View All Molecular Gastronomy Glossary
What is Gelatin?
Taken from the collagen found in the bones and skin of animals, gelatin is a glutinous substance used as a gelling agent. In appearance it is clear and colorless and is solid and brittle when dry. When hydrated, it forms a flavorless and transparent gel which blends well with other ingredients.
It should be noted that some discrepancy may occur with the meaning of the word. Gelatin may also refer to any substance that is gelatinous in nature or forms a type of gel.
Gelatin is used in food products such as gummy candies, yogurt, marshmallows and many others. This food additive serves various purposes ranging from stabilizing to providing texture to food, making it a popular component of modern cuisine.
As a cooking ingredient it may presented as granules, a powder, or dry sheets. Regardless of form, gelatin must be hydrated with cold liquid to activate its gelling properties.
Half an ounce or 14 grams of gelatin may be used with 2 cups of water to create a gel. Once softened and hydrated the cold solution should be heated at about 60°C or 140°F to dissolve the gelatin and further promote gelation. Gelling will begin at around 35°C or 95°F.