75 Fascinating Gelatin Facts: Benefits, Uses And Side Effects | Kidadl

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75 Fascinating Gelatin Facts: Benefits, Uses And Side Effects

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Gelatine is obtained from collagen, which is an animal source product.

Gelatine is a high source of natural protein. It is widely used in the cosmetic industry due to its effect on skin and hair growth.

This food product was discovered in 1682. Not only is it a good protein source but also is a stack of every type of amino acid which is considered mandatory for the proper functioning of our body. The presence of collagen hydrolysate helps in removing or reducing wrinkles to great extent and ensures better growth of hair as well. Gelatine is also used as a gelling agent and is widely used in the kitchen for giving better texture to certain food items. Gelatine or gelatin both refer to the same substance and are pretty effective in helping joint pain. The collagen present in gelatin provides cushion-like tissues that not only help in reducing joint pain but also betters bone health in a person. Apart from its uses in the kitchen and in medicines, gelatine was also greatly used in some technical fields, and in some cases, it is still in use such as in photographic films because we are yet to find a substitute that is cheaper than gelatin and gives a better or at least the same result. In this article, we will be sharing more such facts about gelatin that we bet you didn't know.

Facts About Gelatin

We all have tasted gelatin but have you ever questioned how is it made or why is it used so commonly in the kitchen? In this section, you will get answers to all of your questions and may even get to know more than that!

  • Gelatin is a natural protein, extracted from raw collagen. Collagen is a byproduct of the meat industry and has 18 amino acids and abundant protein in it.
  • Collagen is found in the bones and connective tissues of animals and comprises proline and glycine.
  • Collagen is released when bone or connective tissue is burned. This cooked collagen is called gelatin.
  • The only difference between hydrolyzed collagen and gelatin is that gelatin gels while collagen doesn't.
  • If you don't want your food to gel, for example, say coffee, then collagen is a better choice than gelatin.
  • Some people even recommend gelatin products over botox for removing wrinkles.
  • The science behind it is that our skin starts to look wrinkled when the collagen in it starts to break down and this leaves creases.
  • Although gelatin alone can not remove wrinkles entirely, it helps a lot in maintaining its elasticity and getting rid of signs of aging.
  • Our ancestors used to eat animals with a 'nose to tail' approach, hence, getting all the amino acids. However, we now eat mostly the muscle meat of the animals and do not get all the amino acids required by the human body.
  • Taking gelatin adds these missing amino acids to our diet and helps in perfectly balancing it.
  • Gelatin is brittle in dry form and it turns rubbery when it is moist.
  • Substances that either contain gelatin or function in a similar way are called gelatinous substances.
  • Islamic halal and Jewish kosher customs prohibit eating any gelatin from pigs but any other sources are allowed, like cattle or fish.
  • Some people argue that chemical treatment involved in the process purifies gelatin and makes it halal like any other medicine and this stays a matter of debate among people.
  • Since Roma people are forbidden from consuming horses, they ensure that the gelatin they eat does not come from horses.
  • Once hydrolyzed collagen is produced, we can not reverse the process.
  • The main source of gelatin, collagen, is found almost everywhere throughout the body.

Uses Of Gelatine

If you think that gelatine is only used in food and in candies, then after reading the section below, you will understand how useful gelatine actually is, even in fields such as technology and medical science.

  • We can make homemade raw milk yogurt with gelatin.
  • Making yogurt from raw milk does not thicken and stays runny because during the pasteurization the protein denatures, which is a must for getting thick yogurt. We can use gelatin as a gelling agent and skip pasteurization so that the raw goodness of milk, as well as the thick texture of yogurt, stays.
  • You can use gelatin powder as a cosmetic item and its regular use can result in healthier skin.
  • Gelatin can be added to tea or coffee and be enjoyed anywhere.
  • It comes in handy as a bone broth substitute in conditions where you can't have bone broth, like while traveling.
  • You can also add gelatine to either a cold or warm smoothie to add more to its nutritional value. Add it to a warm or cold smoothie and now you have a drink with more protein in it.
  • There is a range of gelatin desserts such as Jell-O, panna cotta, and marshmallows that are enjoyed throughout the US and further afield.
  • By adding gelatine to it you can add even more protein and amino acids to bone broth. This fortified bone broth is much better in terms of quality than the previous version from the same bone.
  • Gelatin products can be used in baked goods to add new textures more nutrition to them.
  • Adding too much egg into baking makes the product dry, however, we can add some gelatin in place of some of the eggs and get that eggy texture without making it dry.
  • Gelatin is widely used as a binder in sandpaper and match heads.
  • The color gel that is used in some theatrical lightning to change the beam color used to be made from gelatin and that's why they are called color gel.
  • Originally, the shells of all vitamin capsules and drugs were made with gelatin so that they are easier to swallow.
  • Gelatine is also used in photographic films and photographic papers. Even after a lot of research, cheaper and more stable substitutes of gelatine have not been found.
  • In some cosmetics, a compound called hydrolyzed collagen is present, which is a variant of gelatine itself and good for human cells and the skin.
  • In 1337, gelatine was used on the external parts of paper for sizing. Sizing is the process applied during paper manufacturing so that paper absorbs as little liquid as possible while it is dry.
  • In modern times, gelatin is found in some glossy printing papers and watercolor papers.
  • Hydrogels are synthesized from gelatine and they help in tissue engineering applications.
  • You can have gelatin mixed in some water or raw milk before going to bed if you have a hard time falling asleep because gelatin helps in better functioning of your brain and relaxes it so you can get a sound, full night's sleep.
  • Full fat raw milk is a good beverage to add gelatine into because the protein in the gelatine assimilates well with the fat in the milk.
  • If you want to get a smoother and creamier texture for your ice cream then you can add some gelatin to it because it helps in improving the texture and quality of the final product.
  • Not only can you use gelatin to thicken raw milk curd but it can also be used in cheesecakes, mousses, custards, and other foods like these. Only a small amount of gelatin is required.
  • While sauteing some onions or veggies for a sauce base, you can simply add one or two tablespoons of gelatin to it. This will thicken the sauce and function as a thickener and binder.
  • Adding gelatin to marshmallows gives them a spongy texture that makes them look more delicious and raises their nutritional value too.
  • Soaked oatmeal is a good alternative to eggs for breakfast. We can add some gelatin to oatmeal and not only does it look better, but it also gets boosted with protein and a higher amino acid content.
  • If you do not believe much in packaged candies, then you can easily make some tasty gummies and jellos at home with the help of gelatine, which is obviously going to be better than the ones in the market in terms of nutrition. If made correctly, they can even beat the options out there in the market in terms of taste and health benefits.
Gelatine is not only rich in protein but in amino acids as well.

Side Effects Of Gelatine

Just like every coin has two faces, gelatine might also sometimes prove to be not healthy. A few such examples are provided below:

  • Oral ingestion of gelatin in too high a quantity might cause kidney stones because gelatine is made of collagen.
  • Collagen contains hydroxyproline, which increases urinary oxalate excretion if taken in a high amount.
  • Consuming gelatin may also cause an unpleasant taste, or a feeling of heaviness in the stomach sometimes. These side effects, however, differ from person to person.
  • Bloating and heartburn are some of the side effects that few people may feel after consuming a bit too much gelatine.
  • As gelatine is obtained from animal species, it is important to keep a check on the entire manufacturing process because a small amount of contamination might result in increased side effects and might even be enough to make a healthy person sick.
  • Although the chances of any harm from it are very low, some experts still advise not to consume animal-derived supplements such as gelatin.
  • Also, if you are already on a certain medication then it is best to consult your doctor first before adding gelatin supplements to your diet because although the risk of side effects is very low, it is always better to ask beforehand.
  • It is recommended that for a normal person, the daily intake of gelatine should be up to 0.35 oz (10g).
  • You can continue consuming gelatin in this amount for around 6 months without facing any side effects.

Benefits Of Gelatine

Gelatine rarely ever shows any side effects, although this depends on many factors such as dosage, other medications, and so on. If eaten at a healthy limit then gelatine shows many health benefits and can cure many diseases and disorders.

  • A lot of research has shown results that conclude that gelatine is effective as a treatment for bone problems, like osteoarthritis.
  • Since the side effects of gelatin are minimal when taken as a solution for osteoarthritis, it is worth considering taking it as a supplement for better bone health and to reduce the risk of any joint disease.
  • Since gelatin increases collagen density and moisture in the skin, it is highly beneficial as a skincare product.
  • Gelatine also increases hair thickness and makes hair longer when taken as a supplement.
  • Since it is rich in glycine, gelatine is also helpful in improving brain functions and keeping good mental health.
  • Taking glycine, which is present in gelatine, helps in treating mental disorders such as schizophrenia.
  • It also helps in reducing symptoms of some other disorders such as body- dysmorphic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Gelatin is actually carb and fat-free, depending on its products and methods used for making it.
  • Various studies have found that having a protein-filled diet helps you feel full and reduces snacks cravings. Therefore, if you eat gelatin, it helps in reducing weight because it is very low in calories and reduces appetite.
  • Glycine is present in gelatine and some amino acid varieties in it are helpful for people suffering from insomnia.
  • Eating gelatin helps in getting quality sleep and falling asleep faster.
  • Some studies indicate that gelatine helps people with type 2 diabetes.
  • In some studies done on rats, it was found that gelatin helped in protecting the cell wall from damage.
  • It is helpful in contributing to common gut conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome, and helps in getting a healthier digestive system.
  • Gelatin helps in increasing liver function and blood flow and reducing liver damage.
  • Gelatine also helps in balancing out meat intake and protects our body from diseases like heart disease.
  • Gelatin also comes in a hydrolyzed form, which means that the protein is broken into amino acids which makes it easier to absorb.
  • This means that we can mix this form of gelatin into any liquid and it is easily going to get mixed in it without much effort.
  • Is also called real food protein powder and comes in gelatine powder form as well.
  • For people who do not like consuming land animals or do not prefer them, fish gelatin is a good alternative that has almost the same nutritional value in it.

Recent business administration graduate Vishvendra is a writer for Kidadl.

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