Is emulsifier 442 vegetarian?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is emulsifier 442 vegetarian?” and will discuss how 442 is used in chocolate making.

Is emulsifier 442 vegetarian?

Maybe emulsifier 442 is vegetarian. There are a variety of sources for (minerals, plants and animals) E442, which is also known as Ammonium Phosphatides. As emulsifiers and stabilizers in some confectionary products, including cocoa and chocolate, Ammonium Phosphatides are chemically altered fatty acids, with a similar structure to lecithin. The manufacturer should be contacted to find out the origin of E442.

Chocolate making

To a chocolate maker’s delight, it’s now possible to maintain precise control over the viscosity of any kind of chocolate – ordinary or reduced fat – without having to deal with lecithin’s unpleasant flavors or odors. All of this is now achievable because of a highly refined manufacturing “tool.”

Chocolate has a complex flavor profile and compositional matrix consisting of sugar and cocoa particles and emulsifiers dispersed in a continuous phase of cocoa butter. This is due to the unique interactions of polymorphic lipid structures of cocoa butter. Emulsifiers have been used in chocolate to improve rheology, or flow properties. Manufacturers use emulsifiers as an opportunity to optimize their process and formulations to minimize cost. Emulsifiers have also been used to influence structural properties impacting consumer perception of chocolate texture and flavor. They are also believed to impact properties of solidified chocolate, including susceptibility to fat bloom, stability against fat migration from fillings, and stability against oxidation in filled/ nut laced chocolates (2).

Palsgaard® AMP 4455, a cutting-edge ammonium phosphatide chocolate emulsifier, was just introduced by Danish food products business Palsgaard A/S, generally regarded as the contemporary emulsifier’s creator (also known as AMP, Emulsifier YN or E442.) However, neither the product’s origins nor its name make Palsgaard’s ammonium phosphatide for chocolate manufacture especially appealing. That this product can outperform lecithin without the normal drawbacks of lecithin and at far lower doses is noteworthy. Palsgaard’s “more for less” approach ticks all the boxes for chocolate makers keen to reach their goals. For chocolates manufacturers, Palsgaard introduced Palsgaard AMP 4455, an ammonium phosphatide, as an alternative to lecithin. It is produced from a combination of refined and deodorized sunflower oil and glycerin. The company focuses on several benefits the ingredient can offer to manufacturers such as viscosity control and cost savings. Using as little as 40% of the dosage normally required with lecithin reduced the plastic viscosity and yield value of chocolate (4).

Problems with lecithin

For more than 60 years, lecithin has been a key component in chocolate recipes all over the globe, serving as a useful and relatively effective additive for altering flow characteristics and lowering fat content. 

Soy lecithin is the most commonly used emulsifier in chocolate products, although lecithin is commercially extracted from either soybean or sunflower seeds by solvent extraction and precipitation. In chocolate and coatings, the hydrophilic part of the lecithin molecule orients at the hydrophilic sugar crystal surface, with the fatty acid chains oriented into the continuous fat phase. Due to its surface-active nature, particularly at the hydrophilic sugar crystal surface, lecithin provides a significant reduction in viscosity of chocolate and coatings (3).

On the other hand, it isn’t without its flaws. Natural fluctuations in harvests from year to year and area to region affect the soy-based type utilized by the confectionery sector, for example. Initially, this entails supply and price variations, adding to the problems already faced by businesses as the cocoa butter market fluctuates. On the other hand, the quality of lecithin’s raw ingredients has a significant impact on its performance.

It’s not a problem with Palsgaard® AMP 4455 (E442). The newly created chocolate emulsifier gives chocolate qualities that have never previously been observed in chocolate. Also called YN lecithin, it is a synthetic lecithin. Because it’s made from readily available, non-GMO raw ingredients, its quality isn’t contingent on the whims of Mother Nature. If that wasn’t enough, Palsgaard’s AMP 4455 lecithin has been shown to outperform other forms of lecithin in the chocolate business at all dose levels. 

YN lecithin has a neutral flavor, a slightly greater effect of reducing chocolate viscosity than lecithin extracted from soya and can be used at higher dosage levels than natural lecithin without the negative impact on viscosity (3).

Picking winner

Since its invention in the late 1950s, the confectionery industry has relied on AMP as a chocolate emulsifier, and it is widely recognised as a viable alternative to other lecithin, such as GMO and non-GMO soy, sunflower, and rapeseed.

In 2007 ammonium phosphatide was GRAS certified as an emulsifier in chocolate and vegetable fat coatings at a level of up to 0.7%. The FDA recognizes it for having a non-genetically modified status and for not being an allergen. Preliminary studies suggest it lowers plastic viscosity without increasing yield value at a concentration of 0.5% (2).

Many years ago, Palsgaard recognised AMP as a potential leader in the field of viscosity-reducing chocolate emulsifier research. Because of this commitment to maximizing this potential, the firm has worked tirelessly to continually reassess and improve every component of an AMP-based solution to manufacturers’ difficulties, collaborating with clients from across the globe with a variety of chocolate systems.

Almost inexhaustible supply

Glycerine and refined sunflower oil are used in Palsgaard’s new AMP-based product, which is made entirely from vegetable sources. Because sunflower oil is a prominent commodity on the global commodities market, it has a steady supply and little fluctuation in price. Palsgaard also uses only Kosher and Halal-certified raw ingredients.

Ammonium phosphatides (E 442) is obtained from edible fat or oil as a source material. Usually, it is manufactured from partially hardened rapeseed oil or other liquid vegetable oil. Additionally, ammonium phosphatides can be manufactured using unhardened vegetable oil as the base oil, e.g. canola oil, sunflower oil, maize oil (1).

The best of all worlds: more for less

Any manufacturer’s goal is to use as little raw materials as possible to get the same end product. The Palsgaard® AMP 4455’s most striking benefit is that it has this ability. With any of the lecithin kinds described above, it is feasible to use as little as 40% of the amount necessary. The overall amount of emulsifiers used by the manufacturer will be drastically reduced if dosages are reduced even little (4).

A variety of elements, including the chocolate system (milk, dark, white, or crumb) and the present total fat level of the chocolate produced, influence the actual dose necessary. It will be more practical for many producers if the dose is reduced by half. Palsgaard, on the other hand, has repeatedly shown that even the most severe decreases in lecithin doses have been regularly proven in studies with 0.4 and 0.5 percent chocolates (4).

None of the effects of thickening have been seen

This “thickening effect” – an increase in yield value that typically occurs at lecithin doses of 0.4 to 0.5% – is a major obstacle for many chocolate makers to employ lecithin.

Increasing emulsifier concentrations causes thickening of the chocolate mass. This indicates that higher quantities of emulsifier causes hindrance between the long polyricinoleic acid chains of the emulsifier molecule. These chains are meant to provide maximum wetting of the fatty acid chains in the lipid phase, but steric hindrance created between molecules in the cocoa butter phase may lead to agglomeration of individual solid particles. Agglomeration of particles could affect cocoa butter melting properties in chocolate (2).

Only if you raise the dose of Palsgaard® AMP 4555  can improve yield. In order to reduce viscosity, producers may use up to one percent AMP. As a result, new, low-fat, low-calorie and low-cost dishes may be created.


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Is emulsifier 442 vegetarian?” and discussed how 442 is used in chocolate making.


  1. EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS), et al. Re‐evaluation of ammonium phosphatides (E 442) as a food additive. EFSA J, 2016, 14, e04597.
  2. Tisoncik, Melissa A. Impact of emulsifiers on physical, sensory, and microstructural properties in formulated dark chocolate with an innovative educational approach. University of Illinois, 2010
  3. Hasenhuettl, Gerard L., and Richard W. Hartel, eds. Food emulsifiers and their applications. Vol. 19. New York: Springer, 2008..
  4. Nachay, Karen. TexturizersBuild Better Food Products. FOOD TECHNOLOGY, 2016, 70, 52-61.

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