Chewy, elastic bites and gummies always make a great treat to nibble and enjoy anything. If you aren't aware, gelatin is the major component used in food manufacturing to produce a rubber-like nature to the entire product. Did you know the so-popular animal-based gelatin is now available as a Kosher product? Are you wondering if it might be a halal product too? Check out all about the special Kosher gelatin and its alternatives that Chewwies offers!
Where is gelatin widely used?
Gelatin is a flavourless substance and texture enhancer to bring out a jelly-like rubber nature to any product it is added to. It is a translucent rubbery substance when moist and is derived from hydrolysis and extraction of animal collagen, especially of pigs or cattle(bovine).
Scientifically, collagen is an amino acid-rich protein, usually found in connective tissues of animals' bones, ligaments, skin, or cartilages. The following categories of products generally contain gelatin in them.
- Sweet candies, jelly desserts, and nutrition supplement gummies
- For stabilising dairy products like cream cheese and yoghourt
- In shampoo, paper, and cosmetics production
- For drugs and capsule shells
- Clarification of wine, beer, apple juices, and vinegar
How is Kosher gelatin different from gelatin?
Pure gelatin isn't permitted for vegetarians and vegans as it is an animal derivative. Kosher customs among Jews and Halal restrictions among Muslims also religiously restrict the usage of pig's skin or collagen, which gave way to developing Kosher gelatin as an alternative.
As allowed in Judaism, Kosher gelatin is derived from Kosher fishes like cod, haddocks, salmon, and trout, or bovine collagen taken from the cattle slaughtered as described in religious sacrifices. Though the source is different, manufacturers use Kosher gelatin just like the common gelatin in various products.
Kosher products are marked with "K" or "OU" symbols to notify the difference, whereas the common gelatin products have no marks.
Is Kosher gelatin considered halal?
Muslim's categorization of food products into halal and haram foods strictly restricts the usage of collagen from pigs and other carnivores, which automatically make common gelatin non-halal (haram food).
If Jewish bovine slaughter also satisfies the halal principles, Kosher gelatin is permissible in the halal food category. In addition to the OU symbol on the products, strict halal product users can further check for OU-D(diary), OU-Fish, OU-Pareve (no meat, no dairy), which indicate that they are compliant with the halal terms.
Substitutes available for halal gelatin
The gelatin used in many products around you might restrict you from using them freely if you strictly follow halal principles. If you wish to have an indicator to separate the Kosher gelatin products from the normal ones, you can opt for those with Kosher symbols or those made of vegetarian sources of gelatin.
Plant-based gelling agents like pectin and konjac extracts are now used in many product variations, which were specially manufactured for vegetarian and vegan consumers.
We at Chewwies also ensure our nutritional supplement and multivitamin gummies are 100% Kosher and halal products having no trace of gelatin. To solidify the content in gummies and protect the outer layer, we also use plant-based glazing agents like carnauba wax, beeswax, or candelilla wax. You can check for these agents to differentiate them from haram products.
In such a diverse food industry worldwide, using various plant and animal-based items, it's always tough to find specific products manufactured without having the general ingredients to satisfy cultural and religious requirements.
Though pig-based gelatin is restricted for not being a Kosher or halal product, it didn't limit the industry to come up with alternatives. Specialised Kosher gelatin and plant-based gelling agents are now available for many foods and gelatin-based drugs and cosmetics manufacturers to fulfil the Kosher and halal conditions.