Ingredients of gelatin, do you really want to know?

Describing gelatin is kind of like a Seinfeld episode from the 90’s.  You, can just hear Jerry now ” So there’s gelatin in the gelatin, interesting, who could possibly be behind this, hmm… Newman

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Well, actually Newman wasn’t behind this, It’s actually originated from a Frenchman named Denis Papin.

The word “gelatine” comes originally from Latin word “gelatus” and means “jellied, froze.”  Gelatine was first used in Egyptian times.  Traces of gelatine were found in a pharaoh grave in the form of glue.

Gelatin was once considered a sign of wealth, before the advent of prepared gelatin, only members of the elite classes could afford it.  It took hours to render gelatin, clarify it, and turn it into fancy aspics, molded salads, desserts. etc.  The use of gelatin was a sign that the host or hostess had the means to support a kitchen staff with the skill and time to create such a dish.  When gelatin became available commercially it still was a symbol of culinary sophistication.

1682 – History’s first references to gelatin:

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A Frenchman named Denis Papin (1647-1712) recorded his research experiments on the subject.  His experiments resulted in a method of removing the glutinous material from animal bones by boiling.  It has no taste, no odor, and when combined with liquid, no color, but it is pure protein.

“A jelly made of bones of beef” was mentioned in the diary of Englishman John Evelyn (1620-1706) in 1682 when describing the results of a demonstration of the first pressure cooker.

Is there actual nutrition in gelatin?

Gelatin is a product made almost entirely of protein, and its unique amino acid profile gives it many health benefits. Collagen is the most plentiful protein found in humans and animals. It is found almost everywhere in the body, but is most abundant in the skin, bones, tendons and ligaments. Hydrolyzed collagen contains 8 out of 9 essential amino acids, including glycine and arginine—two amino-acid precursors necessary for the biosynthesis of creatine. It contains no tryptophan and is deficient in isoleucine, threonine, and methionine.

If your a vegan, obtaining this sort of nutrition is not the preferred way.  Most vegans get sort of discouraged when they do so well to avoid meat and dairy byproducts, only to find out that some products contain gelatin.

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Okay, let’s have it. What’s gelatin made of?

For starters, gelatin is a yellowish, odorless, and nearly tasteless substance that is made by prolonged boiling of skin, cartilage, and bones from animals. Yummy?

“So no sugar and spice and everything nice”

It’s also made primarily from the stuff meat industries have left over — we’re talking about pork skins, horns, and cattle bones, so kind of like mystery meat, right?

Most commonly, following the removal of animal meat intended for consumption, the remaining pieces are thoroughly cleaned, dried, and separated from bacteria and minerals. These parts might include hide, bones, and pieces that are low in meat content, such as ears. Once sterilized and thoroughly processed, gelatin is deemed suitable for use and is either sold on its own or used as an ingredient in an array of other products.

Oh nice, whew! They thoroughly clean the pieces for gelatin, because who wants dirty bloody hides and bones in there gelatin?

How could something sound so disgusting, taste so good in gummy bears, though? Gotta be the sugar, right?

What everyday products contain gelatin?

Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar way are called gelatinous substances. Gelatin is an irreversibly hydrolyzed form of collagen, wherein the hydrolysis reduces protein fibrils into smaller peptides; depending on the physical and chemical methods of denaturation, the molecular weight of the peptides falls within a broad range. Gelatin is in gelatin desserts; most gummy candy and marshmallows; and ice creams, dips, and yogurts.[1] Gelatin for cooking comes as powder, granules, and sheets. Instant types can be added to the food as they are; others must soak in water beforehand.

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Other than food products, what else contains gelatin?

Not only is gelatin a frequently used ingredient in a variety of foods, but it’s also found in some cosmetic products and  used in most medicines and supplements because of its collagen content.

Gelatin typically constitutes the shells of drug and vitamin capsules to make them easier to swallow. Hypromellose is a vegetarian-acceptable alternative to gelatin, but is more expensive to produce.

The switch, nobody can do the switch”

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Well for gelatin, it’s possible Jerry… Here’s a couple

Agar-Agar

This flavorless gelling agent, derived from cooked and pressed seaweed, is available flaked, powdered, or in bars. For best results, grind the agar-agar in a coffee grinder or food processor and then cook it, stirring it regularly until it dissolves. When used in a recipe, agar-agar sets in about an hour and doesn’t require refrigeration to gel. For a firmer gel, add more agar-agar, and for a softer gel, add more liquid. And don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time—you can fix a faux pas simply by reheating the gel.

Carrageen

Also known as Irish moss, this seaweed, found in coastal waters near Ireland, France, and North America, is best when used for making softer gels and puddings. To prepare carrageen, rinse it thoroughly, and then soak it in water until it swells. Add the carrageen to the liquid you want to set, boil for 10 minutes, and remove the carrageen. One ounce of carrageen will gel 1 cup of liquid.

This gelatin is making me thirsty” yata- yata- yata

 

 

Reference: https://www.peta.org/living/food/gelatin-alternatives

https://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Jell-0-history.htm

 

5 Comments

  1. I’ve been Vegan for many years now, just when you think you’ve heard it all, you haven’t. Like many, I was on a traditional animal protein diet. Since changing I’ve never felt so good mentally and physically. Good luck, if you are interested in going completely vegan, you’ll benefit right away in many ways.

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