25 September 2007

What is gelatin?

Gelatin is the bane of my existence; it's what prevents me from having my favourite candy: circus peanuts.

As a staunch vegetarian with a leather couch, I still abstain from eating gelatin because its animal derived; but what the fuck is it exactly?

For years I thought it just came from horses hooves and that was reason enough not to touch the stuff. Gelatin is always the ingredient that fucks something up from being vegetarian or vegan. When you're on the road and reading ingredients like a lunatic; just when you think you've found something new, BAM! theres gelatin as the final ingredient; almost as an afterthought. I've found gelatin in everything from chewing gum to ice cream. Normally, the cheaper the product, the better chance its got gelatin in it.

Gelatin (also gelatine, from French gélatine) is a translucent solid substance, colourless or slightly yellow, nearly tasteless and considered foul smelling, extracted from the collagen inside animals' connective tissue. Collagen is the main protein of the connective tissue in animals and the most abundant protein in mammals, making up about 25% of the total protein content.

Gelatin is used in food, pharmaceutical, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar way are called gelatinous. It's fucking gross. Shit extracted from the bones and connective tissues of animals such as the domesticated cattle, pigs and horses somehow winds up in your candy to give it that chewy but edible quality. How wonderful!

The worldwide production amount of gelatin is about 600 million pounds per year. On a commercial scale, gelatin is made from by-products of the meat and leather industry, mainly pork skins, pork and cattle bones, or split cattle hides. Recently, by-products of the fishery industry began to be considered as raw material for gelatin production because they eliminate most of the religious obstacles surrounding gelatin consumption.

Contrary what I always believed horns and hooves are not commonly used to make gelatin. The raw materials are prepared by different curing, acid, and alkali processes which are employed to extract the dried collagen hydrolysate. These processes may take up to several weeks, and differences in such processes have great effects on the properties of the final gelatin products.

Boiling certain cartilaginous cuts of meat or bones will result in gelatin being dissolved into the water. Depending on the concentration, the resulting broth, when cooled, will naturally form a jelly. BARF.

Special kinds of gelatin are made only from certain animals or from fish (known as K-gelatin) in order to comply with Jewish kosher laws. Vegetarians and vegans may substitute similar gelling agents such as agar, nature gum, carrageenan, pectin, or konnyaku sometimes referred to as "vegetable gelatins" although there is no chemical relationship; they are carbohydrates, not proteins.

"you've got the wrong guy, asshole"

The name "gelatin" is colloquially applied to all types of gels and jellies; but properly used, it currently refers solely to the animal protein product. There is no vegetable source for gelatin.

Gelatin hides where you least expect it. It will jump out from behind a wall and scare the shit out of you. Just when you thought you'd found a vegan jelly donut in a Kansas City Sunoco.

Marshmallows and gummy bears? You're fucked. I haven't ooten a marshmallow in years.

Gelatin may also be used as a stabiliser, thickener, or texturiser in foods. And this is where it will sneak up on you.

in your dreams

I've seen gelatin used in ice cream, jellies & jams, yogurt, cream cheese, and margarines; it is used, as well, in fat-reduced foods to simulate the mouth feel of fat and to create volume without adding calories. GROSS.

Don't get me started on isinglass because I'll puke.

"we've come for your blood"


Hannah Kight said...

what are you, a fourteen year old girl? *BARF!*

Anonymous said...

Yes, meet me at Brad's Bounce A Lot Playland, you moron.