A Natural Polymer that you use
Every Day!

What is gelatin used for?

What is this natural polymer anyway?

Basically it is a protein substance obtained from the boiling of bones and connective tissue. But where does the raw material for gelatin come from ????   You guessed it!  The meat industry where all that's left but the moo is converted to gelatin. The end result is a pale yellow, dry powder.  The powder is about 85% protein, 13% water, and 2% mineral salts.  It is free of additives and preservatives.  Gelatin contains about 18 different amino acids joined together in a chain.  Eventually a triple helix (or triple spiral) is the complex molecule that gives the polymer its unique ability to "gel" things. Here's a question for you: What is the main polymer in gelatin?

(Hint: see the page on proteins. Click here for the answer.

History of this great polymer:

Activities using gelatin

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