A citric acid ester of mono- and di-glycerides, the main functionality of the product is to lower viscosity and yield value, claims Palsgaard.
According to market analysts Frost & Sullivan lecithin is the main natural emulsifier (naturals take up 16 per cent of the market, synthetics 84 per cent) in the €307 million European market. They pitched the lecithin market at €49 million in 2003, slightly higher than 2000.
But pushing the need for alternatives, obtaining non-GMO soya lecithin, with a full Identity Preserved (IP) status, is a growing problem due to limited supplies on the world market.
The European market for Identify Preserved (IP) soybeans (both hard and soft) is estimated at about 40,000 to 60,000 tons for both food and feed.
But the deficit is in the region of 10 per cent, with supplies falling short by about 4,000 tons and pushing up prices.
Anxious to guard market share and strengthen consumer perception of their brands, creating GM-free food products is the most practical route to respond to market expectations.
For chocolate systems soya lecithin is most often used to lower the viscosity of the liquid chocolate mass during processing.
The Palsgaard 4201 product "means that the chocolate industry can further reduce total fat content by using this new "double function" emulsifier," says the firm.
They also claim the product has the ability "to function as a wetting agent in instant chocolate drink powder."
Trials, say the Danish company, have shown the new citric acid ester has an equivalent effect to soya lecithin when tested in a milk system, "opening up the possibility of the product as an instantising agent for other powdered food preparations intended for re-hydration in water or milk."