Lecithin is utilized in a wide variety of food and industrial applications. The French scientist, Maurice Gobley, first discovered the substance in 1850, and named it "lekithos," the Greek term for egg yolk. At the time, eggs provided a primary source of commercially-produced lecithin. Today, the majority of lecithin used in food applications is derived from soybeans. Soy lecithin offers a multifunctional, flexible and versatile tool. It is probably best known for its emulsifying properties, which help promote solidity in margarine and give consistent texture to dressings and other creamy products. Lecithin is also used in chocolates and coatings (often added to lower their viscosity) and to counteract spattering during frying. It increases lubricating effects of fats and decreases surface tension. Additionally, its unique lipid molecular structure makes lecithin useful for pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications and various industrial uses such as paints, textiles, lubricants and waxes.