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Development of a method to detect gelatine in vegetarian products.
Project Code: Q01118
Central Science Laboratory
Grundy, H ; Reece, P
1. The presence of gelatine (an animal protein) in vegetarian meals has routinely
been detected by analysis for hydroxyproline, an amino acid thought to be unique
to animal collagen and thus gelatine. However hydroxyproline has been shown to
also be present in some plant materials.
2. A new method for gelatine extraction from vegetarian meals based on dilute acid
extraction and tannic acid precipitation of the gelatine has been developed which
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enables the selective detection of gelatine in the presence of plant proteoglycans
3. The new procedure provides advantages over the incumbent AOAC method in
terms of selectivity. The new procedure does not suffer from interference from
hydroxyproline-containing proteoglycans from gum arabic or, when precipitated
with tannic acid (0.11% final concentration, w/v), from other ingredients typically
found in common vegetarian meals.
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