2. A colorless or slightly yellow, transparent, brittle protein formed by boiling the specially prepared skin, bones, and connective tissue of animals and used in foods, drugs, and photographic film; any of various similar substances.
3. A jelly made with gelatin, used as a dessert or salad base.
4. A thin sheet made of colored gelatin used in theatrical lighting; also called gel.
The characteristics of gelatin and gelatine
Gelatin is a protein product produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from skin, bones, cartilage, ligaments, etc. The natural molecular bonds between individual collagen strands are broken down into a form that rearranges more easily. Gelatin melts when heated and solidifies when cooled again. Together with water it forms a semi-solid colloidal gel.
A colloid consists of microscopic particles suspended in some sort of liquid medium. The particles are between one nanometer and one micrometer in size and can be macromolecules (relating to large molecules including, proteins, nucleic acids and carbohydrates).
Gelatine is a nitrogeneous colloid, not existing as such in the animal body, but formed by the hydrating action of boiling water on the collagen of various kinds of connective tissue; such as, tendons, bones, ligaments, etc. Its distinguishing character is that of dissolving in hot water, and forming a jelly on cooling. It is an important ingredient of calf's-foot jelly, isinglass, glue, etc. It is used as food, but its nutritious qualities are of a low order.
Both spellings, gelatin and gelatine, are in good use; however, the tendency of writers on physiological chemistry favors the form gelatin, as in the United States Dispensatory, the United States Pharmacopoeia, Fownes' Watts' Chemistry, and in Brande & Cox's Dictionary.
Other applications of gelatine
"Blasting gelatin", an explosive, containing about ninety-five parts of nitroglycerin and five of collodion. "Gelatin process", a name applied to a number of processes in the arts, involving the use of gelatin. Especially, a method of producing facsimile copies of an original, written or drawn in aniline ink upon paper, thence transferred to a cake of gelatin softened with glycerin, from which impressions are taken upon ordinary paper; vegetable gelatin.