“Food grade lecithin is a complex mixture of substances derived from the processing of soybean, corn, or safflower oil. Almost all of the lecithin of commerce is derived from soybeans. Phosphoglycerides, the major constituents of lecithin, are present throughout the body as chief components of cell membranes; significant amounts are also present in bile and plasma,” according to the FDA.
Lecithin, similar to carob bean gum, is a fatty substance that emulsifies and smooths textures. Lecithins are special in that they attract both water and fatty substances. They are found in plants and animals, and are most commonly extracted from soybeans.