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GELATIN Manufacture: The manufacture of "Gelatin" involves a complex, multi-stage process. The source of gelatin is "Collagen", which is found in the skin and bones of animals, & deep-water fish. Collagen is protein obtained by hydrolysis of the collagen contained in the skin & bones of animals. Skins are processed after being de-haired by cutting and washing the skins. Bones are processed by first washing in hot water to remove the fat & greasy parts. The bones are also treated in hydrochloric acid and lime but they will be more flexible. The bone collagen is called "ossein" from which the gelatin is extracted. There are Two different base processes used a) Alkali process: The ossein or skin is immersed in a (alkali) lime bath for a number of weeks at room temperature. B) Acid process: The ossein or skin is immersed in an acid bath for a short period of time, sometimes just for 1 day. A rinsing process removes the alkali or acid, and the pH level is adjusted to the desired level. The product is cooked & processed at controlled temperatures to extract the gelatin, as hot water dissolves the gelatin contained in the base.

The gelatin that is extracted from the base is processed and filtered to remove all impurities, traces of grease and other substances that have coagulated at high temperatures. This process produces a clear gelatin solution. The solutions are further concentrated to level of between 30 & 40%. The concentrated solutions are sterilized at 275F + & abruptly dropped to a low temperature to make the solution into a jelly, extruded in to a spaghetti like form. The spaghetti is then put onto a dryer belt, which has a continuous supply of filtered dry air to obtain a dry gelatin at the point of discharge.

The extractions are crushed and screened to obtain the desired granular size end product. No two bathes will be identical. The various extractions will be blended and grouped to give a consistent commercial batch quality that will comply with the specification. Then there is constant lab tests made to assure the quality & consistency of the product.v There are two types of gelatin; Type A gelatin (pHi = 6.3-9.5) is manufactured from fresh / frozen pig skins or bone ossein after demineralization. Type B gelatin (pHi=4.5 - 5.2) is derived from Bovine hide skins or trimmings. There are two classes of gelatin; the F class gelatins have a low gel strength, while the G class gelatins have a high gel strength. Gel strength is measured in "Bloom" which ranges usually from 50 to 300 bloom.

Gelatin is a protein rich in amino acids particularly the proline & hydroxyproline types. The type of gelatin can be ascertained by checking the type of amino acids, as calfskin will have amino acids of 138/94 respectively, carp skin 124/73 respectively, & pike skin 129/70 respectively. Gelatin absorbs water at 5-10 times its own weight and swells to an elastic, transparent & tasteless mass. Fish gelatin has a yellowish color while bovine gelatin remains clear. Gelatin has many applications, among them are the following: Pharmaceutical uses: Hard capsules (bloom 150-280), Soft capsules (bloom 125-200), Tablets (bloom 20-300), toothpaste, cosmetics, ointments, pastes, etc. Confectionery applications: Jellified items, gums, liquorice, marshmallows, meringues, aerated items, chewy fruit candies, fillings, toffees, packaged cake mixes, etc. (bloom of 75-250. Milk products: Ice cream, whipped creams, puddings, bakery creams, desert creams, water ices, cheese based products, yogurts & yogurt based products, jams, jellies, preserves, fruit juices, etc. Gelatin is used a bonding agent, to bond the free water in the product to the other ingredients.

Gelatin is used as a stabilizer, the foam should not collapse before the product gelling can take place. Gelatin is used as a foaming agent by reducing surface tension it enables the introduction of air into a material. Gelatin is often combined with other gelling agents to obtain a particular texture or characteristic. Other gelling agents include agar, pectin, gum arabic, modified starch, carrageenan, gellan gum, alginates, etc.

Gelatin is widely used to clarify a product such as apple juice, other juices & wines. When used in wines it has various effects on the wine i.e. Clarification, aroma, bitterness, flavor & tannin or color of the wine. Gelatin gives body to the wine, breaks surface tension & will vary as to the effects on the wine depending the on the quality of the gelatin and the type of grape etc. Some of the concerns to the kosher consumer of gelatin are the following: Fish derived gelatin: Is the fish source a kosher species fish? Is the manufacturing equipment contaminated (non-kosher) from previous productions of non-kosher fish or animal based gelatin? Animal based gelatin: Is it from a kosher animal? (Bovine) was it processed as ritually kosher? Is the entire gelatin processing equipment dedicated & used only for kosher gelatin production? (Rabbi Aaron kotler, Ob"m, Responsa, specifies - use of new equipment for the processing of kosher gelatin-not purged/sterilized).

Meat based gelatin derived from the hides of animals is considered as meat or possibly parve? The major rabbinical authorities of today consider it as meat. Note: certain parts of the hides all authorities consider as meat. The gelatin used in clarification of juices is it a kosher gelatin? What is the status of the juice or wine once it came in contact with the gelatin?