Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of a group of phospholipids found in egg yolks and the plasma membrane of plant and animal cells, used as an emulsifier in a wide range of commercial products, including foods, cosmetics, paints, and plastics. Also called phosphatidylcholine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the principal phospholipid in animals; it is particularly abundant in egg yolks, and is extracted commercially from soy. It is a major constituent of cell membranes, and is commonly used as a food additive (as an emulsifier).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A complex, nitrogenous phosphorized substance widely distributed through the animal body, and especially conspicuous in the brain and nerve tissue, in yolk of eggs, and in the white blood corpuscles.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A nitrogenous fatty substance, to which the formula C44H90NPO9 has been given, which is found in small quantity in the blood, bile, and other fluids of the body, but most abundantly in the brain- and nervetissues, in pus, and in the yolk of eggs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a yellow phospholipid essential for the metabolism of fats; found in egg yolk and in many plant and animal cells; used commercially as an emulsifier

Etymologies

French lécithine : Greek lekithos, egg yolk + French -ine, -in.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Coined in 1847 by Theodore Gobley, from Ancient Greek λέκιθος (lékithos, "egg yolk") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But what greatly helps the oil and water to remain separate is, among other things, a molecule in the yolk called lecithin, which, McGee explains, is part water soluble and part fat soluble.

    Ratio

  • Usually soy lecithin, which is derived from soybeans, is extracted chemically.

    Who Needs Soy Lecithin?

  • Eggs: A good source of lecithin, which is a great brain stimulant, also rich in choline, which helps improve memory function.

    Sweetnicks-Things You Need to Know

  • The lecithin is an oil-free lecithin powder containing 95% phosphatides.

    The New Super-Nutrition

  • Raw egg yolk: a potent source of organic lecithin, which is a major component in brain and nerve tissue; also stimulates sluggish adrenal glands, which alleviates fatigue; 2 yolks daily, blended into carrot juice.

    The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity

  • Many commercial dressings use a fatty substance called lecithin, but at home, it's much easier, and tastier, to add a flavouring that will do the same job.

    Life and style | guardian.co.uk

  • The richest source of choline found in the U.S. diet comes not from a food, but from an additive called lecithin (phosphytidylcholine).

    The World's Healthiest Foods

  • A good egg contains enough of a compound called lecithin to help breakdown most of the cholesterol present in the egg itself.

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows

  • Try to buy the kind of lecithin that has the highest phosphatidyl choline content because this substance is the second benefit of taking lecithin.

    How and When to Be Your Own Doctor

  • Unfortunately, as Goto demonstrated, bitters is full of small molecules, such as lecithin, which cause the champagne's foam to strengthen and grow, so pouring fizz onto bitters can be a messy proposition, releasing too much CO

    Popular Science - New Technology, Science News, The Future Now

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