Sunflower lecithin approved in Japan

Cargill has obtained approval for the use of sunflower lecithin in Japan – previously the only country where it had not been approved for use food applications. A versatile emulsifier and wetting agent, Topcithin sunflower lecithin is suitable for a variety of food applications, such as confectionery, particularly chocolate, bakery and convenience foods.

Approval by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare means that Topcithin sunflower lecithin, a clean label non-GM emulsifier is available to customers in Japan for the first time. It also means food companies worldwide can export products containing Topcithin sunflower lecithin for sale in Japan. Moreover, sunflower seeds are not among the common causes of food allergy, so Topcithin is not subject to allergen labelling requirements, unlike soy-derived varieties.

Cargill Texturizing Solutions commissioned studies from Japanese research company INA Research to fulfil the conditions for use from the country’s food authorities. After working closely with the Japanese government’s approval panels for three years, official approval of sunflower lecithin (E322) as a food additive was published on 10 April 2014.

Chris Hollebeck, Cargill texturizing’s business line manager, lecithins, explains, “Until now Japan was the only country where sunflower lecithin had not been approved for food use, so businesses in this market and those exporting to Japan were missing out on this natural and safe alternative to soy lecithin. We initiated and secured the approval from the Japanese food authorities and are pleased that our customers in Japan can now benefit from our versatile, nature-derived and non-GM Topcithin sunflower lecithin.”

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