The word gelatin has originated from the Latin term 'gelatus' denoting iced up or firm. This tasteless and odorless substance is prepared by boiling the skin, ligaments, tendons as well as the hides of cows, pigs, donkeys and horses. Besides being a source of food, gelatin is employed in producing capsules for medicines, in addition to manufacturing artificial heart valves, film coatings, and specific mesh to heal wounds. In effect, gelatin is comparable to collagen type 2 that comprises the connecting tissues in our body, counting the cartilage. Cartilage may be defined as a greasy surface which permits free movement of the joints. Theoretically, gelatin facilitates in restructuring cartilage and when you have additional cartilage, it means that you will suffer less from joint pains.

When gelatin is in its extremely fundamental form, this commercially ground edibles substance is bland having a light brown or light yellow hued powder or particles. Gelatin mainly comprises protein in addition to a little amount of water and mineral salts to maintain the balance. It may be noted that gelatin encloses as many as 18 amino acids. Among the 10 indispensible amino acids essential for our wellbeing, gelatin is only short of one - called tryptophan.

Gelatin that is fit for consumption is incredibly resourceful as well as adaptable. Besides the omnipresent Jell-O desserts that are extremely well accepted in domestic kitchens as well as institutional cafeterias across the globe, one may find gelatin in an assortment of food items. Gelatin has several utilities in the processed food industry, including being employed in the form of a thickener, a preservative, a gelling means and also as an emulsifier. In isolation, gelatin may be found in food products like pate, yogurt, marshmallows and sticky candy, salad dressings, aspic, soups as well as canned ham.

Gelatin also has several inedible uses and these comprise manufacture of film in the photographic business. The entertainment industry also uses gelatin to make capsule shots containing paint from paintball guns.

Collagen is extracted from the animal raw materials for commercial production of gelatin by means of a process that entails a few stages of boiling the raw animal materials and soaking them in a potent basic or acidic solution to release or hydrolyze (break down) the protein content. After it is extracted, the protein is dehydrated. Gelatin may be prepared in different forms - sheets, which are called leaf gelatin and/ or pulverized into a powder. It may be noted that gelatin has a prolonged shelf-life, provided the substance is stored at a controlled temperature and is shielded from moisture.

Since gelatin is processed from animal products, it is essential to follow stringent processing rules with a view to make certain that the product has the highest level of purity and is of the most excellent quality. Several tests are conducted on gelatin to ascertain if it contains any pathogens, pollutants or any other adulterations.

Any domestic cook who wishes to make gelatin for utilizing it in aspic or any other culinary purpose may simply do that by boiling fish or animal bones containing collagen and subsequently, filtering and cooling the resultant liquid. After some time, the liquid will condense in solid gelatin form when it is refrigerated.

When gelatin is consumed in any broth or in a boiling, jewel-toned mass decorated with chunks of fruits, it provides a number of dietary advantages. Several people are of the view that gelatin is useful to sustain healthy bones and joints as well as have beautiful hair and nails. Over the ages, gelatin has been held in high esteem in the form of a digestive aid as well as intestinal calmer. Therefore, soups and gravies containing gelatin are very popular and these are served together with delicious dishes.

Health benefits of gelatin

Gelatin offers us several health benefits and some of them are described briefly below:

Muscle growth
Gelatin encloses an amino acid called lysine, which is vital for the growth of our muscles. Hence, it seems that consumption of gelatin is useful in muscle growth, particularly for athletes as well as people who desire to have an additional muscle build-up.
Joint conditions
In case you are enduring sore or stiff joints, gelatin may prove to be the right remedy to help alleviate these conditions, particularly prior to the further deterioration of the conditions. It may be noted that gelatin encloses plenty of amino acids that are vital for facilitating the avoidance as well as weakening and collapse of the cartilage in our joints. It is unlikely that gelatin will be effective in healing any joint condition, but it may definitely help in avoiding the condition from getting worse.
Gelatin encloses one more amino acid called arginine and hypothetically this amino acid facilitates the metabolic functions of our body. When you have a more powerful metabolism, it denotes that you are burning up additional calories. Hence, consumption of some gelatin is likely to help you in reducing weight. Nevertheless, here is a word of caution. According to the findings of one research, taking arginine supplements may prove to be lethal for people who have already endured a heart attack. Hence, in case you have suffered a heart attack, you should strictly avoid foods that enclose arginine. It is advisable that before you consume such foods, you have a talk with your physician or healthcare provider.
Weight loss
Gelatin does not enclose any fat and, more often than not, also does not contain cholesterol or sugar. This actually denotes that gelatin is a wonderful food for people who are interested in maintaining a slim waistline.
Protein boost
On its own, gelatin contains plenty of proteins; however, it is really unfortunate that almost the entire protein is protein, which the body is able to make by itself. Hence, only a dietary supplement of gelatin is not sufficient for sustaining a healthy body. All said and done, researches have revealed that the protein enclosed by gelatin certainly facilitates in boosting up other proteins present in other foods. That is to say, for instance, in case you eat a steak replete with protein, you need to include some amount of gelatin in your meal, as the protein enclosed by the gelatin assists the protein in the steak to be additionally nourishing for your body. Therefore, if you require ingesting some protein, you now know where to look for it. Remember, including some amount of gelatin in your diet is always helpful and more nourishing.
Gelatin also possesses the aptitude to facilitate the digestive process, particularly when you are consuming foods that may prove to be coarse on your digestive system, for instance, nuts, meats and dairy products.
Skin health
Gelatins frequently form a major ingredient in several cosmetic products. The reasons for including gelatins in cosmetic products are basically two. First, gelatins work in the form of a congealing agent, thereby facilitating makeup as well as help the cosmetics to remain on the skin for a longer period without any problem. The second reason for including gelatin in cosmetic products is that this substance contains plenty of proteins. In fact, all the proteins present in gelatin are useful in maintaining a fresh and youthful appearance of the skin.
Finger nails
It is important to note that the various amino acids enclosed by gelatin are also effective in toughening the finger nails and after some time, they may also assist in healing broken or abraded finger nails. In addition, gelatin also contains profuse amounts of proteins, which are also beneficial for the nails. In case you are enduring fragile nails, particularly those that crack up quite easily, you may perhaps wish to try adding some amount of gelatin to your diet.
Several studies have shown that gelatin also facilitates in faster, stronger and longer hair growth. In addition, gelatin assists in maintaining the hair healthy as well as glossy. Well, you would want to know what attributes of gelatin help in hair growth as well as promoting the health of the hair. Simply speaking, the vast amounts of proteins contained by gelatin are responsible for better hair growth and promoting the health of the hair. In case you require knowing for religious or dietary purposes, it may be noted that gelatins available at the stores are prepared from animal raw material. Nevertheless, some gelatins may also be prepared from plants, in majority of the instances, from seaweed. Therefore, prior to purchasing gelatin from any store, ensure that your check the label on the boxes containing the product so that you are sure that you are purchasing the item you really want to.
Drink purifier
Gelatins are regularly employed in preparation of alcoholic drinks, for instance, beer and wine. Sometimes gelatin is also used in preparing fruit juices as well as ciders. The main reason for using gelatin in alcoholic beverages and juices is that this substance works to solidify the impurities, making it very easy to separate the impurities from the drink.