Find out what soy lecithin is, what it’s made of, where you can find it in foods, and if it’s safe for a gluten-free diet.
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If you’ve found yourself reading labels while trying to stick with a gluten-free diet, you’ll notice there are a whole lot of additives in many packaged and processed foods. There are ingredients added for flavor, texture, creaminess, and even digestibility.
Scanning the back of a package for snack foods or any other packaged food option from the store will reveal one ingredient that you may have never thought twice of before: soy lecithin.
Soy lecithin is a common food additive and one that’s used for a few different reasons in today’s food processing. We’re going to dive into the topic of soy lecithin and hopefully get you the answers you need to make an informed decision about whether or not to choose foods with this ingredient in them.
In this post, find out what soy lecithin is, what it’s made of, and if it’s gluten-free. We’ll also discuss if this ingredient is vegan and dairy-free too.
Next time you see this ingredient on the back of a package, you’ll be able to know what it is, why it’s there, and whether or not to buy that product.
What is soy lecithin?
Soy lecithin is a soy derivative that’s used as a food additive in many processed and packaged foods. Many food manufacturers use this ingredient as an emulsifier to help foods with both oil and water mix together to be evenly distributed in that food product.
Soy lecithin is an ingredient that makes processed foods and supplements look good from the store, as well as easier to digest.
According to the Dr. Axe website, “When lecithin enters the equation, oil is broken down into smaller particles in a process called emulsification, making the oil droplets easier to clean or digest when eaten. Thus, lecithin helps give products a smooth, uniform appearance.”
What is soy lecithin made of?
Soy lecithin is made from raw soybeans. Oil is pulled from the raw soybeans, then is processed to separate the lecithin. The soy lecithin is then dried and used in many supplements, medicines, as well as processed foods.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. Many processed foods have hidden gluten in them in the form of gluten or wheat derivatives.
These are also in the form of flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.
Read on: What is gluten in food? The basics of a gluten-free diet
Is soy gluten-free?
Since the soy comes from a bean and not wheat or a relative of wheat, soy is gluten-free and safe for a gluten-free diet.
Read on: Is soy gluten-free?
Is soy lecithin gluten-free?
Soy lecithin is made from soybeans, a legume that does not contain gluten. This lecithin that is created therefore is also gluten-free and safe for a gluten-free diet.
Is soy lecithin vegan?
Soy lecithin is made from soybeans, a plant-based food. This ingredient is considered vegan and an okay ingredient for vegans to eat.
Is soy lecithin dairy?
Soy lecithin contains no animal milk or products, therefore it is dairy-free and safe to enjoy if you avoid dairy in your diet.
I hope if you’ve been concerned about soy lecithin showing up in your food and trying to stick with your gluten-free diet, that this post has helped you get the answers you’ve been looking for. Soy lecithin is a safe food additive for folks on a gluten-free diet, so no need to worry if you find this on ingredient lists of some of your favorite foods from the store.
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