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Market environment » Italy » Italian gelatin market

Italian gelatin market

Gelatin is one of the most widespread components in the world used in the food industry and technology.

Gelatin is an animal or fish glue. Pure gelatin is a bright amorphous colorless substance without taste and smell. Gelatin is composed of the following elements: about 50% - carbon, 7% - hydrogen, 18% - nitrogen, 25% - oxygen, sulfur, phosphorus, calcium. Gelatin, saturated by solution of bichromate, and being under the effect of light is insoluble in water, this property is used for cliché, mastics watertight preparation, etc. Gelatin is used in photography, cooking, wine industry, bacteriological cultures of microbes, medicine, etc. For its preparation used mammals connective tissue (collagen): bones (bull, rams, horse, etc.), fish remainders (the skin, head, etc.), pork skins, hides of cattle split, bone grit etc.

In food industry gelatin is used in the manufacture of marmalade, jelly and other sweet goods. In addition, gelatin is used in the production of ice cream as stabilizer, preventing ice crystals, and as a means to increase the viscosity and melting point in cooking of jelled meat and fish, galantine, brawn, canned food, jam, dessert dishes in jelly form.

Gelatin and modified starch are the cheapest and most prevalent products in the world food market. They are part of practically every stabilizing system and are of interest in comparison with the multi-stabilizing mixtures.

In technical field gelatin is used for sizing of higher types of paper, in manufacture of currency and securities, unnatural pearls, printed forms in polygraphy, as part of inks for print of high quality illustrated editions, in textile and light industry for smoothing of bases tissues. In the production of building materials, in modeling performance of plaster gelatin is used as a binder.

At the moment, one of the main gelatin manufacturer problems is negative attitudes to what it is made from animal components. In this respect wide-spread occurence have non-animal forms of gelatin and gelatin made from fish raw.

The Italian Republic has developed production of gelatin, which is not only covers the needs of industry (mainly food and pharmaceutical), but also delivers gelatin in large quantities to other countries.

Export of gelatin is traditionally significantly higher than import. Since 2000, export of gelatin higher than the import by 2,1 times on average (by 1.7 times in January-May 2008). During the 1992-2000 bienniums the volume of import and export remained virtually unchanged, suggesting the stability of established commercial ties in trade data («split market»).

The main partner of Italy in gelatin trade is European Union. It accounts for 96% of import and 82% of export of this product.

According to the European Association of gelatin, leaders among European gelatin manufacturers are Germany (30.0 tons in 2006), France (26.7 thousand tons), Belgium (20.5 thousand tons), Sweden (11.5 thousand tons), Spain (9.6 thousand tons). Italy only ranks No. 6 with the rate of 7.9 thousand tons (Fig. 1).

Fig.1. Gelatin production in EU countries in 2006, thousand tons. 

Among the countries – gelatin suppliers in Italian market leaders are Germany (5.5 million euros in 2007), Belgium (2.4 million euros) and France (2.0 million euros)(Fig.2)

Fig. 2. Gelatin import to Italy from EU countries in 2007, million euro

The geography of export and import deliveries of gelatin is notable for significant imbalance. For example, Italy exported gelatin in 60 countries around the world, but imported only from 15 nations in 2007. 5 months of year 2008 confirm this trend: gelatin was imported from 13 countries and exported to 49 countries.

This situation is related to the fact that trading with gelatin in the EU is carried out freely, while import of gelatin from third countries has significant limitations: high taxes, mandatory presence of recognized veterinary certificates for products, and also a list of third countries which have permission to import the goods into the EU.

It is significant that in Italian market there are no specialized importing companies. Gelatin deliveries to the country are provided, as a rule, by Italian manufacturers of chewing caramel and other similar sweets, as well as by pharmaceutical companies through direct purchases from foreign gelatin manufacturers.

Source: IRUE "National center of marketing and price study"

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