Gelatin is derived from collagen, an insoluble fibrous protein which is the principal constituent of connective tissues and bones. Collagen is distinctive in that it contains an unusually high level of the cyclic amino acids (imino acids) proline and hydroxyproline. Collagen consists of three helical polypeptide chains wound around each other and connected by intermolecular cross-links.
Type A gelatin is produced from an acid process. It is mainly applied to pig skin, in which the collagen molecule is young.
Type B gelatin is formed form an alkaline and acid process. It is mainly applied to cattle skin and bone, in which the triple-helix collagen molecule is older, more densely cross-linked and complex.
GELATIN – APPLICATION IN PHARMACEUTICALS
- Capsule (soft and two-piece hard capsule)
- Tablets (binding, moisturizing and coating agent)
- Lozenges and cough drops
- Excellent stabilizer and emulsifier in pharmaceutical emulsions
- External application of drugs to treat various skin disorder
SHARIAH SCHOLARS OPINION ON GELATIN
Source 10th fiqh seminar (Bombay) dated 24-jamdul usani-1418
The Issue of Using Gelatin
Gelatin is a new kind of stuff used in many products in modern times. Since it is produced from otherwise illegitimate and non-permitted raw material, the question arises whether its use is Islamically permitted or not? Hence, Gelatin became one of the subject matter of the Fourteenth Seminar of the Fiqh Academy, which provided the following guidance in that regard.
1) Gelatin is an organic substance, which is a type of protein. It is formed when another protein the Collagen found in the skin and bones of animals undergoes chemical transformation. The substance so obtained takes the form of a different protein, the chemical and medicinal properties of which are absolutely different from that of the Collagen. It is also dissimilar to the Collagen in terms of its colour, smell, taste and other characteristics.
2) In case the substances, which are described as impermissible by Shariah, undergo a complete process of metamorphosis, then the validity of the law does not hold well. The special or basic properties of the substance, by which it has been universally accepted and identified, are the real characteristics and identification of the substance. According to the research undertaken by the scientific experts, Gelatin does not posses the characteristics and properties of the skin and bones. of animals, whose Collagen is used to prepare Gelatin. In fact, an altogether new substance is produced which has distinctly different characteristics from its parent substance. Therefore, there is a room for its use. 1
3) In view of differences between the jurists as well as the importance of edible substance, the Seminar earnestly appeals to the Muslim businessmen and traders to prepare Gelatin only from permissible animals using the permissible and clean parts of their body, so that there may be no dubiety over the issue of its permissibility and lawfulness.