Lecithin meaning

lĕs'ə-thĭn
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.
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Any of several phosphatides found in nerve tissue, blood, milk, egg yolk, soybeans, corn, etc.: used in medicine, foods, cosmetics, etc. as a wetting, emulsifying, and penetrating agent.
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Any of various substances containing phosphatidylcholine and a variety of other phospholipids, extracted from soybeans, egg yolks, or other sources and used as emulsifiers in a wide range of commercial products, including foods, cosmetics, paints, and plastics.
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A fatty substance present in most plant and animal tissues that is an important structural part of cell membranes, particularly in nervous tissue. It consists of a mixture of diglycerides of fatty acids (especially linoleic, palmitic, stearic, and oleic acid) linked to a phosphoric acid ester. Lecithin is used commercially in foods, cosmetics, paints, and plastics for its ability to form emulsions.
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(organic chemistry) 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).
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Origin of lecithin

  • French lécithine Greek lekithos egg yolk French -ine -in
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • Coined in 1847 by Theodore Gobley, from Ancient Greek λέκιθος (lékithos, “egg yolk")
    From Wiktionary