces the viscosity of breast milk, treats milk ducts, and regulates the milk flow, thereby lowering the chances of clogging in future.

Enhances skin health

Dryness of skin is a common phenomenon which, if untreated, may lead to dermatitis and eczema. Sunflower has emollient properties which softens the skin and moisturizes it. Furthermore, it nourishes the skin to prevent the recurrence of these skin ailments.

To conclude, sunflower lecithin is gradually replacing soy and egg yolk lecithin in the food industry.  It can be asserted that the sunflower lecithin industry is thriving at a rapid pace and is expected to flourish even more in the upcoming years.

To capitalize on the opportunities offered by the sector, talk to our experts today!

Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar

Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar

Author's Bio- Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from the reputed Vishwakarma Institute of Technology. He has a special interest in the fields of forensics, world history, international relations and foreign policy, sports, agriculture, astronomy, security, and oceanography. An ardent bibliophile and melophile, Akhilesh loves to write on topics of his interest and various other societal issues. This love for writing made him enter the professional world of content writing and pursue his career in this direction.


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