Lecithin sourced from soy has long been into use as a food additive. Wide array of food products including condiments, chocolates, and dressings use soy lecithin as emulsifier, lubricant, stabilizer, wetting and dispersing agent. Soy lecithin is also rich in choline, a vitamin-like essential nutrient that reduce the levels of bad cholesterol, thus making it dietary supplement of choice for heart health savvy population. Soy lecithin also find applications in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals industries owing to its antioxidant properties.
The rising demand for lecithin from various industries including food, feed, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics owing to its emulsification properties is the major factor driving the growth of soy lecithin market. Emulsifiers are finding new applications in various food categories such as protein powders, desserts, bakery products, and functional beverages. Furthermore, the need for emulsifying agents is also increasing in the production of animal feed and pet food. The wide availability and protein-rich nature of soy made soy lecithin as an effective emulsifier in these applications. The inexpensive process of soy lecithin production is motivating the use of soy as a preferred source for lecithin over egg, rape seeds and other counterparts.
However, genetically modified (GM) concerns of soybeans and the restrictions associated with use of soy lecithin in food products owing to the allergic nature of soy are hindering the growth of soy lecithin market. The availability of rapeseed lecithin as an effective non-GMO alternative to soy lecithin in food and feed applications is also limiting the market growth.
The Soy Lecithin Market has been segmented by function into emulsifier, stabilizer, antioxidant, lubricant, wetting agent, nutritional supplement, and others. Emulsifier evolved as the largest segment owing to the demand for soy lecithin as emulsifier in food, feed, plastics, pharmaceutical, and other industries. With a share of over 50% in terms of sales value, food and beverages dominated the soy lecithin market in 2018. Animal feed, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and some other industries also constitute considerable share on the market.
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