The importance of gelatin in food manufacturing
The use of gelatin is highly important in several sectors, especially in the food industry.
The search for versatile ingredients that can improve the texture, stability, and quality of products has always been a priority in the food sector.
In this scenario, gelatin stands out as a unique raw material, playing a crucial role in the manufacture of a variety of foods due to its numerous properties.
In this article, we will explore the relevance of gelatin in the food sector, highlighting the benefits and functions that make it essential for creating high-quality products.
The gelatin base: processed collagen
Let’s get down to basics first. We must remember that gelatin is obtained from collagen, a natural protein found in animal tissues such as skin, bones, and cartilage.
It is processed and turned into gelatin, thus creating a versatile substance that plays a key role in food manufacturing.
But why is gelatin so important for food manufacturing? Read on to find out more!
The benefits of gelatin in food manufacturing
Due to its neutral and tasteless nature, gelatin can incorporate several elements and contribute to the overall complexity when combined with other ingredients.
In addition to providing collagen protein, which is extremely beneficial for health, gelatin features gelling, thickening, stabilization, clarification, and much more.
Take a look at the main applications in which gelatin has the greatest impact:
Within the confectionery industry, gelatin is commonly used in several processes for the most diverse functions:
- It is used in the manufacture of chewing gum and candies in general, thanks to its gelling capacity and thermo-reversibility;
- It is used to make marshmallows and other aerated food for its capacity to retain foam and form a gel film around the air;
- For desserts, it is often used to prepare toppings, sauces, and fillings, stabilizing mousses and creams. This is because it provides consistency, aeration, thickness, shine, and elasticity, giving desserts a better texture and flavor.
Basically, gelatin is much more than just the gelatin dessert we all know. It is heavily present in countless desserts in the confectionery world.
Gelatin is extremely useful in the manufacture of dairy products due to its stabilizing properties.
The stabilization process prevents phase separation in yogurts, resulting in a homogeneous product with a smooth texture. As for ice cream, it provides a smooth texture and keeps it free from ice crystals.
In meat products, such as canned food and cold meats, gelatin acts as an emulsifier, creating a pleasant texture and improving the final product’s appearance.
Also, due to its gelling capacity, it helps improve the product cut by penetrating and filling the cavities in the meat tissue.
Did you know gelatin is even used in beverage manufacturing?
That is right! Gelatin is very useful in beer and wine clarification processes thanks to its capacity to agglomerate particles, removing impurities and leaving the product translucent and shinier.
Gelatin facilitates the elimination of undesirable residues by reacting with the absorption of tannic acid in beverage manufacturing, thus improving the final product’s cleanliness.
Just as collagen itself is a Clean Label product, gelatin also acquires this clean property from the protein.
This facilitates its use in manufacturing low-calorie, low-fat, and low-sugar products.
Gelatin helps replace some of the fat content of products labeled “light” while maintaining the taste, aroma, and pleasant texture of the final product.
The greatest myth we see out there is that “gelatin is just a dessert.” That’s not true at all!
We have just shown how important the substance gelatin is in general food manufacturing, including desserts, meat products, beverages, and more.
However, what many people don’t know is that the food industry is just one of several other sectors in which gelatin is used. Fascinating, isn’t it?
It can be applied in the industrial, nutrition, cosmetic, and even pharmaceutical markets due to its enormous versatility and neutrality.
If you want to learn more about gelatin’s properties and its direct impact on health, click here and check out our articles!