The ancient Egyptians already knew how to render a gelatin-like substance from protein-rich animal materials, and this substance played an important role in their cuisine. The word "gelatin" as the designation for a high-quality ingredient used in food, pharmaceutical and some technical products did not become established until about 300 years ago, however. Of all the hydrocolloids used in the food industry today, none is as important and universal as gelatin.
The crystal-clear gel is a typical form of gelatin. Gelatin consists of a mixture of polypeptides, with a molecular weight of 1,500 – 500,000 depending on the method of preparation. It contains 9 of the 10 essential amino acids. Thanks to the high content of essential amino acids in gelatin, the European Commission decided to classify gelatin as a foodstuff, and it therefore does not have to be declared with an E number.
Rich in protein (> 86%) and low in calories, gelatin is in demand in the food industry more than ever for an abundance of products. The fact that gelatin is a naturally derived substance and possesses interesting organoleptic and physical properties creates significant potential for its use in many future-oriented applications.