Natural, healthy and versatile
Gelatine is a natural and healthy foodstuff that can look back on a long tradition. Due to its versatile properties, the pure protein offers many benefits and plays an important role in today’s food industry. Gelatine can be used to gel, thicken, stabilize, emulsify and to give a creamy consistency. But that is not all: the all-rounder is used in various economic sectors and for a wide range of products. Gelatine is especially indispensable in the pharmaceutical and photo industries.
Protein, mineral salts and water
Gelatine is a pure, natural protein made from animal raw materials that contain collagen. It consists of 84 to 90 per cent protein and 2 per cent mineral salts, with water making up the rest. Gelatine is classified as a foodstuff and, is not a food additive with an E number. As a natural food, gelatine fulfils therefore, among other reasons, the requirements of the clean label products, the demand for which is steadily growing. The use of artificial or modified additives, which need to be labelled with an E number, are avoided as much as possible in the production of food. Gelatine contains neither preservatives nor other additives and is free of fat, cholesterol and uric acid compounds.
Of great value for the organism
Without protein, there would be no human life. Over longer periods of time, the human metabolism can replace some nutrients, such as carbohydrates. Protein, however, is needed by the human body. Interestingly the human body, like other mammals, consists of approx. 30 percent collagen if water and blood is deducted. Gelatine is pure collagen and is therefore the ideal fit for the human body.
Versatile in use
The most common usage of gelatine is edible gelatine followed by pharmaceutical, photographic and technical gelatine What makes gelatine so unique is its remarkable number of functional properties. These include the ability to gel, thicken, stabilize, foam or bind water. In addition, gelatine does not cause any known allergies, is 100 per cent natural and is cholesterol, purine and fat free. Another reason for being an ideal clean label ingredient.
There is no other natural ingredient in the world that combines all of the above-mentioned and necessary properties in just one food product. Many applications need several of gelatine’s properties to be able to manufacture the final product. Only a combination of various ingredients would even come close to gelatine’s properties.
A range of gelatines can be manufactured depending upon the type of application or customer requirements. There are countless types of gelatine that are distinguished based on several factors. One of the most important is the Bloom value – it defines gelatine’s ability to gelatinize. The vast majority of gelatine is produced in the form of a white, odourless and tasteless powder.
As a natural food, gelatine is thus a valuable source of protein for the human organism. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. The human body is able to synthesize all the proteins it needs from amino acids. There are, however, nine amino acids that the body cannot produce by itself and which must therefore be ingested regularly through the diet. They are called the essential amino acids. Gelatine contains a total of 18 amino acids, including eight of the nine essential amino acids.
One special form of gelatine is leaf gelatine. It is used in the household, in cooking, in bakeries, confectionery shops and butcher’s shops, in catering and for other non-industrial applications. The gelatine is cut into squares and has a netlike pattern that is a result of the production process. At first glance, this and the elasticity of the sheets make leaf gelatine look more like an artwork. The great advantage of leaf gelatine is that it can easily be divided into portions according to recipe instructions and is thus easy to use during cooking.
Instant gelatine can be directly processed under cold conditions and is specially developed for final products that are temperature sensitive and should not be heated. Instant gelatine is often used to stabilize foods such as cakes, desserts and other sweet and cold dishes.
The all-rounder at a glance
Melts at body temperature with rapid and intense release of flavour
Other hydrocolloids do not have this property.
Unique texture, elasticity and brilliance
- Gelatine inhibits syneresis and is able to form and stabilize emulsions
- Starches lack the unique texture, elasticity, brilliance and transparent gel formation of gelatine. Instead, they have a short, sticky texture.
- Agar-agar has low gel elasticity. It has a tendency for syneresis and no emulsifying properties.
- Alginates have a short and brittle texture. Syneresis may occur during storage.
- Pure kappa gels are not quite suitable for food applications because of their very firm and brittle texture. They are also prone to syneresis.
- Guam arabic and Xantan gum do not form gels. However, guam arabic's gelling effect appears at very high concentrations and in conjunction with high solids content.
- The strong synergetic reactions between locust gum and other hydrocolloids make them suitable for gel formation, stabilization and emulsification. Locust bean gum on its own, though, shows no film or gel formation.
- Pectines are not suitable as emulsifiers
Easy to process
- Gelatine is available in different gel strengths and particle sizes. Therefore, the particle size can be adapted to production needs to achieve easy solubility. It is not dependant on normal pH range, ion strength and the absence or presence of ions or the level of dry substances.
- Starch has to be modified to be used in a wide range of applications and to obtain some of the properties of gelatine. For starches a combination of products and /or additives have to be used.
- The application of alginates is restricted to a low pH.
- Some types of carrageenan require the presence of ions for gel formation.
- The viscosity of a solution of guam arabic is directly dependent on the molecular weight of the polymer chains, which, however, do not occur uniformly in the final product. In addition, the viscosity is influenced by pH, salt content, and temperature.
- Xantan gum is soluble in cold water and forms a highly viscous solution. These solutions are relatively insensitive to changes in pH and maintain their viscosities over a wide temperature range.
- Gelatine shows a high transparency.
- The gel of unrefined carrageenan is turbid.
- While starch and agar-agar have low transparency, Xantan gum, guam arabic and locust bean gum taken by themselves are not transparent at all.
- A diet rich in protein is especially recommended for those who would like to stay trim: the body can temporarily make do without fats and carbohydrates, but not without protein. In order to maintain this level, it is necessary to provide a continuous supply since the human body cannot store protein or produce it in sufficient quantities. Proteins are therefore added to many dietary foods, often in the form of collagen peptide. This makes it possible to reduce the sugar or fat content – without any loss of enjoyment.
- Getting enough protein is also very important for athletes. Maintaining a proper diet can have a positive effect on muscles, bones, ligaments and joints and optimise regeneration phases. Since it is not always easy to ensure optimal nutrition on a day-to-day basis, premium dietary supplements that have been fortified with collagen peptide, such as sports bars or protein shakes, have been developed.
- Gelatine is a natural foodstuff and therefore doesn't require an E-number. It is fully digestible, GMO-free and non-allergenic.
- Modified starches should only be ingested in limited quantities.
- Locust bean gum may also lead to difficulties with digestion.