Introduction to Pectin and Gelatin
Everyone has heard about gelatin. Many of the sweet treats found in grocery aisles contain gelatin: from marshmallows to fruit snacks to gummy bears. Likewise, many of the gummies found in cannabis dispensaries are made of gelatin. However, did you know the animal-based ingredients used to make gelatin? Did you know pectin, used in Doozies, is a more ethical and eco-conscious alternative to gelatin? Read to learn why pectin is a better alternative to gelatin.
What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is a protein derived from the tendons, ligaments, skin, and/or bones of animals, typically cows or pigs but not always. If you’ve cooked a bone-based soup before, you may have noticed a leftover jelly-like residue in the pot. Essentially, this is how gelatin is made but at a greater scale, albeit with more refined techniques. Through the industrial manufacturing process, gelatin is oftentimes turned into a powder that can be used in a variety of processed food items. When gelatin sets, it has a jiggly consistency.
What is Pectin?
In contrast to gelatin, pectin is a carbohydrate found in the cell walls of various fruit and vegetable-bearing plants. To isolate pectin, plants are most commonly heated in acidified water. After this, pectin is released from the cell walls of these plants. Similar to gelatin, pectin is turned into a powder that can easily be applied to a wide range of food products. Unlike gelatin, pectin has a mouthfeel that is denser, gummier, and more moist.
Pectin vs. Gelatin in Cannabis
Because pectin is only made from plants, whereas gelatin is made from animals, pectin is frequently used as a vegan or vegetarian-friendly way to consume many of the sweet treats people love. In the cannabis industry, pectin is used instead of gelatin in cannabis-infused gummies by companies who are conscious that not all people want to consume gummies made from animal parts. Additionally, vegan-conscious companies like Green Revolution believe that because the cannabis industry is the ultimate celebration of a plant, all edibles should be plant-based. Aside from the ethics though, many consumers actually prefer pectin gummies, which tend to have a more structured, gummy mouthfeel.
Problems with Gelatin and Religion
Because gelatin is regularly made from cows and pigs, certain religious groups need to know the source of their gelatin. Sometimes religious groups have dietary restrictions, meaning they cannot consume certain animals or animals at all, depending on their beliefs. Too often, gelatin products are not clearly labeled with the animal used to create the gelatin. This lack of transparency means it is difficult for certain religious people to know what they are putting into their bodies when they eat gelatin. Given this, the plant-based nature of pectin products makes them an easier choice for those with dietary restrictions.
Environmental Applications of Pectin and Gelatin
In pectin and gelatin, both products are often made from byproducts of the food industry. In pectin’s case, it can be extracted from food normally discarded like apple cores and orange peels. In this sense, creating pectin is a great way to reduce food waste. As for gelatin, gelatin manufacturing facilities are commonly located close to slaughterhouses. After the desirable meat products are harvested by the slaughterhouses, remaining animal parts applicable to gelatin are transported for use at gelatin manufacturing facilities. This way, the body parts of killed animals are not put to waste. Still, the environmental burden of widespread animal breeding and harvesting is not to be underestimated.
How to be a Well-Informed Consumer
Next time you’re buying edibles at a dispensary, ask your budtender if the edibles you’re buying contain pectin or gelatin. You’d be surprised at how many of your favorite brands use gelatin in their edibles.
As for Green Revolution, all Doozies gummies are 100% gelatin-free. When you consume Doozies, you can be confident that you’re consuming a plant-based, vegan product that is not only animal-free but sustainable for the environment.