Written and produced by the members of the GMIA

Gelatin Manufacturers Institute of America Members as of January 2012

Atlantic Gelatin / Kraft Foods Global Inc. Hill Street Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 (781) 938-2200 FAX (781) 935-1566 GELITA North America 2445 Port Neal Industrial Road Sergeant Bluff, Iowa 51054 (712) 943-5516 FAX (712) 943 Nitta Gelatin Canada, Inc. 60 Paton Road Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6H 1R8 (416) 532-5111 FAX (416) 532-6231 PB Leiner 7001 N. Brady Street Davenport, Iowa, 52806 Sales/Customer Service (516) 822-4040 FAX (563) 386-5755 Rousselot, Inc. 1231 South Rochester Street Mukwonago, Wisconsin 53149 US Customer Service (888) 455-3556 FAX (262) 363-2789 Weishardt International – NA 895 Italia Street Terrebonne – Quebec J6Y2C8 – Canada (450) 621 2345 FAX (450) 621 3535


........................ 13 Gelatin Nutritional Information........... 6 Amino Acid Content of Gelatins .......................................................................................................................................... 15 Functional Properties of Gelatin in Foods..................................................................................................... 11 EDIBLE GELATINS.................................................................................. 12 General Specifications for Edible Gelatins ............... 3 GELATIN PRODUCTION ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 16 PHOTOGRAPHIC GELATINS ...... 19 General Specifications for Photographic Gelatins ....................................... 3 PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES................................ 11 GELATIN TESTING.............................................................................................................................. 15 General Specifications for Pharmaceutical Gelatins ......................................................................... 15 PHARMACEUTICAL GELATINS ............................... 19 TECHNICAL GELATINS ....... 22 2 ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7 BACTERIA AND PRESERVATIVES ........................................ 19 LITERATURE CITED (References) ..............................................Table of Contents INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................... 12 Gelatin as a Food Ingredient ...............................................

Throughout the entire process.S. and international standards and norms. As described in the introduction. does not occur free in nature. the chief protein component of the of the skin. such as seaweed extracts. alkaline. Gelatin is an important material. 3 . Gelatin is recovered from collagen by hydrolysis. pharmaceutical and photographic industries as well as diverse technical uses. There are no plant sources of gelatin. including fish and poultry. bones. the composition of which depends on the source of collagen and the hydrolytic treatment used. hoofs and other noncollagen containing parts of vertebrate animals.Introduction In the National Formulary (1) gelatin is defined as a product obtained by the partial hydrolysis of collagen derived from the skin. 6). gelatin is derived from collagen which is the principal constituent of connective tissues and bones of vertebrate animals (2. white connective tissue and bones of animals. U. 9000-70-8. finding application in the food. and connective tissue of animals. 3). There are several varieties of gelatin. followed shortly thereafter in England about 1700. or enzymatic hydrolysis of collagen. strict attention is paid to Good Manufacturing Practices and HACCP programs to ensure the purity of the gelatin. and there is no chemical relationship between gelatin and other materials referred to as vegetable gelatin. The product is tested at various intervals during production and as a finished product to ensure compliance with customer. The earliest commercial production of gelatin appears to have been in Holland around 1685. Gelatin CAS#. Collagen is distinctive in that it contains an unusually high level of the cyclic amino acids proline and hydroxyproline (4). Collagen consists of three helical polypeptide chains wound around each other and connected by intermolecular crosslinks (5. Gelatin derived from an acid-treated precursor is known as Type A and gelatin derived from an alkali-treated process is known as Type B. The first commercial production of gelatin in the United States was in Massachusetts in 1808. and cannot be recovered from horns. Typical gelatin production processes are shown in Figure 1 (7). In the Food Chemicals Codex (1) gelatin is defined as the product obtained from the acid. Gelatin Production An explanation of the gelatin production process will help in understanding the properties and the characteristics which exist among the several types and grades.

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Ossein usually requires more liming time than cattle hides. The final extraction is carried out close to the boiling point. Earlier extractions have higher molecular weights. or by making test extractions. Depending on previous treatment. Cattle hides are available from trimming operations in leather production. time. The so-called green bone from the slaughter of cattle is cleaned. and economics. Porkskin is a significant raw material source for production of edible gelatin in the United States. The short time required for pre-treatment prior to extraction. thereby compensating for any consumed. During liming some deamination of the collagen occurs. Although continuous extraction is used by some processors. The remaining acid is then drained off and the material is again washed several times with cold water. flesh and hair. sorted. The later extractions are made at increasingly higher temperatures. subsequent extractions being made with successive increases in temperature of 5-10° C. the pH adjusted with acid. Extraneous substances. the size of the pieces. which is divided into zones in each of which the temperature and humidity of the drying air is accurately controlled. porkskins come from slaughter houses and meat processing plants already trimmed of fat. The first extraction generally takes place at 50-60° C. These pretreated materials are then hydrolyzed to gelatin which is soluble in hot water. higher gel strength. The pieces of bone are then treated with dilute hydrochloric acid to remove mineral salts. usually 8-12. The air is 5 . After conditioning. and darker color. fats and albuminoids (found in skin). the nature of the material. open weave. and subsequently blended to meet various customer specifications. The porkskins are then ready for extraction with hot water. both ossein and cattle hide pieces are subjected to lengthy treatment with an alkali (usually lime) and water at ambient temperature. and the gelled material is deposited as a bed onto an endless. The hide pieces are usually dehaired chemically with a lime/sulfide solution followed by a mechanical loosening. Several alternative sources include poultry and fish. Hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid are most commonly employed. Typical temperatures range from about 30° C in the initial zone up to about 70° C in the final zone. Extracts are kept separate. When porkskins are utilized for production of Type A gelatin they are washed with cold water and then soaked in cold dilute mineral acid for several hours until maximum swelling has occurred. higher viscosity. cattle hides. and the product extracted with hot water to recover the soluble gelatin. The resulting sponge-like material is called ossein. and number of extractions varies from processor to processor depending on product needs. deionized. are removed by chemical and physical treatment to give purified collagen. the raw material is thoroughly washed with cold water to remove excess lime. both cattle hides and ossein receive similar treatment. and lighter color. The belt is passed through a drying chamber. Supplied as either fresh or frozen. degreased. and the exact temperature. stainless steel belt. and porkskins. dried. the resulting product has lower molecular weight. with evolution of ammonia. Porkskins are usually dehaired by scalding with a hot dilute caustic soda solution. The initial extraction usually provides a superior product. lower gel strength. analyzed. and crushed to a particle size of about 1-2 cm. The pH. temperature.The principal raw materials used in gelatin production are cattle bones. The process is controlled by the degree of alkalinity of the lime liquor as determined by titration with acid. Extraction procedures are closely controlled in the manufacture of both Type A and Type B gelatin since they influence both quality and quantity. type of equipment employed. such as minerals (in the case of bone). The dilute gelatin solutions from the various hot water extractions are filtered. compared with subsequent extractions. liming takes 5-20 weeks. The gelatin solution is then chilled and either cut into ribbons or extruded as noodles. For the production of Type B gelatin. most methods still employ discrete batch fractions. From this point on in the manufacture of Type B gelatin. The number of extractions varies. Gelatin recovered from bone is used primarily for pharmaceutical purposes. 3-6 is typical. and the minimization of wastewater generated are important economic factors in the manufacture of gelatin from this raw material. Additional lime is added to maintain an excess. timing of operations. Extraction is normally carried out in stainless steel vessels equipped with provisions for heating and temperature control. and concentrated by crossflow membrane filtration and/or vacuum evaporation.

but a mixture of fractions composed entirely of amino acids joined by peptide linkages to form polymers varying in molecular mass from 15. hydrogen-bonding. dehumidification and tempering. gelatin is properly classified as a derived protein. brittle solid faintly yellow in color. Two of gelatin’s most useful properties.3-1. depending on the quality and concentration of the material and the exact conditions employed.000 (15-21). When gelatin granules are soaked in cold water they hydrate into discrete. trifluoroethanol. and formamide. especially where high concentrations are desired. PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES Gelatin is nearly tasteless and odorless (FCC). Sterile solutions of gelatin when stored cold are stable indefinitely. Behavior of gelatin solutions is influenced by temperature. Gelatin stored in air-tight containers at room temperature remains unchanged for long periods of time. Examples of highly polar. often with exhaustion of moist air and replenishment with conditioned air. Dried gelatin is tested for quality and gel strength according to standard methods developed by the Gelatin Manufacturers Institute of America (8).usually conditioned by filtration. in terms of basic elements is composed of 50. Drying involves progressive increases in air temperature. The various amino acids obtainable from some gelatins by complete hydrolysis. Since it is derived from collagen. thermal history and concentration. ash content.5% carbon.4. these terms refer only to their uses. 6. pharmaceutical. 17% nitrogen and 25. are gradually weakened on prolonged heating in solution above approximately 40° C. On being warmed. The gelatin leaves the dryer with a moisture content of approximately 10%. in grams per 100 grams of dry gelatin. The rate of drying is carefully controlled to avoid melting and case hardening. 6 . method of manufacture. are listed in Table 1 (23-27). It is a vitreous. Collagen may be considered an anhydride of gelatin. gelatin is not a single chemical entity. It gives typical protein reactions and is hydrolyzed by most proteolytic enzymes to yield its peptide or amino acid components (12). but at elevated temperatures the solutions are susceptible to hydrolysis. organic solvents in which gelatin will dissolve are acetic acid. Therefore. acetone. This method of preparing gelatin solutions is preferred.2% oxygen (22). gel strength and viscosity.8% hydrogen. swollen particles. pH. primary alcohols and dimethylformamide (9). photographic or technical. and not to the methods of manufacture. Drying time is 1-5 hours. Gelatin is soluble in aqueous solutions of polyhydric alcohols such as glycerol and propylene glycol. these swollen particles dissolve to form a solution. When dry gelatin is heated above 45° C in air at relatively high humidity (above 60% RH) it gradually loses its ability to swell and dissolve (10). Gelatin is insoluble in less polar organic solvents such as benzene. Gelatin contains 813% moisture and has a relative density of 1.000 to 400. The hydrolytic conversion of collagen to gelatin yields molecules of varying mass: each is a fragment of the collagen chain from which it was cleaved. The dried bed is then broken into pieces that are ground to the required particle size. Degradation may also be brought about by extremes of pH and by proteolytic enzymes including those which may result from the presence of microorganisms (11-14). Gelatin. Although gelatins are sometimes referred to as edible.

9 2.5 0.8 0. pH and temperature (40).2 2.2 0. so that under ideal conditions the strength of the gel increases with time as more crossbonds are formed. In alkaline solutions gelatin is negatively charged and migrates as an anion. Gelatin in solution containing no non-colloidal ions other than H+ and OH.7 0.6 1. where the net charge is zero and no movement occurs. The pH of this solution is known as the Isoionic Point (pl).1 2.0 2.0 1.6 Skin) 11.5 1.7 26.7 and 5.4 Type B (Bone) 10.1 6. Figures 2 – 6 illustrate the behavior of gelatin gels as influenced by the effects of time.7 0.6 0. hydrogen.4 3.4 0.3 9. capable of acting either as an acid or as a base. esterification.8 3.4 4.0 4. Chemical Derivatives – Gelatin may be chemically treated to bring about significant changes in its physical and chemical properties. Formation of the crossbonds is the slowest part of the process.9 1.3 11. The intrinsic strength of gelatin is a function of both structure and molecular mass.0 2.4 0. and the presence of any additives.5% is cooled to approximately 3540°C it first increases in viscosity.5 known as isoionic gelatin. Hydrophobic.0 0. In acidic solutions gelatin is positively charged and migrates as a cation in an electric field.TABLE 1.55 6. pH.9 11.5 11. These solutions may be prepared by the use of ion exchange resins.5 2.2 6.1 14.5 1.1 26. a continuous fibriller three-dimensional network of fringed micelles forms throughout the system probably due to non-specific bond formation between the more ordered segments of the chains.7 0.5 28.0 Alanine Arginine Aspartic Acid Cystine Glutamic Acid Glycine Histidine Hydroxylysine Hydroxyproline Isoleucine Leucine Lysine Methionine Phenylalanine Proline Serine Threonine Tyrosine Valine Amphoteric Properties – Gelatin in solution is amphoteric.4 0.5 16.4 3.4 1. cross-linking and polymerization.1 5.5 0.2 2. Next.9 13. deamination.8 0.7 Trace 8.1 11.5 0. concentration. temperature.5 2.4 (29-32).1 4.2 0.3 4.2 14. AMINO ACID COMPOSITION OF GELATINS Type A (Porkskin) 8.4 27.2 2.7 8.9 11.3 2.8 6.1 3.9 0.9 2.8 3.4 0. Type B has a narrower isoelectric range between pH 4.5 15. Gel Strength – The formation of thermoreversible gels in water is one of gelatin’s most important properties.8 2.0 1.2 5. Typical reactions include acylation. When an aqueous solution of gelatin with a concentration greater than approximately 0.6 24.0 0.3 1.5 13.8 1.6 16.9 4. The first step in gelation is the formation of locally ordered regions caused by the partial random return (renaturation) of gelatin to collagen-like helices (collagen fold). The gel forming quality of gelatin is a significant physical quality parameter.6 10. The measurement of this property is very important from both a control standpoint and as an indication of the amount of gelatin required by a particular application.4 30.91 14.6 6.8 3.74 0.8 2.2 0. and then later forms a gel. The pH of the intermediate point.39). is known as the Isoelectric Point (IEP) (28).4 3.4 4.2 1. and electrostatic bonds may be involved in the crossbonding.2 14. Since these bonds are disrupted on heating.8 Type B (Calf 9.3 8. The total effect is a time-dependent increase in average molecular mass and in order (38.6 Trace 11. as well as simple reactions with acids and bases (33-37).7 3.0 9. The rigidity or strength of the gel depends upon gelatin concentration. These changes are the result of structural modifications and/or chemical reactions.0 13.0 8. Type A gelatin has a broad isoelectric range between pH 7 and 9.2 18.1 4.9 2. 7 .0 3.5 3. the gel is thermoreversible.1 2. the intrinsic strength of the gelatin.

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10 . Generally speaking.Viscosity . Porkskin gelatins usually have less color than those made from bone or hide. Figure 7 illustrates viscosity behavior for low. viscosity is at a minimum at the isoionic point. medium and high bloom gelatins. at 60°C. The efficiency of gelatin as a protective colloid is demonstrated by its Zsigmondy gold number which is the lowest of any colloid (42. second or further extraction. Color – The color of gelatin depends on the nature of the raw material used and whether the gelatin represents a first.50). Some gelatins of higher gel strength may have lower viscosities than gelatins of lower gel strength. A common application of coacervation is the use of gelatin and gum Arabic to produce oil-containing microcapsules for carbonless paper manufacture (46-48). Coacervation – A phenomenon associated with colloids wherein dispersed particles separate from solution to form a second liquid phase is coacervation.45). as a function of concentration. (40) Protective Colloidal Action – Gelatin is a typical hydrophilic colloid capable of stabilizing a variety of hydrophobic materials.The established method for the determination of viscosity involves efflux time measurement of 100ml of a standard test solution from a calibrated pipette viscometer (8). The viscosity of gelatin solutions increases with increasing gelatin concentration and with decreasing temperature. Molecular weight distribution appears to play a more important role in the effect on viscosity than it does on gel strength. Coacervation is also useful in the photographic industry (49. In certain cases viscosity is determined at concentrations at which the gelatin is to be used (41).43). This property is especially valuable to the photographic and electroplating industries. color does not influence the properties of gelatin or reduce its usefulness. Extensive coacervation studies have been conducted with gelatin (44.

in grams. At higher concentrations or different pHs the haze will be appreciably less. The pH has a most important influence.Turbidity – Turbidity may be due to insoluble or foreign matter in the form of emulsions or dispersions which have become stabilized due to the protective colloidal action of the gelatin. or soaking in water.0 +/. strict sanitary practices must be followed during manufacture in order to assure a clean. gelatin is very stable. but also can be degraded rather quickly by certain bacteria. Gelatin weights for standard tests are made as is. glass bottle. GELATIN TESTING Through the combined efforts of the technical staffs of the member companies. BACTERIA & PRESERVATIVES Gelatin is an excellent growth medium for bacteria. The addition of other nutrients to the gelatin may also increase the amount of preservative required. The gel strength is determined using a texture analyzer (52). Ion exchange treatment may be used for demineralizing or de-ashing of gelatins. Degradation of gelatin solutions and gels by bacteria.0.1°C for 17 +/. diminishing both gel strength and viscosity. Both tests are based on a standard 6.1g gelatin and 105. should be left in this state only if kept very cold. topical.1 hours. Pharmaceutical gelatins are limited to aerobic plate counts of 1000 per gram. bacterial growth is suppressed. Above pH 5. Food grade gelatins typically contain less than 3. Gel strength and viscosity are the two most important measurements used to assess the grade and quality of a gelatin. After chilling. or hot enough to destroy or inhibit bacterial growth. A pipet viscometer is used to determine viscosity. and molds may be inhibited by the use of preservatives. care must be taken to prevent contamination during use. the analytical procedures are continually reviewed and updated via collaborative testing. without moisture correction. Gelatin in solution. required to 11 . The gelatin molecule is not only thermally labile. This cooperative testing has led to significant improvements in the testing precision and accuracy of gelatin results. melted at 60-65°C) is carefully prepared in a specified 150 ml. The selection of the preservative depends upon whether the product application is edible. while yeasts and molds grow abundantly. The National Formulary and the Food Chemical Codex monograph on gelatin both require that Salmonella species and Escherichia coli be absent.000 bacteria per gram. the rigidity of the gel is measured as the force.67% test solution.0. which is then placed in a chilled water bath and held at 10 +/. The nature of the organisms which grow in gelatin solutions and gels depends upon a number of factors. At pH values less than 4. wide-mouth.2g deionized water. proteolytic bacteria can become active. Ossein and hide gelatins contain primarily calcium salts of those acids which are used in the neutralization after liming. the Gelatin Manufactures Institute of America has published a detailed volume which describes the methods of sampling and testing of gelatins (8). wholesome product.0. As a dry powder. Consequently. or technical. Ash – The ash content of gelatin varies with the type of raw material and the method of processing. In addition. Porkskin gelatins contain small amounts of chlorides or sulfates. Therefore. with no pathogens present. or to an isoelectric haze.67% gelatin (7. Gelatin gels generally require a greater concentration of preservative than do dilute gelatin solutions. The procedure for gel strength determination is summarized as follows: A water solution consisting of 6. and can be stored in air-tight containers for years with no loss in quality.50 +/. yeasts. This haze is at a maximum at the isoelectric point in approximately 2% solutions.

Brookfield CT3. the TA.7 5. This weight is referred to as the gel strength. are free of added colors. or Bloom rating.5 7 9 50 300 15 75 0.0. flavors. Gelatin is a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) food ingredient. The efflux time.impress a standard 0. In 1989. and later converted to millipoise based on the relationship established at time of calibration. of the gelatin. The greater the force required. 12 . Loss in weight on drying Potentiometric Standard sieve analysis Residue on ignition Wet chemistry Colorimetry Colorimetry Light transmittance at 640nm EDIBLE GELATINS Commercial gelatins vary from 50-300 Bloom grams and. The 6. Texture Technologies of Scarsdale. The TA.500 +/. In practice. LFRA Texture Analyser. computer interfacing. Commercial gelatins range from 50 to 300 Bloom grams. is recorded. and chemical additives. Other texture analyzers available for testing bloom strength include the Boucher electronic jelly tester.67% test solution is carefully brought to 60°C whereupon 100 ml is introduced into a calibrated capillary pipet. Gelatin is preferred in many applications for its clarity and bland flavor. the viscosity of gelatin is usually measured on the very same sample used for gel strength determination.4 50 300 20 75 0. New York.8 5. in seconds. except for specialty items.5 2 pH Isoelectric Point Gel Strength (Bloom) Viscosity (mps) Ash Two of gelatin’s most desirable properties are its melt-in-the-mouth characteristics and its ability to form thermoreversible gels. Each individual gelatin viscosity pipet is calibrated with oils traceable to the National Institute for Standards and Technology. Typical specifications for edible gelatins are: Type A 3. gelatin is relatively unaffected by ionic strength and is stable over a broad pH range. and greatly enhanced programmability.3 2 Type B 5 7.001 inch diameter plunger to a depth of 4 millimeters into the surface of the gel.XT2. the higher the strength of the gel. In addition. preservatives. Other analytical procedures in the gelatin Standard Methods manual include the determination of: Test Identity Moisture pH Granulation Ash Heavy Metals Fluoride Arsenic Clarity Methodology Hydroxyproline analysis and gel reversibility testing.5 4. released their newest texture analyzer.XT2 has improved precision and accuracy. and recommended use levels and Blooms. Table 2 lists several food categories which utilize gelatin.

Sugar-free versions are a mere eight calories per serving. Marshmallow producers generally use 2.0% 0.5% 1. patent was issued use for “portable gelatin” for use in desserts. Gelatin desserts remain popular: the current U.0% 2.5% 1.S.0% 2. Historically. market for gelatin desserts exceeds 100 million pounds annually. color and texture modifiers. Gelatin is used in foamed confections at a 2-7% level. Gummy foams use about 7% of a 175 Bloom gelatin.5% 7 9% 7 1. corn syrup and water. Gelatin Desserts – Gelatin desserts can be traced back to 1845 when a U. set the foam via gelation. gels.015% Gelatin Bloom 150 250 225 250 175 275 200 225 225 50 50 225 175 100 250 275 250 100 100 250 275 200 Confectionary – Confections are typically made from a base of sugar.7 2 0.TABLE 2. Gelatin is used in whipped confections such as marshmallows where it serves to lower the surface tension of the syrup. pleasant tasting.S. Confections such as gummi bears contain a relatively high percentage of gelatin. a small amount of salt was added as a flavor enhancer 13 . stabilize the foam thru increased viscosity. and contain only 80 calories per half-cup serving.5% 2. GELATIN AS A FOOD INGREDIENT Dairy Products Frozen Foods Gelatin Desserts Confectionery Gummy Bears Marshmallows Circus Peanuts Lozenges Wafers Bakery Fillings & Icings Meat Products Wine.002 9% 2.5% of a 250 Bloom Type A gelatin. A typical gelatin dessert formula would be: Sucrose Gelatin (250 Bloom) Fumaric Acid Sodium Citrate Salt Flavor Color 86. Today’s consumers are concerned with caloric intake. Gelatin is widely used in confections because it foams.2 1.0% 1. depending upon the desired texture.0% 5% . Regular gelatin desserts are easy to prepare.5 0. Beer.1 0. and prevent sugar crystallization. Juices Use Level 0.5 1 1 0. nutritious. available in a variety of flavors. To this base is added flavor.2% Optional As needed As needed The buffer salts are used to maintain the proper pH for flavor and setting characteristics. These candies dissolve more slowly thus lengthening the enjoyment of the candy while smoothing the flavor. or solidifies into a piece that dissolves slowly or melts in the mouth.5% 9.

He went on to state that in practice. 275 Bloom gelatin will require about 1. In practice a dilute (13%) gelatin solution is introduced into the top of the tank and then allowed to settle before filtration. The higher the Bloom the less gelatin required for a proper set (i. E. Rogowski (55) graphically showed that mixtures of beef muscle and gelatin actually increased the biological value by 7% when gelatin was added as 16% of the mixture. amount of broth. souse. the addition of collagen to meat products at levels of 25-30% would not be expected to have a significant effect on the protein nutritional status of individuals consuming meat products. Some general nutritional information on gelatin is presented in Table 3.e.S. stated Dr. Amino acid analysis of gelatins derived from common collagen sources is given in Table 1. hydrolyzed gelatin contains over 92% protein. The gelatin functions to absorb meat juices and to give form and structure to products that would otherwise fall apart. Typically it is blended with other hydrolyzed proteins to balance the nutritional aspects of the amino acids. and is readily digestible. The digestibility of collagen is very high. collagen (gelatin) can comprise from 25 to 50% of the protein and still meet or exceed adult nutritional needs (56). Special Dietary Uses – Gelatin in hydrolyzed form is used to protein fortify dietary foods. Fining of these beverages requires only 40 to 80 parts per million of a 100 to 200 Bloom gelatin. Laser-Reutersward et al. While collagen has been described as an empty protein. an excess of protein is routinely consumed and marginal levels of tryptophan are probably not of serious concern. Gelatin is not a complete protein for mammalian nutrition. chicken rolls. Dried. gelatin Bloom. Dietary concerns with collagen protein have been misunderstood for many years. (54) demonstrated that in rats. glazed and canned hams. or one having little nutritional value. head cheese.0.3% gelatin while a 175 Bloom gelatin will require 2. In fact. Gelatin in Meats – Gelatin is used to gel aspics. Gelatin is compatible with a wide variety of foods and ingredients. regardless of whether the collagen was heat treated or not. A 50/50 blend of gelatin/beef muscle had the same biological value as beef muscle alone. The point is that although humans should consume combinations of proteins from various sources for optimum utilization of the amino acids. 14 . it has been used to help keep together ingredients that are incompatible.0% to obtain an equal set). Clarification of Beverages and Juices – Gelatin has traditionally been used to clarify wine. Bodwell (53) reported that collagen can replace 30-40% of the protein in meat and still deliver a protein efficiency ratio greater than 2. C. It lacks the essential amino acid tryptophan and is deficient in sulfur-containing amino acids. and texture desired in the final product. Sweeteners other than sucrose can be used.Gelatin desserts can be prepared using either Type A or Type B gelatin with Blooms between 175 and 275. over 90% of collagen was truly digestible. In the U. shakes and fruit drinks are common uses for gelatin hydrolysates.. it does in fact contain many essential amino acids. Bodwell. and jellied meat products of all kinds. Soups. Normal usage level ranges from 1 to 5% depending upon the type of meat. beer and fruit juices.

chocolate milk. confectionery. GELATIN NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Moisture (%) Fat (%) Carbohydrates (%) Ash (%) Sodium (ppm) Phosphorous (ppm) Iron (ppm) Lead (ppm) Zinc (ppm) Nitrogen (%) Calcium (ppm) Potassium (ppm) Calories / 100 grams Type A 10. gravies. frozen desserts To affix nonpareils. Gelatin is truly remarkable in terms of its many functional properties in food applications. PHARMACEUTICAL GELATINS The use of gelatin in the manufacture of various pharmaceutical dosage forms dates back to the early 19 century and possibly earlier. meats. granulation.30 125 +/.5 +/. yogurt. flavorings. dairy products Microencapsulation of colors. sauces. frozen desserts and confections Meat rolls.2 +/. soft elastic gelatin capsules (Softgels). consommé.2 +/. ice creams.200 1 +/. encapsulation and micro-encapsulation. the commonly recognized dosage forms using gelatin are two-piece hard capsules. FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES OF GELATIN IN FOODS Function Gel former Whipping agent Protective colloid Binding agent Clarifying agent Film former Thickener Process aid Emulsifier Stabilizer Adhesive agent Application Gelled desserts.5 3600 +/. confectionery.10 . flavors. cream fillings. pate. to bind frostings to baked goods. dairy products Beer. deli items Powdered drink mixes.5 +/. icings. wine.. mousses.5 +/. tableting.1.100 330 +/.5 16. whipped cream Confectionery. soups.. nougats. soufflés.5 0 0 .1.. to bind seasonings to meat products. All gelatins used meet or exceed the requirements of the current United States Pharmacopoeia and National Formulary th 15 .50 360 Type B 10.4 500 +/. puddings.002 5 +/.2 . A variety of examples are given in Table 4 (57). confectionery. sauces. They should not be used for label claims. syrups. lunch meats.5 +/. aspics Marshmallows..3 16.3 900 +/. vitamins Cream soups. coconut and other items to confections. chiffons.TABLE 3. cheeses.. oils.5 0 0 1. dairy products Cream cheese. to bond layered confections together.002 1. fruit juices.200 4 +/.005 +/. vinegar Coating for fruits.5 +/.50 360 These figures are typical values or ranges which will vary greatly depending upon the type of raw material and methods of manufacture. Today. meat pastes. tablet coating. jellies.. TABLE 4..1400 15 +/.3 90 +/. bouillon. canned meats. icings. whipped cream.002 +/.

several sealing systems have been developed that place a colored gelatin band around the capsule. the capsule is formed and filled with a liquid that contains the active ingredient in a vehicle. sorbitol.5 Type B 200-250 45-60 5. gluing the capsule and heat sealing the filled capsule (60). mp pH Aerobic Plate Count E. spot weld the capsule. as they are commonly known today.5-5. At the point where the two rotating dies meet. The typical hard capsule formula would be: Gelatin Water Dye Pigment Plasticizer 30% 65% 5% As needed As needed Soft Elastic Gelatin Capsules – Softgels. according to the final active fill product.5 Max 1000 cfu/g Negative Negative Max 1000 cfu/g Both types of gelatin are used. the clarity of the gelatin. The strength and flexibility. Many hard capsules are produced today with a variety of tamper-evident closure systems that lock the cap to the capsule body and prevent easy opening. (58 – need new). either in combination or separately. coli Salmonella Yeasts & Molds Type A 240-300 44-55 4.3-6. utilize a gelatin solution that is plasticized with propylene glycol. can prevent photochemical deterioration of the active ingredient and masks unpleasant tastes. colors and designs for assuring a snap closure after filling (59). Scherer developed the first rotary die encapsulation system: since that time the technology has been refined into a completely automatic process. and the movability of the gelatin provide unique characteristics that allow the manufacture of various sizes. each of which is passed over a die of the desired capsule size and shape. trimming of the caps and bodies. 16 . stripping from the pins into a collate. glycerin or various approved mixtures. A typical hard capsule gelatin specification would be: Characteristic Gel strength Viscosity. The soft gelatin encapsulation process begins with the formation of two sheets called ribbons from a molten gelatin mass. The capsule is then washed to remove the lubricants and dried. drying. R. Soft gelatin capsules are one-piece and hermetically sealed to enclose a liquid or semi-liquid fill. In 1932. P. In addition. filled and sealed in one continuous operation (61). and joining together for shipment. Soft gelatin capsules are manufacture-formed. The use of gelatin in the various dosage forms consumes approximately 17% of the total gelatin consumption worldwide.(1). Two-Piece Hard Capsules – The Manufacture of hard gelatin capsules consists of the dipping of stainless steel mold pins into a gelatin solution. The rotary die method has the advantage of producing a capsule with highly accurate dosage levels.

but the adhesive properties of the gelatin act as an additional adhesive (63).3-6. and prepared by compression or molding methods. The use of gelatin in the granulation process provides an efficient means for reducing fines and maintaining physiological inertness.A typical soft capsule gelatin specification would be: Characteristic Gel strength Viscosity. extrusion and compression. with or without diluents. Tablet granulates are then compressed into the proper shape. mp pH Aerobic Plate Count E. All tablets contain diluents.5 Max 1000 cfu/g Negative Negative Max 1000 cfu/g Tablets – Tablets are defined as solid pharmaceutical dosage forms containing drug substances. The first step is typically the granulation of the active ingredient to a particle size close to that of the other ingredients. density and size by use of a tablet press. The tablet formulation consists of an active or therapeutic ingredient and several inert materials known as excipients. Gelatin is used in the preparation of the active (granulation) and as a binder in the tablet. diluents and glidants (62). The second step is a granulation technique with all the excipients added.5 Max 1000 cfu/g Negative Negative Max 1000 cfu/g 17 . Gelatin solutions are used as the binder in this process to form larger agglomerates containing the active. which are classified as to the role in the tablet process. In all three techniques gelatin is used for its adhesive properties.5-5. binder.3-6. The compression exerted by the tablet press on the powder granulate is such that the agglomerates shatter and upon further compression lock together. coli Salmonella Yeasts & Molds Type A 150-200 25-35 4.5 Type B 125-175 30-45 5. The granulation is controlled to produce a homogeneous and properly sized granulate. The tableting process consists of several phases of preparation which are necessary to product the finished tablet. This is performed by various size enhancement techniques including granulation. The natural tack of the gelatin assists in the agglomeration of the particles. glidants and lubricants. The advantage of gelatin is that not only is the shattering of the agglomerates accomplished. coli Salmonella Yeasts & Molds Type A 75-150 17-35 4. Tablets are generally prepared by the compression method for most applications.5 Type B 75-150 20-35 5. mp pH Aerobic Plate Count E.5-5. binders. A typical tablet gelatin specification would be: Characteristic Gel strength Viscosity.

water-insoluble absorbable gelatin film (Gelfilm TM) obtained from a specially prepared gelatin/formaldehyde solution (67). mask unpleasant taste. It is later absorbed over a 4 to 6 week period (66). while a Type B gelatin is also adjusted to a pH that is acidic. The criteria for any suppository formulation are that the base (gelatin) be nontoxic and nonirritating to mucous membranes. Pharmaceutical gelatin is highly purified and sterilized to eliminate these concerns. a texturizing agent. compatible with a variety of drugs.Tablet Coating – Tablets are generally coated to reduce dusting. Type A gelatin is generally adjusted to an acidic pH which is below the isoelectric point. The two types of gelatin each provide characteristics that are advantageous for formulation dependent upon the active and the area of application (64). The pH exists where the positive and negative charges are equivalent and the application of an electric charge has no effect. vagina or the urethra. anionic. and gelatin to act as a film former. a film former and as a colloidal support media. The preparation of an oil emulsion with gelatin for use as a topical allows the oils to be stored and maintains droplet distribution and droplet size over extended periods.5. The traditional method of encapsulation is known as coacervation in which the dispersed oil is encapsulated by gelatin at the interface between the aqueous phase and the nonaqueous phases.5%) and salts are commonly used as plasma substitute during emergency surgery. Like gelled confections. Thus the cationic. Common examples of this are vitamin supplements for various foods and for multi-vitamins. the emulsion can be free flowing.0 . The suppository dosage form is just one example of the use of varied isoelectric points that enhance the performance of the drug delivery system. but in this case the pH is above the isoelectric point. water insoluble sponge (Gelfoam TM) to control bleeding during surgery. the base melts or dissolves in body fluids. The coating process is more and more becoming aqueous-based which allows for the use of gelatin. The principal chemical and physical characteristics of a gelatin solution are dependent upon the pH and the ionic strength of the media. Pastilles and Troches – These products are commonly used as cough drops. Suppositories – Glycerinated gelatin is typically used as a vehicle for suppositories for insertion into the rectum. The specificity of the media to detect and count various bacterial strains is a useful diagnostic and research tool. Plasmas Substitues – Solution of modified gelatin (3. The formulation and preparation of the gelatin can in fact modify the isoelectric point in such a way that various physical characteristics can be enhanced. Microencapsulation – Gelatin is used to produce microencapsulated oils for various uses both in nutritional and pharmaceutical applications (65). the ability to perform as a nutrient is itself an application. Special grades of gelatin are useful in bacterial culture media. and the nonionic characteristics can be used to promote compatibility with the active. Depending upon the concentration and temperature. A variety of media are available that utilize the nutrient properties of gelatin. as gelatin is derived from collagen. these products are unique in that in the mouth they are surrounded by a fluid that prevents the active ingredient from being concentrated and creating irritations. compatibility with the surrounding fluids and temperatures. The size and formation of the spherical microcapsules can be controlled by various methods. The gelatin base affords all the desired characteristics required by either method. Absorbable Gelatin Film – Another application is a sterile. and enhance or control the bioavailability. non-antigenic. Absorbable Gelatin Sponge – Gelatin is used in the form of a sterile. The firmness of the finished product is adjusted by varying the gelatin concentration in the formula. semi-solid or solid. Typical formulations for coating include a sugar. The most popular coating method utilizes a roll coating pan and the addition of the coating solution as a fine spray (64). and the base should be stable on storage. Typical microcapsules range in size from 5 microns to 500 microns. the level and type of bacteria found is always of concern. and allow for printing and color coatings for product identification. Gelatin Emulsions – Gelatin is recognized in many industries as a stabilizer. 18 . pigment. Bacterial Growth Media – As with any pharmaceutical excipient. Suppositories are generally molded by compression or by fusion molding. However.

PHOTOGRAPHIC GELATINS The use of gelatin in photographic emulsions dates back to about 1870 when Dr.0-95. but with the addition of ammonia in the early blending. paper or metal. A final ripening and sensitization then takes place by heating to 50°C or above to reach the maximum or desired sensitivity. state and federal governments to protect the health of the general public. Typical specifications for type B bone photographic gelatin are: Moisture. 420nm * Absorbance. % ** 10.0 240-300 0. grams Absorbance.65-5. 19 . Next a solution of silver nitrate is carefully added at a specified rate and with constant agitation. Variations of the basic process to control silver halide crystal size distribution and size include processes to control nucleation and halide concentration during precipitation. More gelatin and water are added to reconstitute to a proper consistency before chemical sensitization. been continually improved in quality and speed. Gelatin is still the best medium known for making photographic emulsions (68-71). 650nm * Viscosity loss. It acts as a protective colloid during the precipitation of the silver halides.0-0. such as varying degrees of sensitivity or inertness with minimal fogging properties. mp * Gel strength. An ammonia emulsion is prepared similarly. Preparation and extraction of the raw materials are done under carefully controlled conditions to produce gelatin with desired photographic properties. especially for emulsion preparation. Type B photographic gelatin is generally made from ossein derived from bone. Type A gelatin has limited application for top coating and subbing.16% gelatin concentration and 40°C ** Measured at 10.85 78. Although cattle hides have been used.032 < 5% * Measured at 6. % pH* Viscosity. though present in minute amounts.5-12.5 5. The emulsion is now ready to be coated on the desired batching film. This procedure is used for the so-called boiled emulsion. Formulas for photographic emulsions and procedures for their preparation can be found in the literature and patents. it is an important factor in controlling the size of the silver halide grains. through the years. Gelatin itself contains natural ingredients which. The mixture is then heated at a predetermined temperature up to 50°C for a set time. First. Gelatin emulsions have.158 0. the emulsifying gelatin is dissolved in water and a solution of the required halide salts is added. and the use of lower ripening temperatures. TECHNICAL GELATINS Technical gelatins differ from edible and pharmaceutical gelatins principally in that it is not essential that they meet the rigid specifications for human consumption set forth by the various municipal. Maddox of England replaced the collodion wet process with a gelatin emulsion which could be dried and was not required to be used immediately. Gelatin for photographic use is primarily Type B alkaline processed gelatin. and it protects the halide grains in the reducing action of the developer so that the reduction of these grains to metallic silver is in proportion to their exposure to light.0-0. The salts are removed by decantation and washing after the gelatin containing silver halide is precipitated by coagulation. Other substances present naturally act as restrainers: they play an important role in emulsion preparation to offset reactions which cause fog.0% gelatin concentration and 40°C: gelatin held for 24 hours at 37°C Gelatin serves several functions in the preparation of the silver emulsions. act as sensitizers in an emulsion.

Gelatin is particularly well suited for this application because of its excellent solubility and film strength. and glossy magazine pages. and later removed during finishing by washing with warm water. but in certain applications one may be preferred over the other. such as those used for blueprints and currency. collotype printing. 20 . (74). Sizing helps preserve the shape of the hat while imparting resistance to water and dirt. The permanent crinkle in crepe paper is the result of gelatin sizing. Abrasive wheels. Matches – Gelatin is used almost universally as the binder for the complex mixture of chemicals used to form the head of a match (73). plasticizers and antifoam agents before weaving. Oven drying and a crosslinking treatment complete the process printing. Protective Colloidal Applications – Much like edible gelatin is used for clarification of wine. technical gelatins are employed in the removal of extremely fine particles that cannot be settled out or filtered out of chemical solutions. silk screen printing. Panama hats are sized with gelatin.In many respects these gelatins are similar to edible gelatins. Approximately one pound of gelatin per ton of ore is used as a filtration aid during the extraction of uranium ore. The gelatin size adds strength to the warp and resistance to abrasion so that breakage of the warp is minimized. also feature a gelatin size coating. playing cards. The test methods are generally the same as those used for edible gelatins.000 pound batch of polyvinyl chloride. Some high quality ink formulations include a small amount of gelatin as a suspension agent. The result is a paper which has good moisture and abrasion resistance as well as good adhesion to printing inks (72). About one pound of gelatin is sufficient to control particle size in a 10. Here gelatin is absorbed onto the surface of the particles effecting a coagulate that may be removed by settling or filtration. a thickener or a protective colloid. High quality rag-based papers. Gelatin is used to stabilize emulsions for water-proofing fabrics. Several photo-printing methods depend on the effect of light on a gelatin film which has been sensitized by treatment with potassium or ammonium dichromate. Both Type A and Type B gelatin may be used in the various applications that follow. Examples include posters. Gelatin is added to electroplating baths to control the deposition rate. Similarly. During manufacture the gelatin coatings are rendered insoluble by treatment with crosslinking agents. During manufacture the paper backing is first coated with a concentrated gelatin solution and then dusted with abrasive grit of the required particle size. Paper Manufacture – Gelatin is used for surface sizing and for coating purposes. Coated Abrasives – Gelatin is used as the binder between the paper substrate and the abrasive particles of sandpaper. gelatin functions as a zinc brightener by controlling the crystallization of zinc during deposit. and photogravure. beer and juices. The surface activity properties of gelatin are important since the foam characteristics of the match head influence the performance of the match on ignition. Coating and Sizing – Technical gelatins are used in the warp sizing of rayon and acetate yarns. Examples of printing applications include carbon printing. the gelatin coating creates a smooth surface by filling up the small surface imperfections thereby ensuring improved printing reproduction. Either used alone or with other adhesive materials. It is applied in aqueou s solution along with penetrating oils. Printing Processes – For over a century. An emerging technology involves the use of gelatin to size quartz fibers for space-age fabrics. gelatin compositions have been used in printers’ rollers and plate wiping rollers for multicolor presses and offset lithography. In suspension polymerization gelatin functions to control particle size as well as to prevent coalescence of the particles. wallpaper. disks and belts are similarly prepared.

drugs. Gelatin is also used in Detergents and Cleansing Agents to minimize the accumulation of residues. gummed tapes. glass laminates and composition cork gaskets. flavors & fragrances and spray drying are just a few examples. Recently. Other Applications: Analytics is another area of interest where gelatin is used in ballistics testing in the Forensic Science laboratory. the use of gelatin hydrolysates is more widespread in personal care products: especially in hair preparations. however. When pressure from handwriting or typing breaks the microcapsules. Gelatin also has many uses in the Environmental Protection area. The applications for microencapsulation are literally limitless: dyes.47). Today. Some bottle caps utilize gelatin films for shrunk-on seals. Microencapsulation – Microencapsulation was first introduced commercially in the mid-1950’s as the now wellknown carbonless paper wherein a leuco dye material is enclosed in microcapsules coated onto a sheet of paper (46. Hard cover book bindings typically utilize gelatin-based adhesives (75).Adhesives – Over the past few decades gelatin-based adhesives have slowly been replaced by a variety of synthetics. the natural biodegradability of gelatin adhesives is being realized. gelatin is the adhesive of choice in telephone book binding and corrugated cardboard sealing. decals. Gelatin Films and Light Filters – Films of various colors are produced with gelatin for use in photographic lighting and theatrical spotlights. The tackifying power of gelatin is used to advantage in the manufacture of packaging ribbons. 21 . the dye reacts with the coating on the next sheet to form a perfect image of the top sheet. Cosmetics – Although gelatin is used in cosmetic applications such as creams and wave-set lotions.

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