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.

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.

These products can thus be categorised into two applications: edible and pharmaceutical.

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

These many characteristics enable gelatin to be used in a wide range of applications and products found both in industry and in the home.

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. Not only is it indispensable in photographic film and paper but also, in this age of global electronic communications, it is vital for our printing papers and digital photographs.

We enjoy our gummy bears and our ice cream so much more because of their gelatin content; we need gelatin for our medicine or vitamin dosages, and we often use gelatin with our computers when printing-all without necessarily knowing gelatin’s essential role.

Today, the 13 GMAP member companies manufacture their range of gelatins in state-of- the-art plants under strict processing regimes demanded by the food, pharmaceutical and photographic industries. Because food grade gelatin manufactured by GMAP members is produced under strict processing regulations and practices, akin to those for meat and milk, it is a safe, healthy and natural product.

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

It 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.

Another distinct advantage for today’s consumer is that gelatin is not an additive, and can be used freely without limitation or qualification. Thus an ‘E’ number, as required by many countries on food labeling, is not necessary for gelatin.

Is it any wonder that gelatin—whether used in the food, pharmaceutical and photographic industries—has been described as the technologist’s ‘Swiss Army Knife’?

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

For further information please contact any of the organisations listed under GMAP Members and Contacts.