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1        Product Description: Gelatin is a mixture of protein obtained by boiling skin, ligaments, tendons and bones. Being a hydrolysis product obtained by hot water extraction, it does not exist in a natural state. The principal end users of gelatin are the food, pharmaceutical and photographic industries. Gelatin is animal jelly, glutinous material obtained from animal tissue by prolonged boiling. It is a protein substance purified or edible gelatin is a food used chiefly in deserts, ice cream and jellied incats. There are principally four categories of gelatin. These are photographic, pharmaceutical, edible and technical according to descending order or grades. Basically, any plant can produce any grade of gelatin suitable for all ranges of applications. Gelatin is also used in various photographic such as dying, as bacteriology as a culture medium and in preparation of sizes, fining cements, etc. It is also the main ingredient in glue making. It has also applications as adhesive in the textile and paper industries.


2        Market Potential: The local demand for gelatin is entirely met through imports. Between 1989 and 1993, the average annual import of the product was 71000 kgs. The demand for gelatin depends on the expansion of pharmaceutical, photographic, textile, paper and shoes industries. Due to changes in the economic policies of the country, gelatin consuming industries especially pharmaceutical and photographic have expanded during the last ten years. A general market study for the product indicated that the projected demand for it will reach about 10,000 tons by 2010. This projected demand is more than the production capacity of a medium size gelatin producing plant. The Amhara Region has its share of photographic and textile industries which consumes some quantity of gelatin. In addition, the region is a major source of the raw materials for making gelatin. The region as a major source of the raw materials and a modest (as of now) consumer of the product could be an appropriate area for establishing a gelatin factory.


3        Source of raw material: As stated earlier, the main inputs for gelatin are hides, bones and tannery wastes such as splits, trimmings, etc. These inputs can easily be collected in the tanneries and abiattors located in the Amhara Region.   


4        Process and Technology: Gelatin manufacturing process can be divided into three major stages material:- preparation, extraction and filtration, and chilling, drying and blending. The material preparation mainly consists of bone grinding, degreasing, demineralization and liming. The bones are ground to 5-15 mm and then passed to a degreasing operation where any meat and fat are removed by hot water. The demineralization process is where ossein (decalcified bone) is produced by tracing ground degreased bones with hydrochloric acid of 30%-35% concentrations. Demineralization yields a by-product called dicalcium phosphate by controlled precipitation. The slurry is then further processed and dried to be sold for cattle feed. After acidulation and removal of the by product dicalcium phosphate what remains is the declassified bone assign which is now acidic. It is then washed and immersed in quicklime medium to alter its PH to alkaline state and also to depolymerize the collagen component. The liming process takes between 45 and 100 days. The assign is then washed and neutralized by acid treatment for further processing.


The next major process is extraction and filtration which is conducted in stainless steel tanks with temperature ranging between 50oc and 100'C and duration of about 42 hours. The extraction process results in a gel solution. This is then passed to primary filtration to remove course particles. Deionization is required for gelatin used for pharmaceutical, most food grades and photographic use. The gel solution is then passed to secondary filtration where fine suspended particles together traces of residual grease are removed. The solution is then evaporated under vacuum in two stages to increase the solid concentration from 5% or 6% to 14% or 18%. A third filtration process may be required to remove any suspended particles left in the partially concentrated gelatin liquor.


The final major process is chilling, drying and blending. The PH and redox state of gelatin is checked and adjusted by adding chemicals before chilling quickly reduces the temperature of  the solution from 55oc to 23oc and the gelatin acquires a from extruded moudles. The chilled gelatin is then dried where by the moisture content is reduced to about 11 percent. The drying process results in a gelatin which has a form of mat which is broken to 20mm. long pieces. After under going testing the gelatin is ground to a desired size and packed.


Main plant and machinery needed include bone grinder, degreasing and treatment unit, liming/deliming unit, acidulation unit, extractor, filters, ion exchanger evaporators, chiller, dryer, crusher, blender, grinder, packing unit, laboratory, equipment, storage tanks, conveyors and other auxiliary facilities.


5        Estimated Investment: For a plant which can produce 1000 tons of gelatin per year working 300 days a year, the estimated investment will be:-

Ÿ  Buildings/shades 4000 m2 at Birr 1500/m2           = Birr    6,000,000

Ÿ  Plant and Machinery .......................... ……….    = Birr    4,500,000

Ÿ  Working capital................................................     = Birr       600,000

Total    = Birr    11,100,000


6        Benefits: Similar to other projects. 


7        Location: Bahir Dar or  any other town where the major raw materials can be obtained in sufficient quantities.