Why do we find pork gelatin everywhere?

Used as an additive, it bears the numbers E428 or E441. If you can not find numbers on the packaging, check the ingredient list of the product composition. The mention “gelatin” is written, without more indications?

Jackpot. In 95% of cases, it is indeed pork gelatin.

A not-dangerous addition to health that is neither halal nor kosher, and is not suitable for vegetarian or vegan diets.

The food industry uses it as a thickener, stabilizer or texturizer … in many products. A search engine exists on Open food facts.

The candies

The addition of pork gelatin in gummy confectionery to provide consistency is a common practice. The number one in Europe selling sweets, the German Haribo, assumes this by mentioning it on its website. Crocodiles, cubs, strawberries Tagada … The major part contains. The French company Carambar and Carambar candies “taste fruit” are no exception to the rule.

In addition, this gelatin is also found in ice cream preparations, spreads, cream cake, cooked dishes sauce, pizza etc …

Traces are also detectable in fruit juice, beer or wine, as some manufacturers put in the tanks to clarify their products.

Light products

More surprisingly, pork gelatin is found in many lighter products.

Where the food industry removes fat to be less caloric, they add water added with this agent to ensure a smooth texture pleasant and melting in the mouth. Yogurts, mousses, butter, cheeses … In the fresh section, most of them contain pork gelatin, either the 0% Yoplait basket or the Taillefine mousse from its competitor Danone.


Incredible but true. In the composition of vaccines are stabilizers that will maintain their quality of manufacture to their use. According to the Directorate General of Health, some of these stabilizers are made from gelatin of porcine origin. Five vaccines are concerned in France: ProQuad, Varivax, Zostavax, Fluenz Tetra and MM-RVAXPRO. The latter, used against measles, mumps and rubella, is also part of the recommended vaccines for children, says Le Monde.


Like vaccines, some drugs are concerned, especially those in the form of capsule or capsule, analgesics and “multivitamin” type tablets. To get an idea, a non-exhaustive list is available on the database


As for cosmetic products, only the mention “gelatin” appears on the products. It can be found in hair gel, shampoo, skin cream, foundation, etc.

More surprisingly, there are some in toothpastes, such as Signal’s “Pure Breath” or Sanogyl’s “Essential Whiteness Care”. The group Unilever, holder of the first brand, has sold the second, offers on its website to know the composition of its products.

Photo films

Finally, gelatin is used in the composition of films and paper for film photos. It is necessary for the realization of the photosensitive layer which will serve as matrix for the prints.

Gelling agent and gelatin

In the types of gelling agents, there are two categories: gelatin, of animal origin, and plant alternatives: agar-agar (E406), starch (E1401), carrageenan (E407), xanthan gum (E415), Guar gum (E412), pectin …

To be sure of not eating animal products, the term “gelling agent” for texturants of vegetable origin should be preferred by legislation.

On the labels

Preferred to beef (because of mad cow disease) or fish (more expensive), the pig is used for the manufacture of gelatin in 95% of cases.

The law does not oblige manufacturers to mention on the product its origin, according to the repression of frauds. Thus, very often, only the word “gelatin” is inscribed instead of “porcine gelatin”.

The making

Porcine gelatin is made by the hydrolysis of collagen from the skin, bones or tendons of animals.

After being mashed, these pieces of carcasses are boiled in hydrochloric acid according to an ancestral recipe and very strict rules of manufacture. The material obtained is solid, transparent or slightly yellow, and has neither taste nor odor.

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