A new non-animal source of gelatin has been produced by researchers, Food Navigator reports. However, the new source isn’t a plant, but rather humans.

Navigator writes that the The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a report by researchers based at the Bejing University of Chemical Technology, who had discovered a new method for creating large quantities of human-derived gelatin, which could one day replace animal-based gelatin.
The researchers produced the alternative by genetically engineering yeast cells to produce the same version of the gelling agent that humans naturally produce.

“The current methods of making gelatin involve the extraction of collagen from animal tissue (skin and bone of bovine or porcine) and it’s conversion to gelatin, which is later isolated by acid, base or enzymatic extraction methods,” the researchers, led by Jinchun Chen from Bejing University, say.

Chen adds that the gelatin from animals is often inconsistent, but this new method could produce a more uniform gelatin, because the conditions could more easily be controlled.

For more information, visit http://pubs.acs.org/journal/jafcau.