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Animal protein substance having gel-forming properties, used primarily in food products. Derived from collagen, it is extracted by boiling animal skin and bones. It is commonly produced as granules or as a mix with added sugars, flavours, and colours. Immersed in a liquid, gelatin takes up moisture and swells, causing the mixture to solidify. It is used to make such foods as molded desserts, jellied meats, soups, candies, and aspics and to stabilize such emulsion and foam food products as ice cream and marshmallows. It is nutritionally an incomplete protein. It is also used in various pharmaceutical products.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on gelatin, visit Britannica.com.