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Vegetarians and vegans do not have to give up the joy of jelly

Gelatine is widely used in many favourite foods including jellies, yoghurts, cakes, desserts and sweets, however due to its animal source it is not suitable for the growing number of vegetarians and vegans.


The most commonly used form of gelatine is composed mostly of animal bone – as well as other animal parts in the ground powder, and while it might seem easy enough to say that vegetarians and vegans should just avoid gelatine, it is not that simple as it is not only a useful ingredient in many foods, but quite often essential.


Gelatine is a substance that "sets up" in foods. It forms a gel as it cools down from a high temperature so is commonly used in fruit compotes, marmalades, jellies, cheesecakes, mousses and other desserts.


Commercially gelatine is used in the manufacture of marshmallows, candy corn, gummy sweets and other fruit snacks. It is also used as a stabiliser, thickener, or texturiser in foods such as yogurt, cream cheese, and margarine as well as in fat-reduced foods to simulate the mouthfeel of fat and to create volume.


Gelatine can even be used for the clarification of liquids such as apple juice, and vinegar.

But what are the alternatives for vegetarians? There are a few a few non-animal sources that are available.

Non-animal gelatine alternatives:


Guar Gum – This replacement for gelatine is often found in ice cream and pudding. It comes from the guar plant, which is native to Pakistan. Guar gum binds with water easily.


Agar Agar – Agar, also known as agar-agar, is a mix of carbohydrates extracted from seaweed, specifically Red Sea algae. Agar-agar has no flavour, odour, or colour so it’s helpful as a culinary ingredient. It can be used to substitute for gelatine, thicken soups, and make jams and jellies, ice cream, and other desserts that need to set.


Kosher gelatin - Like other kosher foods, it is prepared a certain way according to Jewish tradition. This gelatine contains no animal products.


Carrageen - Carrageen or Carrageenan, also known as Irish Moss, is a type of dried seaweed extract that can be used in place of gelatine. It is flavourless and it sets foods but less rigidly than gelatine. Carrageenan is used in jellies, mousses, soups, ice creams, puddings, and dairy products. You’ve probably seen it in the ingredient list of many vegan products as well including plant-based milks and cheeses.


Xanthan/Guar Gum - Vegetable gums are often used in ice creams and gluten-free baked goods. Examples of vegetable gums include xanthan gum, guar gum, and locust bean gum. Xanthan gum is also used in gluten-free baking but it can also thicken smoothies and sauces.


Pectin is made from fruit skins and rinds. They are boiled, filtered, and dehydrated into a soft gel. Because it’s made from fruit, it’s often used to thicken jams, jellies, and marmalades.


CMC: This is widely used in the ice cream industry. It is used to make ice creams without churning mechanism or extreme low temperatures thereby eliminating the need of the conventional churners or salt ice mixes. CMC is used in bakery products like breads and cake preparation.


Chemgrit is able to supply a variety of gelatine solutions which may be customised specifically for customers’ individual needs. All Chemgrit suppliers are well accredited and comply with world standards.


Chemgrit is able to supply the following animal-based Gelatine alternatives: CARRAGEENAN, CMC, PECTIN, KONJAC GUM and XANTHUM GUM


For more information contact margaret@chemgritsa.co.za or click here

[Additional Info: One Green Plant]

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