Gelatin (from Latin: gelatus meaning "stiff" or "frozen") is a translucent, colorless, odorless, flavorless food ingredient, derived from collagen taken from animal body parts. It is brittle when dry and gummy when moist. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, medications, drug and vitamin capsules, photographic films and papers, and cosmetics.
Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar way are called gelatinous substances. Gelatin is an irreversibly hydrolyzed form of collagen, wherein the hydrolysis reduces protein fibrils into smaller peptides; depending on the physical and chemical methods of denaturation, the molecular weight of the peptides falls within a broad range. Gelatin is in gelatin desserts, most gummy candy and marshmallows, ice creams, dips, and yogurts. Gelatin for cooking comes as powder, granules, and sheets. Instant types can be added to the food as they are; others need to be soaked in water beforehand.
Gelatin is used in several ways in the pharmaceutical industry. It is used for the manufacturing of capsules, tablets and prevents drugs and other substances like vitamins being damaged by air and light. Due to its good compatibility with human tissue, Gelatin in sponge form is used as a haemostatic agent in surgeries. Gelatin is also an ideal ingredient in making blood plasma substitue. Having no toxicity and its ability to be easily absorbed by the body, Gelatin is an ideal substance to use in medicinal and nutritional preparations.
Gelatin film is exploited in the production of making hard & soft Gelatin capsules in order to prevent the oxidation of the contents and absorption of moisture. Gelatin capsules also offer the unique advantages of ease for oral consumption, dosage accuracy and appearance. Gelatin’s unique physical properties also allow for the coating and binding of tablets.
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