The gelatine is produced in the following six stages:
1.Pre – treatment
The demineralised bovine bone and dehaired hides are kept in a solution of lime (CaOH) for several weeks. This causes the collagen structure to be softened so that it can be extracted using warm water.
The pretreated raw material is treated with warm water in this process so that the collagen inside it is dissolved into the water. Five to seven extractions are done to maximise the gelatine yield. The first gelatine extracts, obtained at relatively low temperatures, are rather firm and have a light color. The extraction solutions contain 6.7% gelatine. After these first extracts, the remaining material is treated with fresh water but at a higher temperature. This sequence is continued until all the gelatine has been extracted into solution.
This consists of two steps. The gelatine solution obtained from the extraction process is passed through cellulose pulp filters to remove any foreign particles that may be present in the solution. The gelatine is then taken to the ion exchangers where any unwanted dissolved salts are removed.
In the concentration step, multi-stage vacuum evaporators are used to remove part of the water from the dilute gelatine extraction solution. The highly viscous solution from this step is then transported to the drying section. The gelatine solution is heat-sterilised to remove any harmful bacteria present. It is then passed through a ‘votator’, which cools the gelatine and disperses it in the form of ‘gelatine noodles’.
The noodles from the votator are then spread across the dryer conveyor belt and are dried with sterile, pre-dried and filtered air. At the end of the drier, the now hard and brittle gelatine is ground into powder form and stored in the warehouse until required for further use. Individual batches are only released for further use on the successful completion of physical, chemical and bacteriological testing in the lab.
6. Milling, sieving, blending
Milling, sieving and blending are the final three processing steps. Here, the dried gelatine is customised to the requirements of individual customers. Once filled into bags and after final release from the lab, the products are transported to the customers.