Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gelatin

Introduction:
It is a form of animal protein which is semisolid and transparent in nature. As the name indicates it has gel forming properties.

Preparation of Gelatin:
It is derived from collagen of tissues and is extracted by boiling skin, bone or cartilage of some larger animals such as deer, cow or buffalo after alkali or acid treatment (hydrolysis), which forms a firm gel like structure when mixed in water.

Types of gelatin:

Type A gelatin:
Type of gelatin obtained from acid treated precursor.

Type B gelatin:
Type of gelatin obtained from alkali treated precursor.

Forms of gelatin:

Vegetable gelatin:
A gelatin like substance obtained from gluten (a protein combination found in certain cereals).

Glycerinated gelatin:
It is made by the treatment of equal proportions of glycerin and gelatin. It is mostly used for suppositories and urethral bougies.

Irish moss gelatin:
It is made by the extraction from Irish moss. It is mostly used as a substitute for gum Arabic in the preparation of emulsions.

Properties:
It is not a complete form of protein as it is deficient of certain amino acids. It is found in the form of sheets, flakes or powders. It is tasteless and odorless. It is faint yellow to amber in color.
It swells when placed in cold water but have the ability of dissolution only in hot water. It can be easily digested by the body.

Uses:
It is used mostly in the products of food and in cooking in home. It is also used to make gel foods such as jellied meats.
It is also in use in medicine. In pharmaceutical industry it is used to make capsules, cometics, hemostat and certain plasma substitutes. It is also used as an emulsifying agent.
It is also used in photography.

Storage:
It can be stored for longer periods in dry and airtight containers.

References:
Encyclopedia Britannica 2009 Deluxe (Avanquest)

British Pharmacopoeia 2009 (British Pharmacopoeia) by British Pharmacopoeia Commission

Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy

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