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Getting to Know Collagen and Gelatin

Collagen and gelatin. Who doesn’t know these two materials?

Both are often used in the non-food and food industries. Collagen is usually used in non-food industries, such as for cosmetics. Its function is to rejuvenate the skin, antioxidants, and antiaging. Some studies say collagen can be an antihypertensive and wound healer.

While gelatin is widely used in the food industry as a thickening and chewing agent, such as in the manufacture of ice cream and marshmallows. In the pharmaceutical industry, gelatin is also commonly used as a capsule ingredient.

Collagen is a natural protein derived from animals, such as fish, cattle, and pigs. Generally, the parts of animals used as a source of collagen are skin, bones, teeth, swimming bubbles, cartilage. Therefore, the source of collagen becomes the first critical point of halalness. The source of collagen must be ensured to come from halal animals slaughtered according to sharia.

“Unfortunately, until now, there is no manufacturer that produces collagen commercially in Indonesia. Almost 60% of collagen and gelatin use in the world comes from pigs,” says Dr. Mala Nurimala, S.Pi., M.Si, Lecturer at the Department of Aquatic Products Technology, Faculty of Perikan and Marine Sciences, IPB University as well as a researcher at the Halal Science Center IPB.

Meanwhile, gelatin is a protein-derived compound obtained by extracting animal collagen. As a rule, gelatin takes the form of a dry or paste. Even so, each of them has specific properties. The natural properties of collagen are insoluble in water, while gelatin is water-soluble.

Apart from the source, the next critical point of collagen halalness lies in the extraction process. There are two ways to extract collagen into gelatin, namely by acidification and enzymatic.

“Both acidic and enzymatic methods must be known the source and halalness,” explained Mala.

If collagen is extracted using enzymes, then the enzyme to be used is a protease enzyme that can break down proteins. However, during this time the protease enzymes that are widely sold come from pigs, such as pepsin.

Along with the development of technology, in today’s beauty world collagen has been developed into active collagen. Mala explained further that active collagen is produced after going through a hydrolysis process to make its molecular weight smaller so that it can absorb into the skin faster.

“This hydrolysis process is also a critical point of product halalness.This is because usually the hydrolysis process is also through acidification and enzymatics,” explained Mala.

In Indonesia, he continued, to develop collagen from cows is a bit difficult. This is because the skin and bones have been processed into dishes a lot, so the raw materials are relatively few. On the other hand, at present the fishing industry is developing.

Certain industries produce fish skin waste. IPB University sees this potential and is developing various products derived from collagen, both collagen itself, gelatin, and active collagen. It is an alternative to halal ingredients. (YN)

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