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Gelatine - An Overview

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The Superiority and Advantages of Gelatine

Gelatine is the only natural gelling protein of commercial importance. It also has the following two unique properties.

  • It is capable of producing clear thermo-reversible gels when combined with water.
  • In its gel form it melts at body temperature.

Due to these unique features there is often no satisfactory alternative or substitue for gelatine. The end product would not be available to the consumer without its gelatine content.

These and gelatine's other significant intrinsic properties allow it to be used in a variety of ways - not only as a product for human consumption, in various edible and food products but also in the demanding field of pharmaceuticals .

without gelatine, 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.

Among gelatine'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 and allergen free. As such, it is generally accepted as a food in its own right.
  • it is extraced from non-genetically modified materials.
  • Alternative hydrocolloids only replace one attribute of gelatine. 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.
  • Gelatine is not considered an additive, and can be used freely without limitation or qualification. Thus an 'E' number, as required by many countries on food labelling, is not necessary for gelatine.
  • Gelatine combines all the following characteristics in a single product;
    • Exemplary water binding characteristics
    • Excellent foaming stability
    • Thickening (Viscosity modification)
    • Gelation
    • Emulsifying properties
    • Binding properties
    • Elasticity
    • Film forming properties
    • Protein supplement

Such characteristics enable gelatine to be used in a wide range of applications and products found both in industry and in the home.

Gelatine continues to find new and unique uses.

It has been indispensable in photographic film and paper.

In this age of global electronic communications it is vital for printing papers and digital photographs.

Is it any wonder that gelatine - whether used in the food, pharmaceutical and photographic industries-has been described as the technologist's Swiss Army Knife'?

With gelatine's multiple advantages and superiority over other hydrocolloids, when technologists consider their options, the clear choice is gelatine - the natural choice.


Gelatine is a highly versatile natural ingredient that is used by the food, pharmaceutical and photographic industries for a variety of purposes

Gelatine is manufactured in facilities which maintain the highest standards for health and safety. The raw material used for production of gelatine is the naturally occurring protein collagen which is commercially sourced from the meat industry from healthy animals designated for human consumption. Each stage of the manufacturing process is rigorously controlled in modern laboratories to ensure purity and quality. The process of converting collagen into gelatine involves several cleansing and purification steps. The end result is an off white dry powder of the utmost purity.

Gelatine is a multifunctional ingredient with unique properties: it melts at body temperature and it forms thermoreversible gels. There is no satisfactory alternative or substitute for gelatine because of these two unique properties. These unique properties and other significant intrinsic properties provide a highly versatile substance which can be used for:

These unique properties and other significant intrinsic properties provide a highly versatile substance which can be used for:

Thermoreversible gel formation
Film forming

Gelatine gives a unique mouthfeel in food application, already appreciated since ancient time. Gelatine is a foodstuff not a food additive. Therefore, gelatine can be used freely without limitation or qualification and does not require an ‘E’ number. Moreover, gelatine is a natural protein composed of the same amino acids as those found in the human body and contains 18 amino acids of which 9 out of 10 (of which 2 are only essential to children) are essential in the human diet. It is also known that gelatine hydrolysate derived from gelatine has a preventive and regenerative effect on the skeleton and locomotors system – especially bones, cartilage, tendons and ligaments.

A range of hydrocolloids or blends of - have been marketed to replace gelatine in both food and pharmaceutical applications. These alternative hydrocolloids have not successfully provided the combination of functionalities found in gelatine.

Some of the typical problems encountered are :

final texture and mouth feel is different
shelf life is inferior (faster drying out )
shelf life is inferior (faster drying out )
the direct cost of the finished product often increases.

Gelatine’s diversified uses and multiple advantages and superiority over other hydrocolloids in the food, pharmaceutical and photographic industries have earned it the descriptive terminology of the technologists’ Swiss army knife. Gelatine is indeed the clear and natural choice for the full range of gelling, stabilising and thickening applications utilised by these industries.