Kosher foods have a market not only in the Jewish realm but also for Muslims, Hindus and others. Specialty ingredients, such as beef gelatin, are being sought by food product developers targeting a market that Mintel Group projects will more than double from 2003’s $7.6 billion to $17 billion next year. According to Mintel, the main reasons people buy kosher are quality (62%), nutrition (51%) and safety (34%). The latter is most likely due to strict guidelines kosher manufacturers must follow to ensure cleanliness, purity of ingredients and safety. Kosher food manufacturing is supervised by a specially trained rabbi and includes examination of all ingredient sources, ingredients, processing, equipment and packaging concerns.

Collagen proteins, including gelatin, are used extensively in foods and beverages due to an exceptional range of functionality—including emulsification, film forming, water binding and foam stabilization. As an ingredient, gelatin is characterized as a hydrocolloid—a term that refers to a range of polysaccharides and proteins that also gel, stabilize, thicken, inhibit ice-crystal formation and even control the release of flavors. Almost all processed foods rely on one or more hydrocolloids.  


The degree of enzymatic hydrolysis determines the gelatin type, namely the “bloom” (gel strength), because it is directly related to molecular weight. If hydrolysis is interrupted, a typical gelatin is produced. If hydrolysis is completed, the result is gelatin hydrolysate, also referred to as collagen hydrolysate or collagen peptide. Gelatin hydrolysates cannot form gels and are easily dissolved in water at room temperature.

Until recently, the use of gelatin in kosher foods was limited due to the lack of mass-produced kosher beef gelatin. Geliko and GELITA now offer Kosher Gelatine sourced from the entire hide of cattle slaughtered following the strict guidelines of the Orthodox Union (OU) and are certified kosher. The process ensures full traceability and eliminates the chance of non-kosher hides or ingredients from entering the gelatin manufacturing process.

The Kosher Gelatine ingredients have the same functionality in food applications as standard versions, so product reformulation is not necessary.

Geliko OU Kosher Gelatine forms thermoreversible gels, where gelation occurs after the hydrocolloid dissolves in solution and is cooled. When heat is applied, the gel melts or dissolves, as exemplified in gelatin dessert, which melts in the mouth at body temperature. These hydrocolloids also are excellent binders and thickeners. Gelatin hydrolysates are ideal for protein fortification in beverages, because they are neutral in odor and taste; are easily soluble in cold or warm water; and feature excellent color and clarity. For foods and beverages, Geliko Kosher Gelatine can improve texture by providing a full-fat “melt-in-your-mouth” sensation—without added fat.

Gelatin ingredients have a long history of use by the pharmaceutical industry for encapsulation. Select gelatin ingredients are now being used in cosmetics that claim to protect skin, hair and more. And, research suggests gelatin ingredients—in particular gelatin hydrolysate—when ingested, could help treat bone and joint discomfort. pf


—Kelley Fitzpatrick, NutraSolutions Content Editor


For more information:


Mindi McKibbin • 712-943-0317