Even with so many other sources of gelatin why should we consider poultry as an alternative source of gelatin?

Poultry industry had become a fast growing industry in this world in the recent years. It is evidently due to the maximum profit from a single industry ,that is using its meat, egg for consumption and excreta as raw material for manure industry. But the waste utilisation of the poultry industry had been a major problem with its skin, feet and feathers as poultry waste.

Meanwhile ,gelatin industry was looking for an effective alternative for other gelatin sources like bovine ,porcine, fish and insects. Mammalian gelatin are found to have religious concerns like halal and health issues which include Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy(BSE) and Foot/Mouth disease. Fish gelatins are found to have allergic reactions and insect gelatins are limited.

At this point the relevance of using poultry waste as source of gelatin comes forward. Poultry gelatin  is found to have more functional properties and thermal stablility as compared to other source.


Gelatin is colourless, odourless, water soluble substance which is brittle when dry and gummy when wet. It is hydrolysed collagen formed by thermal denaturation of collagen protein which is the most abundant animal protein. The application of gelatin is increasing in our day to day life in food and pharmaceutical industries. It is used in various cosmetics, to make the shell of various drugs and vitamin capsules, as binders in matchstick and sandpapers, as colour gels and even in photography field.


Various other sources of gelatin include,

  • Mammalian gelatin- made from skin, hides and bones of bovine and porcine animals. Most popular or widely used source of gelatin.
  • Fish gelatin- from skin and bones of various fish like salmon, tuna, shark, tilapia, Alaska Pollack etc.
  • Insect gelatin- made from Melon bugs and Sorghum bugs. Especially used in ice creams.

Poultry was found to be an alternative source of gelatin not so long ago. As the poultry by-products are increasing due to huge production in this world, poultry waste like chicken skin, head and feet are mostly used. Poultry skin has less amount of collagen than poultry feet. So, poultry feet is used majorly also due to its high amino acid content and bloom strength.


The raw materials are received and examined for their quality. Usually the by-products of poultry industry are loaded and received. The raw materials are washed and cleaned by a high pressure jet spray of water to remove the dirt. The raw materials are then chopped into small

Pieces of 12.7 cm diameter. They are then soaked and cooked in hot water to get degreased and further fat reduction takes place to 2% when it is roasted for 30 minutes in about 100℃ which is transferred via industrial conveyors. The fat is thus separated and disposed. After acid and alkali treatment it is again cooked for extraction in large aluminium extractor and boiled in distilled water. The product is then evaporated and converted to crystal, granule or powder form. Various flavourings, sweeteners and colourings are added to the products. They are then dried and packed in bags of polypropylene or multiply paper and vacuum sealed and stored in moisture proof environment.


The production in poultry industry is increasing by 1.5 to 2 times a year and consumption of poultry increase worldwide by 4.3%.As a result the poultry waste will be more and methods for recycling this waste effectively becomes inevitable. Also the global demand for gelatin industry is growing.

Various religious and health concerns related to mammalian and fish gelatin can be prevented by introduction of poultry gelatin. They are more sustainable and equally superior to mammalian gelatin. Poultry gelatin is found to have more bloom strength and high amino acid content and other functional properties than mammalian gelatin.

Poultry industry becomes more profitable, the production is simpler and cost effective with no much complicated processes.


Poultry gelatin had opened its way to use underutilised substance and industrial waste in effective way. Inspite of all these advantages of using poultry gelatin have various concerns to face in future.

  • Different kinds of raw material from single animal is being used that is, head, feet, skin, bones .All these have different compositions which affect the quality of gelatin produced. Also the different species under poultry industry would give the same challenge of quality.

Raw material of mammalian gelatin is more easily available, less cost and also raw material weight per individual animal is more than that of poultry gelatin.

  • Various health concerns like H5N1, the avian influence virus or the bird flu affecting human beings.
  • Price of some species of poultry animal like duck, silk fowl, and turkey are high compared to other source animals of poultry gelatin. Hence, the price of gelatin obtained from them is expected to be high.

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