Probably best known as a gelling agent in cooking, different types and grades of gelatin are used in a wide range of food and non-food products: Common examples of foods that contain gelatin are gelatin desserts,trifles, aspic, marshmallows, candy corn, and confections such as Peeps, gummy bears, fruit snacks, andjelly babies. Gelatin may be used as a stabilizer, thickener, or texturizer in foods such as yogurt, cream cheese, and margarine; it is used, as well, in fat-reduced foods to simulate the mouthfeel of fat and to create volume without adding calories.
Gelatin is used for the clarification of juices, such as apple juice, and of vinegar. Isinglass, from the swim bladders of fish, is still used as a fining agent for wine and beer. Beside hartshorn jelly, from deer antlers (hence the name “hartshorn”), isinglass was one of the oldest sources of gelatin.
Capsules made of gelatin.
- Certain professional and theatrical lighting equipment use color gels to change the beam color. These were historically made with gelatin, hence the term color gel.
- Gelatin typically constitutes the shells of pharmaceutical capsules in order to make them easier to swallow. Hypromellose is a vegetarian-acceptable alternative to gelatin, but is more expensive to produce.
- Animal glues such as hide glue are essentially unrefined gelatin.
- It is used to hold silver halide crystals in an emulsion in virtually all photographic films andphotographic papers. Despite some efforts, no suitable substitutes with the stability and low cost of gelatin have been found.
- Used as a carrier, coating or separating agent for other substances; for example, it makes beta-carotenewater-soluble thus imparting a yellow colour to any soft drinks containing beta-carotene.
- Gelatin is closely related to bone glue and is used as a binder in match heads and sandpaper.
- Cosmetics may contain a non-gelling variant of gelatin under the name hydrolyzed collagen.
- Gelatin was first used as an external surface sizing for paper in 1337 and continued as a dominant sizing agent of all European papers through the mid-19th century.In modern times it occasionally found in some glossy printing papers, artistic papers, playing cards, and it maintains the wrinkles in crêpe paper.
- Blocks of ballistic gelatin simulate muscle tissue as a standardized medium for testing firearms ammunition.
- Gelatin is used by synchronized swimmers to hold their hair in place during their routines as it will not dissolve in the cold water of the pool. It is frequently referred to as “knoxing,” a reference to Knox brand gelatin.
- When added to boiling water and cooled, unflavored gelatin can make a home-made hair styling gel that is cheaper than many commercial hair styling products, but by comparison has a shorter shelf life (about a week) when stored in this form (usually in a refrigerator). After being applied to scalp hair, it can be removed with rinsing and some shampoo.
- It is commonly used as a biological substrate to culture adherent cells.
- Also used by those who are sensitive to tannins (which can irritate the stomach) in teas, soups or brews.
- It may be used as a medium with which to consume LSD. LSD in gelatin form is known as “windowpane” or “geltabs.”
- Gelatin is used to make the shells of paintballs, similar to the way pharmaceutical capsules are produced.
- Gelatin is also used as an ingredient in implantable medical devices, such as in some bone void fillers.
- Gelatin is also used in nail polish remover and makeup applications. The gelatin is often tinted in different colors to match a model’s natural skin tone.
- Leaf or sheet gelatin is also used directly in food-based model-making, for example to make translucent, edible, diamond-paned windows ingingerbread houses.
- Gelatin can be used as a binding agent in india ink.
- Gelatin may additionally be used as a technique within the process of fine art printmaking. The prints are made by creating a block of gelatin and applying printing inks. The gelatin is made using twice the normal amount of gelatin granules to the usual amount of water. Once set – printmaking ink (usually water based) is applied to its surface. Other water based media may also be applied. Items such as dried grass, leaves and paper stencils are placed onto the inked surface. Gelatin monotype is best done with the use of medium to lightweight paper. This is gently pressed onto the inked plate once the ‘design’ has been composed.