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Duck feet: The next alternative gelatin source for confectionery?

By Oliver Nieburg+

Last updated on 11-Apr-2016 at 11:46 GMT2016-04-11T11:46:14Z

Non-bovine, non-porcine gelatin could cater to those avoiding mammalian sources for ethical reasons. Photo: Kolidzei
Non-bovine, non-porcine gelatin could cater to those avoiding mammalian sources for ethical reasons. Photo: Kolidzei

Gelatin extracted from duck feet or other avian sources could provide an alternative to pig and cow sources, which some consumers avoid for ethical or religious reasons, claims a new study.

Gelatin for food is typically derived from the skins, hides and bones of pigs and cows. However, some countries restrict pork consumption for religious reasons, while cows in other countries can be afflicted with diseases that can be passed on to humans.

A study published in the journal Food Hydrocolloids by researchers at the Islamic Azad University in Iran and Universiti Sains Malaysia tested duck feet as an alternative gelatin source

They compared duck feet gelatin, derived from a halal-certified Peking Duck farm in Malaysia, with bovine gelatin.

Method and results

The researcher tested the effects of sugars at different concentrations on thermal and rheological properties and gelation kinetics.

They also studied the secondary structure of the gelatins using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy.

They found the gelation rate and gel strength decreased when adding sugar at low concentrations. But gel strength and the gelation rate increased when adding more sugar.

“Additionally, gelling and melting temperatures increased as the concentration of added sugars increased,” said the study.

Potential in confectionery

“These results illustrate the potential for use of duck feet gelatin in confectionery products,” concluded the researchers.

Gelatin is typically used in confectionery products such as fruit gums and marshmallows as a texturizer.

Major candy firms such as Starburst maker Wrigley have been exploring non-animal gelatin sources such as pectin.

Food Hydrocolloids 58 (2016) 267-275
‘Effects of sugars on the gelation kinetics and texture of duck feet gelatin’
Authors: Yau-Hoong Kuan, Abdorreza Mohammadi Nafchi, Nurul Huda, Fazilah Ariffin, Alias A. Karim

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