Food gelatin: pros and cons

Food gelatin: pros and cons

Edible gelatin is an edible product that is used to give consistency and solidity to certain foods.

There is both the food gelatin of plant origin, which food gelatin of animal origin and they are two very different products from each other, both with advantages and disadvantages to consider.

La animal jelly it is a product that is obtained through a process of hydrolysis from animal connective tissues. The final product obtained, after drying, filtration and purification, is a solid food, with a particular consistency, which is kept for a long time at room temperature.

La vegetable jelly it is obtained instead from various foods of non-animal origin, the best known is undoubtedly theagar, deriving from various types of red algae, but pectin, deriving from fruit, and vegetable gelatin of other origins are also frequently found.

Gelatine of vegetable origin is slowly spreading also in the country, precisely by virtue of the use that vegans and vegetarians make of it to prepare desserts, such as puddings or panne cotte, or even to thicken sauces, creams and condiments. It can be found in organic food shops and, increasingly, on supermarket shelves, in the sweets department.

But we know both products better.


Pros and cons of animal gelatin

The best known animal gelatin that can also be sold on supermarket shelves is the isinglass, although it is also obtained from other animals, such as cattle and pigs, and it is E441 in the list of ingredients.

Animal gelatin consists of collagen, or from connective tissue proteins, for which some researches have shown its nutritional and beneficial potential for the human body, especially as antioxidant and to facilitate the work of the joints. The latest cosmetic fashion? Make yourself a hair pack based on isinglass!

As regards the against, it has been seen that this type of food can, if consumed in excessive doses or for particularly intolerant subjects, potentially trigger allergies or cause stomach discomfort digestive disorders.

Furthermore, being a product of animal origin (rind, subcutaneous tissues or other parts), it is certainly not suitable for those who choose a vegan or vegetarian diet.

There is an association, the Gelatine Manufacure of Europe (GME) which deals with the controls on this food and with the protection of producers and consumers.


Pros and cons of vegetable gelatin

Food gelatine of vegetable origin, gelatin in fact, it has good advantages: it is easily digestible, it has a caloric intake very close to zero, it is suitable for diabetics, as it does not contain sugars.

It can also be obtained from fruit, for example from apples, and in that case it is named pectin, from starch such as lo xanthan, kuzu, starch of maranta, guar, or carob, carrageenan (Irish seaweed).

I against? No particular contraindications are reported, except that certain types of vegetable jelly do not give the same result on a culinary level as the animal one, so it's good to experiment a little first. Secondly, many of these thickeners are not so readily available.

Finally, the FDA (Agency for Food and Medicines) has expressed some concerns about the safety of carrageenan, the much debated E407: according to what was reported long ago by The Cornucopia Institute, carrageenan would cause digestive disorders or discomfort in the colon and abdomen.

Please note:Food jelly isn't just gummy candies or isinglass sheets - it's also found in ice cream, yogurt, cakes, desserts, jams, cheeses, animal food, and sometimes even wine!


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