De-oiled lecithin is a dry form of lecithin and has multi-functional properties across various industries, food, feed, pharma and personal care. The increasing prevalence of health concerns has affected industries far beyond healthcare. The food & beverage industry plays a key role in the dietary aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Functional and natural ingredients have been witnessing an increase in demand, as a result of this trend. Also, it is this same trend that has provided the industry with the innovation of various forms of de-oiled lecithin.
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De-oiled lecithin is enriched in phospholipids for enhanced dispersion in water. Acetone is widely used for the de-oiling of lecithin, as it extracts about 40% of the inactive vegetable oil from the crude lecithin. In the processing method, acetone is added to the crude lecithin, and de-oiled lecithin is obtained after the evaporation of the added acetone leading to increase in the phospholipid content by about 40% after the de-oiling process.
De-oiled lecithin is available in the form of granules or powders. Dry lecithin has advantages such as convenient handling and a neutral flavor and color. It is an essentially ready nutraceutical, offering nutritional benefits to consumers. It is used in dietary foods such as tablets & capsules; in bakery products; and convenience foods such as instant soups and sauces; this highlights the multifunctionality of de-oiled lecithin.
This ingredient is mainly derived from soy, sunflower, rapeseed, and eggs. Although de-oiled lecithin is mainly extracted from soybean oil by the addition of water and centrifugation, it has been witnessing a decline in demand, owing to concerns related to allergens and GMO foods. According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), in 2016, soybean was the largest genetically modified crop at a global level. This has augmented the demand for alternate sources such as sunflower and rapeseed. However, the supply of sunflower lecithin is not sufficient to fulfill the required demand.
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Countries such as Ukraine, Russia, and Argentina are expected to present opportunities for domestic manufacturers. As per U.S.-UKRAINE BUSINESS COUNCIL (USUBC), Ukraine, Russia, and Argentina are the leading producers of sunflower oil. Genetic modification found in the soy crop has become a prime concern for manufacturers in the EU. Countries such as the US and Brazil are the leading producers of GM soybean. European as well as Asian countries majorly rely on the import of de-oiled lecithin from these leading producers. However, the growing demand for non-GMO de-oiled lecithin among customers in Europe along with stringent regulations towards the usage of non-GMO ingredients is expected to create opportunities for various oil processors and de-oiled lecithin manufacturers.
This industry is gaining momentum globally, due to increasing demand for green or natural cosmetic products that contain medicinal and nutritional ingredients such as vitamins, are gaining popularity in several Asian countries. In developed countries such as the US and Canada, calorie concerns and trends involving weight loss are expected to drive the demand for de-oiled lecithin in the dietary supplements space. Similarly, in Europe, the growing popularity of Asian personal care products is expected to drive the de-oiled lecithin market for cosmetics applications.
According to a recent study by MarketsandMarkets, the global de-oiled lecithin market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.2%, during the forecast period (2018–2023), to reach USD 232.1 million by 2023 from USD 156.5 million in 2018.
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