Unveiling the Origins: How Gelatin is Made and its Source Materials

Today, gelatin is used to make many products such as cosmetics, ointments, photographic films, foods, and capsules.

Due to the ever-growing uses of gelatin, the making of gelatin has become a topic for discussion.

In this guide, you will find important information about gelatin and its main sources:

What is Gelatin?

Gelatin or gelatine is a colorless, translucent, and flavorless food ingredient. It is obtained commonly from the collagen obtained from the body parts of animals. This is mostly obtained through the boiling of tendons, bones, skin, and ligaments with water. When moist, it is like rubber and when dry it is brittle.

Key Gelatin Ingredients

The key ingredient in making gelatin is animal collagen from the following;

  • Skin
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons
  • Bones
  • Water

The above animal parts are obtained from pigs, fish, and/or cows.

Types of Gelatin
Types of Gelatin

Step-by-step Gelatin Production Process

Wondering how gelatin is made? Gelatin manufacturers take their time to handle these processes a step at a time. The process of production is complicated and in different stages that require industrial equipment that is very technical. Below is the process;

Step 1: Stage of Pre-treating of Raw Materials

Whether it is bovine gelatin, Fish gelatin, pork gelatin, or vegetarian gelatin that is being made, the process is the same.

  • It begins with pre-treating all raw materials.
  • Here, raw materials are taken away or separated from minerals and fat.

The two types of pre-treatment methods used include the alkaline and acid process.

Alkaline Process

  • Due to how densely connected bovine connective tissue is, to begin the process of making the best bovine gelatin, it is pretreated with an alkaline solution. This treatment is done for many weeks.
  • A slight change in the collagen structure is seen.
  • With this done, collagen is dissolvable in warm water.
  • After that, it is made separate from the other raw materials.

Acid Process

The acid process is used mainly for connective tissues that are non-bovine.

  • This process is used to make the extraction of collagen possible even after the first day of acid treatment.
  • This is followed by neutralization.
  • After neutralization, complete rinsing is done to take the salts out.

Step 2: Stage of Extracting

Gelatin Manufacturing Process
Gelatin Manufacturing Process

After the pre-treatment of raw materials is completed, extraction is initiated.

  • To begin extraction raw materials and hot water are merged. This is done to ensure extraction is completed in this multi-stage procedure.
  • The hot water temperature used is what determines the strength of the gel obtained or the Bloom value of the gelatin that is extracted.
  • Low water temperature means higher gel strength or Bloom value. Also, high water temperature means lower gel strength or gelatin extracted.

Based on the gel strength or Bloom values needed by gelatin manufacturers, the water temperature used during extraction is considered.

Step 3: Stage of Purification

  • Purification starts with separators of the highest quality used, in removing all fat traces and fine fibers from the solution that was extracted.
  • After the above is done with separators, filtration is initiated to take out all the finest particles.
  • Finally in this step, all calcium, residual acid, sodium, and other salts are taken out of gelatin. This leads to pure gelatin.

Step 4: Thickening Stage

  • The solution obtained after purification is put in a vacuum evaporation system for concentration.
  • It is left to generate thickness to be just like the mass of honey.

Step 5: Drying Stage

  • During this stage, concentrated gelatin solution is taken through sterilization, cooling, and setting.
  • After the above methods, it is dried under hygienically strict conditions.
  • When drying is complete, jelly noodles are what comes out.
  • These jelly noodles are ground to become like grains when drying is complete.

No matter the type of gelatin (fish gelatin, pork gelatin, Vegetarian gelatin, others) being made, gelatin manufacturers make sure extensive, laboratory quality control methods are used throughout the production process. This ensures gelatin made is pure and of the highest quality.

Conclusion

Gelatin manufacturers all over the world keep finding more ways to enhance the process of making gelatin. So, you can choose to make the most of quality gelatin products out there knowing they are safe.

More Resources:

Gelatin – Source: WebMD

Uses of Gelatin – Source: YASIN GELATIN

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