Phenomenon of Lecithin : Science | Technology | Applications book cover
1st Edition

Phenomenon of Lecithin
Science | Technology | Applications

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ISBN 9783982075136
November 25, 2021 Forthcoming by CRC Press
556 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The outstanding and versatile properties of lecithin have been investigated and described by many scientists over the last decades. Lecithins are mixtures of polar lipids (phospholipids) and are natural components of all animal and plant cell membranes, where they have essential functions. The amphiphilic structure of phospholipids gives them their special emulsifying and dispersing properties. Besides the widely used vegetable lecithins from soybeans, sunflower and rapeseed, also lecithins from animal sources, like eggs, milk or marine life, are now gaining ground. The diversity of their applications in food, animal feed, dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and in the technical industry is unique. The increasing importance of this outstanding natural substance has made it necessary to update the knowledge base.

The book editors have succeeded in gaining 24 renowned scientists and technologists from eight countries to make their knowledge available to a broad public in the book Phenomenon of Lecithin – Science, Technology and Applications. The development and current status of lecithin as a product are very closely linked to the continuously increasing variety of applications and also to the legal requirements and the market situation, and these issues are addressed at the beginning of the volume. The theoretical principles – the chemical, physiological and physical properties of phospholipids – constitute the basis for understanding the book. The practical part deals with the origin, production, processing and modification of lecithin and also with quality control, which is a very important part of the production process. The subsequent descriptions of the numerous applications of lecithin make up the core of the work.

May the book Phenomenon of Lecithin give chemists, biologists, pharmacists, technologists and entrepreneurs a deeper insight into this miraculous and unrivalled nutrient. And may it inspire further intensive research.

Table of Contents

1. Lecithin: Past - Present - Future

2. Theoretical Principles

3.Origin and Production of Lecithin

4. Modification and Fractionation of Lecithin

5. Quality Control and Legal Principles of Lecithin

6. Application of Lecithin in Food

7. Lecithin in the Feed Industry

8. Other Fields of Application of Lecithin

About the editors

List of Contributers



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Dr Waldemar Buxmann graduated in food technology at the University of Bonn and subsequently prepared his doctoral thesis on the techno-functional properties of egg phospholipids at the German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL e.V.) Quakenbrück, Germany in collaboration with the Technical University of Berlin. During his time as a research associate in the research platform on Food Structure and Functionality at the DIL, he headed several publicly funded research projects focussing on lecithin and phospholipids.

In 2012 he took the step into the food industry by joining Sternchemie, the lecithin producing company within the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe in Hamburg. He is currently head of the technical department at Sternchemie. His interests are lecithin and phospholipids, product and process development and applications of lecithin in food.


Dr Parris M. Kidd was born in Jamaica, earned his Bachelor degree in zoology at the University of the West Indies, then acquired his doctorate in zoology – cell biology at the University of California in Berkeley. He was a research investigator at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center until entering integrative medicine with a textbook on nutritional antioxidants. He was the leading scientist in establishing the phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS) as a brain nutrient on five continents. He is recognized internationally for his expertise on the nutritional applications of lecithins, phospholipids, omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids, and other nutrient classes. Dr Kidd now focuses on the use of nutritional medicine to improve memory and other mental performance. He is currently Chief Science Officer for BrainMD of Irvine, California, USA.


Volkmar Wywiol, born in 1935, has been closely associated with the products lecithin and phospholipids for over 65 years. As a long-standing employee and subsequent managing director of the Hamburg company "Lucas Meyer – The Lecithin People" he was among the pioneers of the worldwide development and marketing of lecithin.

In 1980 Volkmar Wywiol ventured into business on his own with Sternchemie. Together with the oil mill group and the leading American lecithin producer Central Soya (acquired by DuPont, today IFF) he later established the joint venture Stern-Lecithin & Soja. In the 1990s, this company grew to become Europe’s leading supplier of lecithin, with a broad basis of applications research, acknowledged lecithin experts and a modern tank farm and processing facility in Rotterdam.

From 2000, Volkmar Wywiol extended the product range of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe by purchasing and establishing further companies in the field of food ingredients and feed additives. These included Berg + Schmidt, Mühlenchemie, Hydrosol, SternEnzym, Herza Schokolade, SternVitamin, DeutscheBack and others. With 12 specialist ingredient firms in Germany and 18 affiliates abroad, the owner-managed Group is now one of the world’s most competent developers and manufacturers of customized functional ingredients for food and feed.

In 2020, Volkmar Wywiol received the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Mayor of Hamburg.


After leaving school in 1948, Rüdiger Ziegelitz initially trained as a chemical laboratory assistant from 1948 to 1951. From 1955 to 1959 he attended the Evening Technical College in Hamburg, where he qualified as a chemical technologist. From his initial training until 1995, Rüdiger Ziegelitz was employed by Dr Meyer-Castens & Co. GmbH, Hamburg (subsequently Lucas Meyer), where he later held general commercial power of attorney. From 1980 he was a managing director responsible for product control, applications of lecithin products (including customer advice), development of new products, process technology for the production of oil-free phospholipids, fractionation of phospholipids and enzymatic modification, and also processing of soy proteins and their applications in food and feed. He organized phospholipid symposiums in 1986,1989 and 1993 and the first and second Hamburg Soy Conferences in 1986 and 1991. From 1995 until 2015 he acted as a free-lance consultant to the Stern-Wywiol-Gruppe.