Rapeseed lecithin’s strengths become apparent in times of crisis

Published: 22-Nov-2023

Sternchemie leverages an affordable and high-quality lecithin source

As commodity prices rise, cost reduction and supply chain security become critical issues for food manufacturers, particularly in times of crisis.

In the ingredients business, there is a need for available, cost-efficient and functional alternatives. One of these is rapeseed lecithin.

Lecithin from regionally grown rapeseed not only has cost advantages, it also scores points for availability, quality, functionality,and sustainability.

Tom Eggerstedt, Product Manager at Sternchemie, says: “In the past, rapeseed was overshadowed by its botanical competitors (sunflower and IP soy). But, owing to supply chain disruptions resulting from the various crises in the past 3 years, many of our customers have switched to rapeseed lecithin."

"And not just that, rapeseed stands out as a safe, available, lower priced and more regional alternative. We get more and more feedback from customers saying that, going forward, they want to stay with this lecithin source.”

Without doubt, economic considerations encourage a switch to rapeseed lecithin by customers. For more than 30 years, rapeseed lecithin has been lower in price than lecithin from other non-GM botanical sources.

As a natural product, mostly regionally grown and produced with short transport distances between growers and final customers, rapeseed lecithin also has an attractively low environmental impact.

Extensive portfolio

Sternchemie focuses on quality and functionality. “With its current quality standards, rapeseed has overcome the critical image it once had."

"By modifying the seed and improving the production and processing steps, rapeseed lecithin has reached the same level as lecithin from other botanical sources,” says Kira Plake, Technical Product & Application Manager.

“Undesirable erucic acid long ago stopped playing any role in cultivated rapeseed varieties.” 

Purely functionally, rapeseed lecithin is comparable with soy and sunflower lecithin, and is therefore a very good GMO-free and allergen-free alternative.

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“Through continuous research in the area of product applications, we are now able to use rapeseed lecithin in almost all applications with the highest degree of functionality,” explains Plake.

Accordingly, in addition to IP soy and sunflower lecithin, Sternchemie offers an extensive line of rapeseed lecithin specialties, ranging from the standard liquid product to pure lecithin powder to sprayable and powdery compounds. 

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