The gelatin in jelly candies is made from the bones, hides, and other parts of animals, including horses.
Gelatin or gelatine is a translucent, colorless, flavorless food ingredient, derived from collagen taken from animal body parts. It is brittle when dry and gummy when moist. It may also be referred to as hydrolyzed collagen, collagen hydrolysate, gelatine hydrolysate, hydrolyzed gelatine, and collagen peptides after it has undergone hydrolysis. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, medications, drug and vitamin capsules, photographic films and papers, and cosmetics.
Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar way are called gelatinous substances. Gelatin is an irreversibly hydrolyzed form of collagen, wherein the hydrolysis reduces protein fibrils into smaller peptides; depending on the physical and chemical methods of denaturation, the molecular weight of the peptides falls within a broad range. Gelatin is in gelatin desserts; most gummy candy and marshmallows; and ice creams, dips, and yogurts. Gelatin for cooking comes as powder, granules, and sheets. Instant types can be added to the food as they are; others must soak in water beforehand.
The worldwide production amount of gelatin is about 375,000–400,000 tonnes per year. On a commercial scale, gelatin is made from by-products of the meat and leather industries. Most gelatin is derived from pork skins, pork and cattle bones, or split cattle hides. Gelatin made from fish by-products avoids some of the religious objections to gelatin consumption. The raw materials are prepared by different curing, acid, and alkali processes that are employed to extract the dried collagen hydrolysate. These processes may take several weeks, and differences in such processes have great effects on the properties of the final gelatin products.