Soy lecithin: for instantizing

Instantizing dry powders such as protein-based dry blended beverages is a necessity when preparing these beverages for consumer use. Most dry blended beverages are consumed by simply adding to milk or water and spoon stirring. Some are prepared by using a shaker bottle which helps to prevent the the powder from clumping together. In either case, instantizing the powder by applying a small amount of lecithin (usually around 1 to 1.5%) will help.


All concentrated protein powders like whey and soy proteins are made to be very soluble and this water-loving property makes these proteins very difficult to wet. The protein is so attracted to water that immediately upon hitting the water surface it soaks up water and begins forming lumps. Part of this physical phenomenon have to do with the charge of the protein particles creating a surface tension with water and part is that the protein soaks up moisture so fast it forms a crust. For high protein powders, a low polarity lecithin(lower HLB) allows the surface of the protein powders to be coated with this lipid-based product which slows down the protein forming lumps, while the water-loving part of the lecithin polar molecule allows it to break the surface tension and disperse into smaller particles which immediately go into solution without lumping.

Lecithin can be used by addition into the protein dryers or by addition to ribbon blenders by spray atomizing onto the powder surfaces. Another method of adding lecithin into dry blending operations is the plate the liquid lecithin onto sugar in a pre-blending step and then to blend into the main batch.

As spray dryers and blending operations differ from plant to plant, the best way to pick the proper lecithin for a specific instantizing application is to contact the SPI Group lecithin experts!  


In Defense of Soy: Men’s Health vs Men’s Fitness

In 2009 Men’s Health published an article claiming that soy causes “gynecomastia,” better known as man boobs.  One, 60-year-old man developed some real man boobs and took himself to a gland clinic.  It was discovered he was consuming ¾ gallon of soy milk a day.  When told to stop drinking the soymilk, the man’s boobs went away.

In a case of skewed evidence, Men’s Fitness reported in defense of soy, and told the reader to please remember this is equivalent to 24 glasses of soy milk every day.  The effects of this caloric consumption paired with a food diet of any type resulted not only in man boobs but his weight being classified as obese.  Millions of people globally ingest soy protein as a staple in their diet and there are NO reported cases of gynecomastia.  The National Institute of Health has published three studies showing lack of long term evidence that soy consumption causes man boobs or reproductive harm in men.

Men’s Health has said themselves that gynecomastia can be caused by obesity, excessive alcohol, smoking pot, or excessive steroid use.

Lecithin: for release

All lecithin’s have release functionality in them. Some can be dissolved in oil or dispersed in water to act as a release agent on belts and conveyors. Du Pont has several lecithin’s in the Solec line that work in both oil or water based release systems.

Food companies not only use lecithin as a release agent to help eliminate their product from sticking to the belt. They also know it also reduces oil use, product loss and re-work, all while easing clean-up of the equipment. With less downtime for cleaning and less product loss, we know lecithin helps increase product yields.

Oil based lecithin release agents are successfully used in a wide variety of hot belt release applications. This includes on oven bands/belts and drying/smoking racks and fried food hot belt applications. The Solec 152 works well in oil filled dip tanks and in higher temperature applications where a non-darkening of the lecithin is desired. A heat resistant lecithin called Solec HR is available that is resistant to darkening during exposure to prolonged heat.

Lecithin dispersed in water is used where oil is undesirable and in many cases can provide the same or better level of release at substantial cost savings. The Solec E works excellent in oven belt dip tanks at a 10% level. It not only helps to enhance food release, but also in the rinsing and cleaning of the belt. It is also is used in aqueous form on freezer belts that go through freezer tunnels without losing its anti-sticking properties.

There are higher refined, lower viscosity lecithin’s that can be used in spray release systems as well. Lecithin in both oil and aqueous solutions can be applied in an aerosol form. The Solec 152 can be used in spray release applications at levels as low as 2% lecithin and 98% oil.

Please ask your local SPI Group Representative for solutions to any belt release issue you may have.