Viro, Felix Kind & Knox, Sioux City, Iowa.
Last reviewed:June 2019
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A translucent, colorless, protein derived from the skin, white connective tissue, and bone of animals. Gelatin may be derived from chicken and fish; however, most gelatin comes from cattle and pigs. The principal uses of gelatin are in foods and pharmaceuticals. Other uses of gelatin are in microencapsulation, health (Fig. 1) and cosmetics, and plastics. Gelatin is a linear polymer of amino acids, most often with repeating glycine-proline-proline and glycine-proline-hydroxyproline sequences in the polypeptide linkages. The unique characteristics of gelatin are reversible sol-to-gel formation, amphoteric properties, swelling in cold water, film-forming properties, viscosity-modifying properties, and protective colloid properties. See also: Amino acid; Colloid; Protein
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