Phospholipids are the major components in commercial lecithin. The phospholipids can range from 50 to 95%, depending on the neutral lipid content (Table 1). Triglycerides are the second major component and have fatty acids similar to the source oil. Fatty acids are natural components found in the lecithin manufacturing process, although additional fatty acids may be added as fluidizing agents. Again, the fatty acids resemble the source oil. Phospholipid fatty acids are peculiar to their source. Each vegetable or animal source can change the resulting fatty acid composition.

Phytoglycolipids are present in vegetable lecithins whereas animal lecithins may contain sphingomyelin, car-

Phosphatidylcholine (chemical lecithin)

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