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Buying Bulk Gelatine


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Yesterday I discovered that gelatine is available in bulk, and since I'm tired of paying $$ for small packets of gelatine at the local supermarket, where I prefer not to shop anyway, I thought I'd ask about buying bulk.

What should I be looking for? Is the gelatine available in bulk bins at some stores, or is it generally packaged in large bags - 5-lb bags seems to be common? How long can gelatine last when packaged in bulk and not protected by the sealed, paper packets that are found in supermarkets? Are there different types of granulated gelatine? What's "kosher" gelatine?

Thanks for any comments ....

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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I buy gelatin at the bulk food store from the bins. It lasts forever.

I have also seen large cans available from places like Amazon.

I'd probably just do some pricing to see what gets you the best deal.

Kosher gelatin is made either from a beef or fish source. Halal gelatin is also available.

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Since posting my original questions, I searched and found a gelatine that listed the following ingredients:

Ingredients: Gelatin (bloom scale 250), fumaric acid, sodium citrate, potassium sorbate (mold inhibitor), salt and dimethypolysiloxane (prevents foam)

What is all this stuff?!

Can someone explain the Bloom Scale?

 ... Shel


 

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OK, in reverse order:

The Bloom scale is a test of the firmness of the resulting gelatin matrix. It's a kind of arbitrary scale that runs from 30-300, where a specific weight percentage of gelatin is mixed into a buffered solution and held at temp for a set time, then they drop what is essentially a penetrating probe down onto it and see how far down it goes (may also be a viscosimeter, depending on the setup). What all that means to you as a cook is the higher the Bloom number (and it's a dudes name, so capital "B"), the firmer the gel. You will frequently see sheet gelatin sold as either "silver" or "gold", etc, where the silver is 150-160, gold around 200, and most powdered comes in at 225-250.

Dimethypolysiloxane is also called E900. It's a common anti-foaming agent found in everything from over the counter drugs, to Chicken McNuggets. Because gelatin is basically a very concentrated protein solution, it's prone to foaming up something fierce - problematic during both production of the stuff you buy, and when working with it in the kitchen.

Being a protein, and relatively water-attracting, it's also a great place for mold to pop up. So a little potassium sorbate is added to knock that back. If the gelatin gets wet though, it's not even close to enough to prevent mold from actually growing. Easily demonstrated my mixing up a little gelatin and leaving it on the counter for a couple of days.

Fumaric acid and sodium citrate (the sodium salt of citric acid) are added to lower the pH of the gelatin. When stored gelatin has a pH from 5-7 (on the acidic side of neutral), this makes it much much more shelf stable. To the point where laboratory gelatin doesn't really ever "expire", and why the old Knox envelopes my grandmother had are still good decades later.

Hope that helps a little!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I buy it from my local baking products wholesaler in 5 kg boxes. I just keep the top of the bag clipped and leave it in the box. That said, I go through that box in a month or two. For longer storage I'd keep it airtight at room temperature.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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