alternative to gelatine in capsules (for veggies) ?

I am a recent veggie. But a trip down tothe health food store is depressing. Half the stuff is pakaged in gelatine (= boiled cows) capsules. Why do they do this. Don’t they know that a large proportion of their customers may be vegetarian or even hindu?
Any mail order or other companies that don’t use gelatine?

Any reason you can’t open the capsules up and pour out the contents?

My friend brought me some acidophilus capsules that are gelatine-free. I am still looking for evening primrose oil ones though.

Its a bit like shooting someone, and then saying its alright because you are going to remove the bullet.
I would prefer to support companies that don’t use gelatine.

Fair enough. Just askin’. :slight_smile:

My sister-in-law is a die-hard veggie. She said she has found most supplement and vitamins in gelatin-free packaging. The one exception was Vitamin E. Sorry I don’t have more info than that.

Look for supplements with a Kosher symbol (an O with a U inside it) - they will be made with vegetable gelatin. In fact, I would venture to guess that most gelatin these days is vegetable-based rather than marrow-based. Do you know for a fact that these are not?

Unfortunately, kosher gelatin may or may not be vegetarian. Kosher gelatin can be made of “fish bones, beef, Japanese insinglass, agar agar, carrageenan, and Irish moss.” If it is really made from “vegetable gelatin” it would probably say “agar” or “carrageenan” instead. Do not eat kosher gelatin!!!

There is no “vegetable (based) gelatin”. If it lists gelatin, you can be sure the product contains animals. It’s wrong to call all gelating agents gelatin.

There are companies like this one producing vegetarian capsules. The only way to find products made with them is to search until you find. You’ll just get used to the disappointment of reading labels. “Half the stuff is pakaged in gelatine” Only half actually would be quite a good yield. Welcome to the veggie world. :frowning:

In addition to not wanting to BUY the animal-based gelatine product in the first place, another reason is that the contents of the capsule are sometimes meant to reach your system after the capsule dissolves waaay down in your digestive tract, and not on the way down. Some capsules are coated in such a way that they will not dissolve until after they pass the stomach, because the acids there would make the contents ineffective.

Depends on what medicine or supplement you’re taking, of course…

Sorry - no cite at the moment - read this somewhere in the last 6 months…

See later post. :slight_smile:

Kosher gelatin is almost never made from beef, as it’d have to be made from kosherly-slaughtered cows, which are expensive. AFAIK, only one company makes gelatin from fish bones in the US, and their product is listed as Kolatin (made by the Ko-Gel company, an exclusively kosher foods company whose products tend not to be in general grocery stores), but there could be others that I haven’t heard about. Kosher fish gelatin is a relatively new product - real kosher marshmallows only became available within the last 8-10 years, when this Kolatin first became available, and there’s only the one company that makes them. (Yes, folks, I had a deprived childhood, with nary a marshmallow in sight, only that Fluff stuff.) I’d check up on it, but I think any kosher gelatin capsule would probably be OK, as long as it isn’t from Israel, which has different standards on this one.
Also, there are a heck of a lot of kosher symbols beyond the OU (the abovementioned U inside a circle). Some of the most common in the US are the OK (K in a circle), Kof-K (the symbol at the top left of the page) which kind of looks like a K inside a fancy backwards C (the Hebrew letter Kof, the first letter of the work Kosher), and Star-K (K in a five-pointed star), but there are plenty of others.

At our local health food shop in the Uk, I couldn’t find anything I wanted in capsule form not packed in Gelatine. Not only that, I am now finding gelatine everywhere, usually in the things I like. Marshmellows, most soft sweets, chocolate mousses, even photographic film. Oh woe is me - why couldn’t brussel sprouts be made of gelatine?

Solgar packages Vitamin E in VegiCaps. It’s in a white powder form rather than oil.

I have come to rely on Solgar for almost all herbs and vitamins because they’re the company that uses VegiCaps the most. The material is cellulose-based. We really need to start a campaign for all these companies selling to health food stores to use VegiCaps and dump the gelatin.

Jomo Mojo, thanks for the link on solgar. They don’t have any outlets in the UK, but lots of online stores stock their stuff. Great!

I think a lot of people don’t realise that this stuff turns up in sweets/desserts.

The very soft mallow (e.g. Tunnocks tea cakes) is gelatine free. It’s possible to get gellies/gums from health food shops (at a price). Chocolate mousse it also possible - I get Waitrose "French-style), IIRC, but most of the “premium” style is fine. Gelatine is a cheapo ingredient.

I’ve found alternatives to everything I want to take, oil-based supplements seem harder to find, but they do exist.

Watch out for glycerine too - veggie sources exist, but animal sources are more common.

I recently found out that the marshmallows in Ben & Jerry’s are happily gelatine-free.

But where does glycerine come from?

glyerine comes from any fat or oil, so it could have animal or vegetable origins.
(technical: any oil or fat is made up of the chemical combination of glycerine and 3 molecules of a fatty acid)

Thanks to the “Rabbi David Small” Mysteries, I now know that the Hebrew rendering of the full word “Kosher” looks like 7WD.