Kosher Gelatin: A Versatile Hydrocolloid with Functional and Nutraceutical Properties
Gelatin is a hydrocolloid, a protein or polysaccharide that, upon mixing with water, provides textural effects such as thickening and gelling. The unique amino acid composition and structure of gelatin endows it with a wide range of functional properties, making it an indispensable ingredient in various applications. Fitgelatins kosher gelatin, with its exceptional functionality and neutral sensory attributes, is an optimal choice for texturizing a diverse range of kosher food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical products.
FitGelatins Kosher Gelatins form thermoreversible gels. Solutions with as little as 0.5% gelatin will solidify upon cooling and revert back to a viscous state when reheated, allowing for repeated transitions.
The relative gel strength of a gelatin product is measured by its "Bloom" value, which quantifies the resistance to compression of a 6.67% gel under specific conditions. Higher Bloom gelatins produce stronger gels than lower Bloom varieties at the same concentration.
Gel strength is also influenced by concentration, preparation conditions (e.g., temperature, pH, solids), and the presence of other hydrocolloids like agar, pectin, or carrageenan.
The graph below illustrates how gel strength varies with Bloom number.
Higher Bloom gelatins exhibit greater gelling capacity and distinctive characteristics, including:
Higher melting and solidification points
Significance in systems that require rapid gel formation (e.g., quick-set gummy candies)
Impact on mouthfeel and texture of the final product, ranging from strong and chewy to soft and creamy
Reduced usage level for equivalent gel strength compared to lower Bloom gelatins
Increased transparency and lighter color
More neutral taste and aroma
Viscosity is a fluid property that indicates resistance to flow. Gelatin solution viscosity typically increases with Bloom strength.
Gelatin and its hydrolysates can be employed to create rich, creamy mouthfeel in various fluid, aerated, and gelled products.
Gelatin and its hydrolysates can generate foams by decreasing surface tension. Gelatin stabilizes aerated systems and emulsions used for vitamin embedding via surface tension effects.
Gelatin stabilizes surface interfaces by forming a film, which is critical for protecting disperse phases within a particular medium. These effects are fully utilized in the production and stabilization of foams and emulsions. The surface tension of aqueous systems can be reduced using gelatin.
Effect of pH on Gelatin
Gelatin's isoelectric point (IEP), the pH at which the charge on the gelatin molecule is zero, is determined by its manufacturing process. The IEP of acid-processed gelatins such as gelatin lies between pH 8.0 and 9.0.
At the isoelectric point, swelling, viscosity, and gelation are minimized, while gel strength, syneresis, turbidity, and foaming are maximized. Therefore, selecting a gelatin product requires consideration of the finished product's pH.
Nutraceutical Properties of Gelatin
Gelatin hydrolysates are a rich source of health-enhancing amino acids that enhance virtually any nutritional food, beverage, health and beauty aid, or pharmaceutical application. Gelatin hydrolysate contains high levels of arginine, essential for muscle cell metabolism, and glutamine, shown to reduce the effects of metabolic stress.
Extensive clinical studies have demonstrated that gelatin hydrolysate can help maintain healthy joints, ligaments, and tendons.
Gelatin hydrolysate is also used in beauty products designed to promote healthy hair and nail growth and skin health.