ELMA closely monitors legislative developments at the EU level on a range of topics with relation to lecithin, and is also active in promoting research on the health benefits of lecithin. Since its inception ELMA has also developed its relations with other industry organisations such as CAOBISCO, FEDIOL and EUVEPRO.
ELMA members meet several times per year to discuss current topics of mutual interest and decide on common actions to undertake in order to promote its objectives.
Ongoing legislative topics of particular interest for ELMA
- Re-evaluation of lecithin as a food additive.
- Authorisation of lecithin as a feed additive
- Registration of lecithin-related substances under the REACH¹ Regulation.
Lecithin is a well tolerated and non-toxic surfactant. It is approved by the US FDA for human consumption with the status “Generally Recognised As Safe”. Lecithin is an integral part of cell membranes, and can be totally metabolized, so it is virtually non-toxic to humans. Other emulsifiers can only be excreted via the kidneys.
Lecithin is used commercially for anything requiring a natural emulsifier and/or lubricant, from pharmaceuticals to protective coverings. For example, lecithin is the emulsifier that keeps chocolate and cocoa butter in a candy bar from separating.
Various studies (Brook et al. 1986, Spilburg et al. 2003) indicate that soy-derived lecithin may positively affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood
EU Commission links of relevance for legislative topics:
- Food safety.
- Community Register of Feed additives.
- GM Food and Feed – Notification of existing products.
1. REACH: Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals