HUFFINGTON POST

Scientists Develop Human-Derived Gelatin

07/14/2011 01:07 pm 13:07:19 | Updated Sep 13, 2011

Jell-O is having something of a moment right now. Between beautiful Jell-O videos and intense Jell-O mold competitions, this jiggly food is suddenly getting jiggy again. Now, we learn that Chinese researchers are developing human-derived gelatin. (Most gelatin-based desserts and food products are derived from cow and pig collagen.)

It's not quite as frightening as it sounds; the scientists inject human gelatin genes into a strain of yeast. Therefore, it isn't human bones and skin actually in the gelatin, like it is with animals, just a bit of DNA.

This human gelatin poses less risk of disease, is a bit more stable and is more consistent in quality.

For those that don't like the idea of animal bones and skin or human DNA in their food, there are substitutes. Agar-agar is a seaweed-based gel that is a bit firmer than animal-based gelatin. Carrageen, also known as Irish moss, can be used for softer gels or puddings. There are also many kosher and vegan gels, so everyone can keep calm and wobble on.

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