Lecithins (also phosphatidylcholines) are a group of chemical compounds called phospholipids, which are composed of fatty acids, glycerol, phosphoric acid and choline. Lecithins are natural components of cell membranes in plants, animals and the human body. However, plant lecithins differ from animal lecithins in their composition
In food, food supplements or cosmetics they serve as natural emulsifiers (mixing of fats and water). In the EU, lecithins are approved as a food additive for food, including organic products. They are also used as an active ingredient in medicine and cosmetics. Vegetable lecithin is obtained from soy, rapeseed or sunflower and is labelled on food products as E322. In food supplements, lecithin serves, among other things, to improve the absorption of nutrients in the intestine. When added to body care products, lecithin has a refatting effect and facilitates the absorption of nutrients through the skin.