Gelatin has long been used as a gelling agent in the food industry, with roughly 300,000 tons of animal-based gelatin produced annually for gelatin-type desserts such as Jell-O, marshmallows, candy and other products.
“Historically, gelatin is produced by extraction from collagen-rich tissues, such as bovine or porcine skin or bone, using either acid or base.”
But the food industry claims animal-based gelatin has drawbacks because it’s made from the bones and skin of cows and pigs, and may carry a risk of infectious diseases such as “Mad Cow” disease, provoking an immune system responses in some people.
Additionally, the inconsistent nature of such gelatin preparations complicates the manufacture of gelatin-containing products.
So researchers have sought alternatives, including development of a human-recombinant gelatin for potential use in drug capsules and other medical applications.
Last year, ScienceDaily reported that Jinchun Chen and colleagues at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology developed and demonstrated a method where human gelatin genes are inserted into a strain of yeast, which can produce gelatin with controllable features.
The researchers are still testing the human-yeast gelatin to see how well it compares to other gelatins in terms of its viscosity and other attributes.
Chen and colleagues suggest that their method could be used commercially to produce large amounts of gelatin for food producers.
Fast Company’s Ariel Schwartz notes that a San Francisco-based company called FibroGen is also developing “recombinant human gelatin” that has already been safely tested on humans as a stabilizer for vaccines.
“FibroGen is also talking with capsule manufacturers (think: capsules for medication) to study the feasibility of using recombinant gelatin in their products.”
As Schwartz points out, “since recombinant human gelatin is derived from human genes, at what point do genes represent a person that you don’t want to eat?”
And as with GMO’s, you can bet it won’t be labeled. The prospect of labeling GMO’s in California with Proposition 37 terrified pesticide companies so much that they lied and spent 44 million to defeat it.
“Monsanto illegally included the FDA logo in a ‘No on 37’ mailing to state residents, and made up a quote from the FDA, which the FDA refuted. The FDA did not and cannot express an opinion on ballot initiatives” — among other things.
Monsanto has also recently established a new partnership with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company.
Bread, Pizza Dough Made from Human Hair
The food industry already uses substances derived from the human body to manufacture food. The L-Cysteine used commercially in dough for products like bread, pizza dough, and pastries is made from human hair.
L-Cysteine is obtained industrially by hydrolysis and is used as a reducing agent to shorten the mixing time of flour dough, and minimize the shrinking of pizza crust.
In the article “Eating Human Hair by Another Name”, the author claims L-Cysteine is used in bagels, croissants, hard rolls, cake donuts, pita bread, and some crackers and Melba Toast. It is also used as a nutrient in baby milk formula and dietary supplements.
L-Cysteine is considered generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.
It must be labeled by its “common and usual name,”(“L-Cysteine”), on food packages, but in other cases, such as when it is used to make flavors that are in foods, it does not have to be labeled.