Bakers Journal

FDA lists Sternchemie’s sunflower lecithin as GRAS

April 26, 2021
By Bakers Journal

Sternchemie has received a GRAS “letter of no objection” from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its wide range of sunflower lecithins.

GRAS stands for “Generally Recognised As Safe.” The FDA confirms that sunflower lecithin from Sternchemie, whether liquid, de-oiled or hydrolyzed, can safely be used in a wide variety of food products.

GRAS notification is essential for all manufacturers who want to produce in or export to the North American market. Additives can be used without such assessment, but only on the manufacturer’s own responsibility. “GRAS notification provides regulatory certainty for our customers and the basis for introducing alternatives to soy lecithin and artificial emulsifiers to the market,” notes Carsten Granso, Sternchemie Business Unit director.

As a versatile emulsifier and surface-active ingredient, sunflower lecithin can be used in many different foods, from chocolate to baked goods. Sunflower lecithin is also very well suited to the booming plant-based segment with its various meat and dairy substitute products. “We see great potential, especially in the growing segment of health & nutrition products, like meal substitutes, protein shakes and the like. With GRAS notification we give our customers another tool for making declaration-friendly products, with attributes that are more and more in demand by consumers,” said Granso in a statement.


Lecithin has proven its value in the food industry for decades as an emulsifier, dispersant and separating agent. As a natural product, lecithin has a positive image with consumers. Sunflower lecithin also has another key advantage – unlike soy, sunflower is not classified as a food allergen, and thus need not be declared as such on the ingredients list. This is a major plus for making clean label products.


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