As commodity prices rise, cost reduction and supply chain security become critical issues for food manufacturers, particularly in times of crisis. In the ingredients business especially there is a need for available, cost-efficient, and functional alternatives. One of these is rapeseed lecithin.  

Lecithin from regionally grown rapeseed not only has cost advantages, it also scores points for availability, quality, functionality, and sustainability. Tom Eggerstedt, Product Manager Rapeseed lecithin at Sternchemie, says, “In the past, rapeseed was overshadowed by its botanical competitors sunflower and IP soy. But due to supply chain disruptions resulting from the various crises in the past three years, many of our customers have switched to rapeseed lecithin. And not just that – rapeseed stands out as a safe, available, lower priced, and more regional alternative. We get more and more feedback from customers saying that going forward they want to stay with this lecithin source.”  

Without doubt, economic considerations encourage a switch to rapeseed lecithin by customers. For over 30 years rapeseed lecithin has averaged lower in price than lecithin from other non-GM botanical sources. As a natural product, mostly regionally grown and produced with short transport distances between growers and final customers, rapeseed lecithin also has an attractively low environmental impact. 

Extensive portfolio  

Sternchemie focuses on quality and functionality. “With its current quality standards, rapeseed has overcome the critical image it once had. By modifying seed and improvement of production and processing steps, today rapeseed lecithin has reached the same level as lecithin from other botanical sources,” says Kira Plake, Technical Product & Application Manager. “Undesirable erucic acid long ago stopped playing any role in cultivated rapeseed varieties.”   

Purely functionally, rapeseed lecithin is comparable to soy and sunflower lecithin, and therefore a very good GMO-free and allergen-free alternative. “Through continuous research in the area of product applications we are now able to use rapeseed lecithin in almost all applications with the highest degree of functionality,” explains Plake. Accordingly, in addition to IP soy and sunflower lecithin, Sternchemie offers an extensive line of rapeseed lecithin specialties, ranging from the standard liquid product to pure lecithin powder to sprayable and powdery compounds. 

Customer-oriented sourcing 

“It is our mission to manage the challenges on the ingredient markets with our product, process, and applications expertise, while always meeting customer needs,” comments Eggerstedt. Thanks to our wide network on the commodity market, we can anticipate and address crises and bottlenecks proactively. Sternchemie also offers individual consulting, as Plake notes: “In the current market context quality can vary greatly, and the customer is not always in a position to assess it. We can help with our product knowledge and application experience. We have always focused on quality and functionality in sourcing for our customers.”  

Sternchemie offers not only standard products, but also highly specialized customer solutions, which it continuously develops further, focusing on customer needs and tailor-made problem solutions. Technological applications advice, customer closeness, and on-site consulting are therefore part of Sternchemie’s service offerings and help ensure smooth processes. If needed the company will also assist with product implementation, and if desired will do so in person at the customer site.  

Get in touch with our sales team for more information.

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