Gelatin the natural choice

Did you know that gelatin has been in use since the time of ancient Egypt?

The main reason why gelatin has remained in use for over 3,000 years is that it offers significant advantages over other hydrocolloids.

It is a multi-talented ingredient. No other single hydrocolloid can match gelatin.

Protein, mineral salts and water

Gelatin is a pure, natural protein made from animal raw materials that contain collagen. It consists of 84 to 90 per cent protein and 2 per cent mineral salts, with water making up the rest. Gelatin is classified as a foodstuff and, is not a food additive with an E number. As a natural food, meeting ISO standards, gelatin fulfils, therefore, among other reasons, the requirements of the clean label products, the demand for which is steadily growing. The use of artificial or modified additives, which need to be labelled with an E number, are avoided as much as possible in the production of food. Gelatin contains neither preservatives nor other additives and is free of fat, cholesterol and uric acid compounds.

Due to its significant intrinsic properties, gelatin has tremendous benefits as a product for human consumption, in various edible and food products as well as in the demanding field of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products.

Gelatin combines all the following characteristics in a single product.

  • Exemplary water-binding characteristics
  • Excellent foaming stability
  • Viscosity modification
  • Gelation
  • Emulsifying properties
  • Binding properties
  • Elasticity
  • Film-forming properties
  • Protein supplement

There is no other natural ingredient in the world that combines all of the above-mentioned and necessary properties in just one food product.

Many applications need several of gelatin’s properties to be able to manufacture the final product. Only a combination of various ingredients would even come close to gelatin’s properties.

The most common usage of gelatin is edible gelatin followed by pharmaceuticalphotographic and technical gelatin.

If not for gelatin, how would we get gummy bears and jellies, where the gelatin imparts such superior taste and flavour release? And in dairy products, such as ice cream or yoghurts, how would we otherwise enjoy that smooth, creamy mouth feel?

Without gelatin, the pharmaceutical and vitamin industries would be unable to produce the modern-day capsules which allow for the measured dosage and controlled release of medicines, drugs and vitamins.

Even though gelatin has been with us for over 3,000 years, it continues to find new uses.

Gelatin - the natural choice
Gelatin and capsules
Gelatin sweets


What is gelatin?2021-01-26T01:57:12+00:00

Gelatin is a pure, unique, nutritional protein providing many of the essential amino acids.

Gelatin is not chemically modified, nor produced from genetically modified materials—gelatin is entirely natural.

Gelatin is derived from the partial hydrolysis of collagen and is a hydrocolloid (water-loving) material, high in amino acids, and can absorb up to ten times its weight in water. In its solid dry state, gelatin is a vitreous, brittle, solid material, faintly yellow to honey-like in colour, with about 10% moisture content.

When gelatin is ground to its commercial granular form, it is usually in particles the size of sand or sugar.
Gelatin has an almost indefinite shelf life when properly stored.

The most common form of gelatin is edible gelatin which excels in two major application areas.

As an ingredient in food, it can be found in yoghurts, light cream desserts as well as jellies and gives fruit gums their unique consistency.

As an excipient in pharmaceuticals, it is employed to manufacture hard and soft capsules which are ideal vehicles to safely deliver active ingredients.

What are collagen peptides?2021-01-17T07:10:39+00:00

Collagen peptides are derived from the same raw materials used for gelatin manufacturing employing an extraction process based on enzymes.

This natural product is made up of 97% protein (dry weight basis).

The functionality of hydrolyzed collagen does not lie in its texturizing properties through gelling and/or water-binding but is manifested by the effects it has on the human body, hence being a looked-for ingredient in functional foods and dietary supplements.

Indeed, hydrolyzed collagen provides multiple health benefits by acting as building blocks for healthy joints, bones and muscles as well as skin. Moreover, as a pure protein, it is used in weight-loss products such as nutrition bars or diet products.

What is gelatin made of?2021-02-01T22:00:30+00:00

The raw materials used the most are bone, pork and cattle skins and splits.

Gelatin is exclusively made from the raw materials of slaughtered animals that have been approved for human consumption.

In terms of quality, they are equivalent to the meat products used in the kitchen.

Gelatin is a foodstuff and does not need an E number.

Where does the collagen come from?2021-01-17T06:55:14+00:00

Collagen occurs extensively in nature and is derived from natural sources such as skin, connective tissue and bones of animals.
It is the most common fibrous protein found in the organic and physical structure of the vertebrates; that is, birds, reptiles, fish and mammals, including humans.
Collagen is the basic structure of all the skin, tendon, bone, membrane and connective tissue in our bodies and in the bodies of those creatures. Collagen is the structural protein of the animal kingdom and that of humans.

It is to humankind and to animals to what cellulose is to plants.
There are no plant sources of collagen.

How do you prepare gelatin properly?2021-01-17T07:04:56+00:00

A guide to gelatin preparation

Rule of thumb for the dosage and swelling of leaf gelatin:

•    For jellies, per ½ litre of liquid: use 6 leaves
•    For cream desserts (with egg yolk): use 4 leaves
•    For moulded cream desserts: use 8 leaves

Leaf gelatin swells when it is placed into a bowl of cold water. A packet of leaf gelatin is enough to set half a litre of liquid. The leaf gelatin is left to soak in the cold water for five minutes, which causes it to swell and soften. Some of the water is pressed out of the gelatin by hand and the gelatin is then dissolved in a warm (not hot) liquid, all depending upon the recipe, by which the structure of gelatin changes and it loses its binding properties. Leaf gelatin is easy to work with and very soluble.

Rule of thumb for the dosage and swelling of powdered gelatin:

A standard sachet of powdered gelatin (9 grams) is enough to set 500 millilitres of liquid and is the equivalent of 6 leaves of gelatin.

•    For jellies, per ½ liter of liquid: use 9 grams of powdered gelatin
•    For cream desserts (with egg yolk): use 6 grams of powdered gelatin
•    For molded cream desserts: use 12 grams of powdered gelatin

The ground gelatin can directly be soaked in the liquid in which it will later be dissolved (for example in fruit juice or whipped cream, or, as an alternative, in water).

However, enough liquid should be used that it completely covers the gelatin powder.

After soaking for five minutes, the pot with the gelatin is simply placed on the stove and heated on a low heat while stirring until the gelatin has completely dissolved.

Again, it is very important to avoid overheating.

It may be a bit easier to work with ground gelatin but it cannot be measured out as easily as leaf gelatin.

Some recipes do not include a liquid that can be used to dissolve the gelatin.

In this case, the soaked gelatin can be dissolved without adding any liquid.

A bain-marie should be used to avoid overheating.

Only leaf gelatin can be dissolved without the addition of a liquid.

Is edible gelatin a healthy, nutritional and safe food product?2021-01-17T07:01:52+00:00

Gelatin has always been and remains a safe food product for human consumption.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Commission for Health and Consumer Protection confirm the safety of gelatin.

What are gelatin’s main uses?2021-01-17T07:00:07+00:00

The main uses of gelatin are in the food, pharmaceutical and photographic industries.

Are there any other uses?
Some non-edible gelatins referred to as Technical Gelatins, have a variety of applications such as adhesives, and microencapsulation.

How long does gelatin keep?2021-01-17T07:05:39+00:00

Retained in a sealed container at ambient non-humid room temperature, gelatin will last for years.

Is all gelatin the same?2021-01-17T07:09:18+00:00

There are different types of gelatin.

It is classified as Type A when sourced from pig skin, and Type B when sourced from beef skin.

It is graded according to its strength, called its ‘bloom’.

The higher the bloom numbers, the higher the grade.

Is there kosher and halal gelatin?2021-01-17T07:06:34+00:00

The Islamic and Jewish requirements are different. But gelatin may have the approval of both.

Among gelatin’s many attributes are its several key advantages over other hydrocolloids.

Gelatin is a natural protein whose constituent amino acids are identical to those that occur naturally in the human body. As such, it is generally accepted as food in its own right.

It is extracted from non-genetically modified materials.

Furthermore, alternative hydrocolloids only replace one attribute of gelatin.

In some cases, such replacements have been highly chemically transformed from their original material and are not classed as foods. Their use is then regulated.

With gelatin’s multiple advantages and superiority over other hydrocolloids, when technologists consider their options, the clear choice is gelatin—the natural choice.

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