Gelatin is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless thickening agent, which when dissolved in hot water and cooled, forms a jelly. It is a mixture of proteins extracted from animal collagen by a process known as hydrolysis.
Collagen actually makes up almost a third of all the protein in the human body. It is a big, fibrous molecule that makes skin, bones, and tendons both strong and elastic. The collagen use for making gelatin usually comes from beef and veal bones, cartilage, tendons and other tissue. Much of the commercial gelatin today is made from pig skin.
Recently, gelatin has entered the nutritional supplement marketplace for use in bone and joint health. Gelatin is usually found in combination with other supplements such as vitamin C, calcium, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and willow bark.
Commercial Making of Gelatin: To make gelatin, manufacturers grind up the various animal parts and pre-treat them with either a strong acid or a strong base to break down cellular structures and release proteins like collagen. After pre-treatment, the resulting mixture is boiled. During this process, the large collagen protein ends up being partially broken down, and the resulting product is called gelatin.
Gelatin Health Benefits:
- Gelatin appears to be beneficial to athletes for muscle growth and metabolism.
- Gelatin promotes a feeling of fullness.
- Gelatin helps maintain bowel regularity.
- Gelatin contain high collagen protein which helps keep your skin smooth and firm. Many creams contain collagen to moisturize the skin but it is more effective when taken through food.
- Gelatin strengthens the hair, keeping it looking shiny and healthy.
- Gelatin is excellent for the nails because it makes them stronger, so they do not break easily.
- Gelatin is excellent for your bones because of its high concentration of glycoprotein and proline amino acids. If you have a deficiency in both amino acids, you can have joint pain. When it is taken orally, it travels directly to your blood and from there; it goes to its destination, the connective tissue. By adding at least 10 grams of gelatin to your regular diet, your joints will quickly regenerate in case you overexert yourself
Gelatin Nutrition: The gelatin is rich in the amino acids found in collagen, including L-proline, L-hydroxyproline, and glycine. It contains no fat, cholesterol or carbohydrates, is free of any additives and easy to digest. It makes a nutritious addition to your everyday diet.
Culinary uses: Gelatin is used mostly as a stabilizer and thickening agent in desserts, ice cream, jellies and yogurt, cream cheese, marshmallows, gummy bears, aspic and margarine. It is also used now in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals
Important note: Don’t pour gelatin directly onto a boiling liquid, as it loses its gelatinous property.