What Is Gelatin ?

Gelatin, an odorless, colorless, tasteless thickening agent (used to make Jell-o and other desserts). It is made from the boiled bones, cartilage, skins, tendons, and other tissues of animals. Gelatin can also be extracted from fish bones. Isinglass is a type of gelatin

extracted from the air bladders of certain fish, particularly sturgeon. Gelatin is used in photography. Although the technology exists to replace photographic film, its price is currently prohibitive and there is insufficient demand.

How to size your Non-Silver paper using

Agar Agar and Guar Gum:

In my experimentation I only tried the powder forms of Agar Agar and Guar Gum. (In the following information when I use the word Gelatin I am referring to the 2 alternatives I experimented with).

Unprepared gelatin has an indefinite shelf-life as long as it is wrapped airtight and stored in a cool, dry place.

Keep prepared gelatin refrigerated until you are ready to use them.

The firmness of both Guar Gum and Agar Agar varies on the ratio of water to powder. You can successfully melt down (using a double-boiler) and rechill gelatin several times before the mixture loses it's thickening ability.

The Gelatin I used in these

Gum Bichromte Prints:

Guar gum: is extracted from the seed of Cyamopsis tetragonoloba, an annual leguminous plant originating from India and Pakistan, alsocultivated in the United States.

Guar gum is an emulsifier, thickener, and stabilizer approved for use in a wide range of foods, cosmetics, and


Guar Gum has the following properties, which make it useful in variety of


Easy solubility in cold and hot water.

Thickens without the application of heat.

Film forming property.

Resistance to oils, greases and solvents.

Better thickening agent.

Water binding capacity.

High viscosity

Functioning at low temperatures

Guar gum comes in different forms - from seeds to powder.

Other Uses Of Guar Gum: I wont list them all because there are many uses of Guar Gum in other industrial applications.

Some industrial application of guar gum includes:

The textile industry - where guar gum used for textile sizing, finishing and


The paper industry - Guar gum improved sheet formation,denser surface for

printing, increased bursting strength, increased fold strength, and increased finish. The major use of guar in the paper industry is in the wet end process.

Guar is added to the pulp suspension. It is generally accepted that fiber-fiber bonding is strongly influenced by the hydrogen-bonding effect. Some advantages gained by using guar in the wet end include:

Improved sheet formation with more regular distribution of fibers

Increased retention of fines

Easier pulp hydration

Increased strength properties

The explosive industry guar is mixed in Ammonium Nitrate, Nitroglycerine and Oil explosives, where it helps maintain the explosive properties of the product even in wet conditions.

The food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry Guar Gum is used as an effective binder, stabilizer, disintegrator and thickener.

Guar gum:

I love this stuff. The first time I tried it I cooked it and had horrible results! So I

suggest not cooking it. However, with the Guar Gum I've had to recoat almost every time after each exposed layer.

The mixture I have found best thus far is to use 2 1/4 teaspoons of powder with 3 cups of water. I just let it sit at room temperature for an hour and then I size the paper.

Also, it seems the older the mixture in the fridge gets the better it gets (about one week or so; after two weeks it becomes smelly).

Agar Agar : (Pronunciation: AH-gur. Also known by its' Japanese name Kanten.)

Agar is a polysaccharide found in the cell walls of some red algae Gracalaria seaweed or Gelidium gracilaria red algae originates from the Mediterranean and Far East.

Agar Agar has the following properties, which make it useful in variety of


Unlike gelatin, most species of bacteria can not digest agar.

Like ordinary gelatin, agar is flavorless and becomes gelatinous when it's dissolved in water, heated, and then cooled. Agar, though, gels more firmly than gelatin, and it sets and melts at a higher temperature--it can even set at room temperature.

Acids weakens agar's gelling power, so if you're firming an acidic liquid, use more.

Like gelatin, agar will break down if exposed to the enzymes of certain raw fruits, like kiwi fruit, papayas, pineapple, peaches, mangos, guavas, and figs.

Low viscosity when melted

Firmness and clarity

Agar has been used extensively in microbiology for culturing instead of

gelatin because of its ability to remain a semi-solid at O degrees C to 70 degrees C.

Unlike gelatin, agar agar can be boiled and can even be re-melted if necessary.

Agar comes in flakes, powder, or bars.

Agar Agar :

I haven't had the best of luck with Agar Agar in this process and feel more experimentation can be done.Agar Agar coated papers seem to not want to let go of the last pigmented layer added to it. I found after exposing the image I must let the paper soak for a good 8 - 10 minutes and then buff it with a sponge brush under warm - hot running water to release the last pigmented layer.

The mixture I found best so far is:

2 teaspoons of powder to 2 cups of water. When I added more powder the mixture seems to become way too gelatinous!

First I soak the Agar Agar powder in water for about 15 minutes before cooking it in a double boiler.

I let the temperature range from 78 degrees C to 94 degrees C for about 15 minutes or a little less.

Then with the mixture still warm I buff the paper with a sponge brush. The liquid gel as it cools. If your dissolved gelatin jells before you have a chance to use it, quickly reheat under low heat until pourable.

I suggest recoating after every two layers of pigmenting.

Where to purchase Agar Agar and Guar Gum powder:

1) Cedar Vale natural health

Herbs in Bulk Organic and Wildcrafted Herbs

E-mail: sales@cedarvale.net

Agar Agar Powder

2oz 4oz 8oz 1lb

$8.88 $15.66 $28.02 $44.10

2) Barry Farm Enterprises

20086 Mudsock rd.

Wapakoneta,OH 45895



8oz. Guar Gum = 3.69

4oz agar- agar powder 10.09

3) This web address brings you to a list of co.'s


4) http://www.nourishingfoods.com/hmGuar.html

Guar Gum Powder 8 Ounces


Research Info:

Gum Tech http://www.gumtech.com/




Fennema, O.R. 1996. Food Chemistry Marcel Dekker, New York.

Veggie Place.com

Ethnobotanical Leaflets http://www.siu.edu/~ebl/leaflets/algae.htm

Southern Illinois University Carbondale / Ethnobotanical Leaflets /

URL: http://www.siu.edu/~ebl/

Last updated: 26-Oct-98 / du





http://www.ceamsa.com/Fennema, O.R. 1996. Food Chemistry Marcel Dekker, New York.

http://www.ceamsa.com/Veggie Place.com http://www.veggieplace.com/articledetail.asp?ID=246&Keyword=guar%20gum Ethnobotanical Leaflets http://www.siu.edu/~ebl/leaflets/algae.htm

Southern Illinois University Carbondale / Ethnobotanical Leaflets /

URL: http://www.siu.edu/~ebl/

Last updated: 26-Oct-98 / du


International Vegetarian Union (IVU)



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Guar Gum's Home Page of Hiba International http://www.vinayakgum.com/guar_gum/index.htm

http://www.idfs.com.au/DDProducts/guargum.htm http://www.snpinc.com/applications.htm