UAE researchers identify halal gelatin from camels

 UAE researchers identify halal gelatin from camels
The project by the United Arab Emirates University explored the potential of obtaining gelatin from camels.

Abu Dhabi - Dr Maqsood said that if produced to commercial scale, gelatin from camel's by-products can avoid issues surrounding non-halal gelatin.



By Jasmine Al Kuttab

Published: Sun 18 Jun 2017, 9:20 PM

Last updated: Sun 18 Jun 2017, 11:25 PM

A team of Abu Dhabi-based researchers has identified a potential new halal source of gelatin, which could play a vital role in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries in the UAE and around the region.
The project by the research group at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) explored the potential of obtaining gelatin from camels to meet the overall demand in halal foods across the region.
Dr Sajid Maqsood from the department of food science at the UAEU's College of Food and Agriculture Infrastructure told Khaleej Times: "Most gelatin come from pork skin, which has religious issues, as well as beef skin and bones, which could link to diseases."
It was reported that 41 per cent of the gelatin produced in the world is sourced from pig skin, 28.5 per cent from bovine hides and 29.5 per cent from bovine bones.
However, recently the concern and fear of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease from beef gelatin and religious restrictions for porcine gelatin have affected the gelatin market and shifted the focus towards alternative sources of gelatin.
Dr Maqsood, who led the research, said: "Until now, no solid study has been conducted on the possibility of extracting high-quality gelatin from camel skin."
He said the project's main challenge is to optimise the condition of pre-treatment and extraction conditions for obtaining high-quality gelatin.
"Camels are exposed to a hot and dry climate and possess skin, which is different to other animals. So a detailed exploration is needed to produce high-quality gelatin from their skin."
Dr Maqsood said that if produced to commercial scale, gelatin from camel's by-products can avoid issues surrounding non-halal gelatin. The move, he said, will also have commercial benefits as it will boost the UAE's halal food industry. "Camels cannot be found all around the world, they mainly live in the Middle East, so we need to see how much resource of raw material is available to meet the demand."
Ahlam Abuibid, who is also part of the research team, said: "Camels are widely found in the GCC, that's why it is highly beneficial to produce more products from this unique animal."
The 23-year-old food science student noted that camels could produce better quality gelatin because they have unique characteristics and are able to survive in hot climates. "We hope camel gelatin can be commercialised and fulfill the gelatin demand in the Middle East," said Dr Magsood.
jasmine@khaleejtimes.com
 
 


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