What do we know about Kosher Gelatin at Kosher Bread Pro ? We know it’s a hot topic for Kosher Baking.
About Kosher Gelatin
Gelatin – what is it?
Gelatin is pretty much translucent, tasteless and odorless and is commonly used in foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The culinary gelatin is used mostly as a thickening or emulsifying agent and can be purchased in powder or sheet form. It can also be found in a host of prepared foods, from desserts, ice cream, jellies and yoghurt to cream cheese, marshmallows, gummy bears, aspic and margarine.
Gelatin is a high-grade protein derived from animal collagen by a process known as hydrolysis. Typically it is made from bovine or pork products, specifically skin or bones. Less common, but important for a kosher or halal diet, is gelatin made from fish.
For a vegetarian diet try agar-agar, pectin, carrageen or gum arabic as alternative gelling agents.
Nutritional Value & Health Benefits
Gelatin contains 18 amino acids, of which 9 are essential for humans. It is an especially good source of the essential amino acid Lysine. And though it would be incomplete as a single protein source, gelatin makes a nutritious addition to your everyday diet. It contains no fat, cholesterol or carbohydrates, is free of any additives and easy to digest.
An increasing number of studies suggest that gelatin not only promotes healthy hair and nails, but it may also improve bone and cartilage health. In particular 2 of the amino acids found in gelatin (Glycine and Proline) are needed to produce collagen, the primary component of connective tissues such as cartilage. Thanks to the Lysine, Gelatin also appears to be beneficial to athletes for muscle growth and metabolism.
Quality Concerns – Go Organic!
So, you are a conscious consumer, determined to avoid eggs from chicken factories and meats that are loaded with growth hormones and antibiotics; But what about the quality of the gelatin products on the market?
In fact the quality varies greatly and is influenced by the filtration and purification processes during production. But more importantly the quality is determined by the initial ingredients used for the gelatin production. To end up with a high quality product you have to start out with high quality ingredients, in this case healthy animals, raised in a pure environment. If you are trying to avoid meat from inhumane mass production factories, it only makes sense to set the same standards for all other animal products and by-products.
For a product such as gelatin to receive the organic certification, organic standards have to be followed from the start by the farm that raises the animals to the end of the production lines of the producer and packer.
Since the supply of organic meats has been growing steadily, one could easily assume that organic gelatin would also be readily available – which has been true for some parts of Europe, but not for Canada and the US. Amazingly, it was not commercially available in North America until recently.
It is very good news that this has changed: Certified Organic Gelatin is now commercially available under the brand name GoBIO!. You can purchase it online, at www.gobiofood.ca, but it is also starting to pop up in local health food stores and coops around Canada and hopefully soon in the US as well.
There have been some concerns about gelatin derived from cow collagen, due to BSE, also known as ‘mad cow disease’. Though studies have demonstrated that the gelatin production process destroys most of the BSE that may be present in the raw material, some concerns remain. This issue can easily be avoided by using exclusively pork based gelatin, such as the GoBIO! brand.
Consumers, we now have a choice! We can feel good about jellin’ away, reaping the health benefits while enjoying the characteristic jiggly consistency that only it has to offer.
To learn more about pork based Organic Gelatin go to http://www.gobiofood.com