What is Gelatin?

Gelatin Product

What is Gelatin?

Gelatin is a protein that is derived from the partial hydrolysis of collagen, which exists in the skin and bones of animals. The most common types of gelatin are manufactured from porcine skin, bovine bone and bovine hide.  Gelatin has unique characteristics that make it especially useful as a gelling agent, binder, emulsifier, or thickener. Its “melt-in-your-mouth” characteristics and its ability to form thermo-reversible gels, are two of its most desirable properties.

Gelatin Structure

Proteins are made of components called amino acids. The human body is able to synthesize some amino acids on its own. Other amino acids need to come from our diet.  “Essential Amino Acids” are the components that need to come from an outside source. Edible gelatin contains nine of the ten essential amino acids. Gelatin contains non-essential amino acids also. It contains specific amounts of 18 different amino acids (AA) which are joined together in sequences to form polypeptide chains of ca. 1000 AA per chain, scientifically known as the primary structure. Three of the polypeptide chains formed this way join together as a left-hand spiral to give the secondary structure. In the tertiary structure, the spiral winds and folds itself to a right-hand spiral (triple helix). This results in a rod-shaped molecule, the so-called proto fibril

Gelatin contains:

  • 84-90% protein
  • 1-2% mineral salts
  • 8-15% water
  • It is free from additives and preservatives