Gelatin is a translucent, colorless and insipid food ingredient. It is obtained from the partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals such as cattle, chicken, pigs and fish. During the hydrolysis process, the natural molecular bonds between the individual collagen chains are broken down into a form that is more easily rearranged. Its chemical composition is in many aspects very similar to that of the original collagen.
Gelatin is completely digestible and contains 18 different amino acids including 8 of the 9 essential amino acids to our body, with the exception of tryptophan. It is especially rich in glycine, proline and hydroxyproline which together account for almost 50% of the composition of the molecule. Gelatin is commonly used as a jellifying, stabilizing, emulsifying, clarifying, film-forming or foaming agent in food, medicine and vitamins capsules, films and photographic and cosmetic papers.
In food, gelatin’s main applications are found in candies, gums, marshmallows, dessert, yogurts, ice cream, frostings, icings and fillings, pâtés, cottage cheese and many others. The main characteristic of gelatin is called "Bloom" - popularly known as the gel force. The mechanical properties of the gelatin gels are closely linked to variations in temperature, bloom and elapsed time. The gelatin dissolves in water and forms a gel upon cooling. The melting point is below the temperature of the human body, creating a perfect organoleptic experience (aspects such as taste which an individual experiences using his taste buds).
Gelatin is classified as food by most administrative authorities and has received FDA GRAS status. Gelatin is a natural and versatile ingredient that allows the creation of clean label products (with neutral color, taste and odor).