Lecithin Treatment's Effects on Cholesterol

January 13/Food & Farm Week -- According to a study from Iran, "Dietary fats have been implicated in the progression of coronary heart disease (CHD), and cholesterol-lowering procedures have attracted much attention since the link between cholesterol and CHD was established. This study aims to investigate the cholesterol-lowering effect of soybean lecithin on bleached and deodorized beef suet, a slaughterhouse by-product."

"Beef suet was bleached, deodorized and subjected to lecithin treatment, and the effects of lecithin-to-suet ratio, stirring time, stirring rate, and lecithin-to-water ratio on cholesterol reduction were investigated. Bleaching and deodorization, increasing of lecithin to-suet ratio, stirring rate, and stirring time up to 1.5 hours elicited a linear reduction in cholesterol content, although further stirring showed no evidence of significant cholesterol reduction. In addition, different lecithin-to-water ratios did not show significant effect on cholesterol removal content. In all, up to 54.8% of bleached and deodorized beef suet cholesterol was reduced by lecithin treatment. Moreover, treatment with lecithin demonstrated an increase in suet-free fatty acids and color value with no effect on peroxide value," wrote A. Heshmati and colleagues.

The researchers concluded, "Our observations suggest lecithin treatment as an appropriate method to reduce cholesterol in beef suet."

Heshmati and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis ("Reduction of Cholesterol in Beef Suet Using Lecithin." Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 2009;22(7-8):684-688).

For more information, contact A. Heshmati, Hamadan University Med Science, Laboratory Food Anal & Qual Control, Food & Drug Department, Hamadan, Iran.

From the January 18, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition