What Is Gelatin Made Of?


imagesGelatin is a translucent, odorless, colorless, and a tasteless substance, which is used in various food products. However, many people want to know what gelatin is made of or want to know what its ingredients are. It is quite common that people want to solve this mystery. So, let us solve this mystery in this article and tell you what gelatin is really made of.

Gelatin is a substance that is made by boiling skin, bones, and cartilage of animals. In many cases, it is made from the leftover stuff, like pork skins and cattle bones, which is taken from several meat industries. Gelatin has a wide usage in many industries, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetic manufacturing, as well as photography.

However, most of all it is used in gummy candy and other related products, like gummy bears, ice cream, marshmallows, gelatin dessert, yogurt, etc. And, gelatin that is available for household usage comes in different forms of granules, powder, and sheets.

What is gelatin made of?

Gelatin is chiefly a protein obtained substance, which is formed by boiling skin, bones, ligaments, and tendons of animals with water. It is generally obtained from animals like cows or pigs. However, the Jell-O gelatin is almost always obtained from pigskin.  Moreover, gelatin is an irrevocably hydrolyzed form of common foods and collagen. It is found in candy corn, gelatin desserts, trifles, and confections like gummy bears, jelly babies, fruit snacks, and peeps.

By now, you would have known that food products that contain gelatin are not suitable for vegetarians. Nonetheless, there is a food product, which is known as ‘agar’ and is also called ‘gelatin’ that can be used by vegetarians, since it is made of seaweeds.

The manufacturing process of gelatin

Now, you know what gelatin is made of. So, let us look in detail at the complete manufacturing procedure of gelatin. First of all, you should know about the raw materials from which gelatin is made of. These materials include animal skins, tissues, and bones, which are commonly acquired from slaughterhouses.

Apart from these, caustic lime or sodium carbonate is also used to manufacture gelatin in order to extract minerals and bacteria from the parts of animals. Additionally, some flavorings, colorings, and sweeteners are also used to make gelatin to give it a nice taste and color. Now, have a look at the systemic manufacturing process of gelatin.

  1. Examination and cutting

The first step in the manufacturing of gelatin is inspection and cutting. In this, first the animal parts are inspected for their quality. Then, their bones, skins, and tissues are chopped with the help of a machine.

  1. Washing, degreasing and roasting

Then, the chopped animal parts are washed with the help of high pressure water sprays. After this, they are soaked in boiling water, so that they can degrease. This helps in reducing the fat content of the animal parts to approximately 2 per cent. These parts are then moved to an industrial dryer, where they are roasted at 200 degree Fahrenheit for about half an hour.

  1. Alkaline and acid treatment

After roasting the animal parts, they are soaked in a alkaline or acid solution for nearly 5 days. The alkaline wash generally has a more than 7 pH level and the acid wash has less than 1.5 pH level. This process helps in ensuring that no minerals and bacteria are left on the chopped animal parts. In addition to this, it facilitates the release of collagen from these parts.

  1. Boiling

Then, the animal pieces of bones, skin, and tissues are moved into large aluminum extractors, so that they can be boiled in water. The liquid is usually drawn out with the help of a tube attached to the extractor. This water is sterilized using the flash heating process, which involves heating for just four seconds at 140 degree Celsius.

  1. Evaporating and crushing

This liquid then goes through filters in order to separate the remaining bone, skin, and tissue parts. Then, this water goes through the evaporators, where it gets divided from the solid form of gelatin. It then goes through the next machine and is thus pressed into sheets. At times, it is turned into a fine power form with the help of a grinder.

  1. Coloring and flavoring

The last step in the manufacturing process of gelatin is coloring and flavoring. This step is only done if the gelatin has to be used by the food industry. Here, different kinds of coloring, flavorings, and sweeteners are added before packaging the gelatin through an automated process.

Thus, this is the way how gelatin is manufactured.