Gelatin is used in everything from Jello to candy, marshmallows and ice cream but what is it and how is gelatin made?
Gelatin is a transparent, colorless and flavorless food product, usually extracted from collagen taken from animal body parts. That doesn’t sound too appetizing but the origin of the word gelatin is from Latin in which gelatus means ‘stiff’ or ‘frozen’.
It’s a mixture of peptides and proteins derived from the skin, bones, and tissues of animals such as cows, chicken and pigs.
In fact, the basic method to make gelatin is hundreds of years old and it’s possible to prepared it at home as well. Boiling certain cartilaginous cuts of meat or bones results in the breakdown of gelatin into the broth. The resulting stock, after cooling, will form a jelly or gel naturally, depending on the concentration.
The first use of gelatin in the preparation of food was recorded in medieval Britain in the 15th century. where cattle hooves were boiled for prolonged periods. This method was obviously laborious and time-consuming so usage of gelatin was limited to wealthy households.
Today, due to its mass demand in items raning from food products to women’s cosmetics, it’s become a household name where you may not even realize you’re consuming gelatin unless you look at the ingredients.