What is gelatin?
Gelatin is a product derived from the partial hydrolysis of collagen. Gelatin is a hydrocolloid (water-loving) material, high in amino acids, and can absorb up to ten times its weight in water.
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.
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.
Where does the collagen come from?
Collagen is derived from natural sources such as skin, connective tissue and bones of animals. Collagen occurs extensively in nature.
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 thus 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.
As gelatin is derived from collagen, it follows that there are no plant source of gelatin either. Thus, there is no chemical relationship between gelatin and other materials often referred to as ‘vegetable gelatins’, such as seaweed extracts or gums like carrageen or guar.
From what animals are the skin, connective tissue and bones to make gelatin sourced?
From healthy animals, the meat of which has been certified for human consumption.
Is all gelatin the same?
No. 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.
What are gelatin’s main uses?
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 micro encapsulation.
Is gelatin made from animal’s hooves?
No. Hooves do not contain collagen. They contain keratin, the same as in your hair and fingernails.
Is edible gelatin a healthy, nutritional and safe food product?
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 does gelatin look like?
Gelatin is usually in a powder or granulated form. It is usually yellow to honey colored and tends to be odourless and tasteless.
How long does gelatin keep?
Retained in a sealed container at ambient non-humid room temperature, gelatin will last for years.
Is there kosher and halal gelatin?
The Islamic and Jewish requirements are different. But gelatin may have the approval of both.