As a multifunctional ingredient that gives texture and stability to the finished product, gelatin has become a highly valued ingredient in the food and beverage industry. The gelatin protein structure closely resembles the proteins in the human body and this means that allergic reactions to gelatin are extremely rare. It is therefore also widely used in medical applications such as pharmaceutical capsules and tablets, blood plasma expanders, wound healing plasters, sponges, bone plugs (used in orthopedic surgery) etc.
Gelatin is used for technical applications such as:
- Photographic applications: Gelatin is mainly used in the manufacture of photographic (color) paper. Other applications include (certain types of) high quality printing paper for inkjet printers and photographic film
- Paper production
- Textile production
- Matchstick production
- Micro-encapsulation of flavors, colors and vitamins
Animal feed and pet food
The (water) binding properties of gelatin are an important asset in pet food. As gelatin is pure protein, it can also help in terms of increasing the protein content of the petfood. Furthermore, vitamins in animal feed are often micro-encapsulated with gelatin.
Collagen peptides can also offer health benefits: They can support the joints of pets, reduce pain and gain mobility for those pets that suffer from arthritis. In addition, collagen peptides help in regard to enhancing bone density/health and in this way counteracting the progression of osteoporosis. Collagen peptides are also used to promote a thick and healthy coat.
Both racehorses and competition horses are typically supplemented with collagen peptides due to its beneficial effect on the joints and bones. The benefits of a glossy coat are obviously also an added bonus for any show horse!