Lecithin is a phospholipid
, a class of compounds that make up
cell membranes throughout the body. It is produced in the liver if
the diet contains enough of the raw ingredients.
Lecithin is widely used as an emulsifying agent, allowing oil and
water to mix, as in mayonnaise. It is used in ice creams,
salad dressings, cosmetics, and it is the main ingredient in non-stick
spray coatings for cooking.
Lecithin is also an anti-oxidant, helping to keep fats from going
rancid (going rancid itself in the process, however).
Lecithin is often taken as a dietary supplement, since it contains
the B vitamin choline.
Lecithin is the emulsifier in egg yolks that allows the oil and water
to mix to make mayonnaise.
beta lecithin: InChI=1/C44H88NO8P/c1-6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20-22-24-26-28-30-32-34-36-43(46)50-40-42(53-54(48,49)52-39-38-45(3,4)5)41-51-44(47)37-35-33-31-29-27-25-23-21-19-17-15-13-11-9-7-2/h42H,6-41H2,1-5H3