Sweets(Ojo Images Rex Features)
Gelatin derived from humans could be used as an ingredient in snacks following a new scientific study, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The new research, by scientists at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology, claims to have found a new way to make gelatin from human DNA and they say their discovery is attracting "increasing interest from research and industrial circles". Researchers say they have developed a way to insert human genes into a strain of yeast to grow large amounts of recombinant human gelatin.

Gelatin is regularly used a gelling agent by the food industry, often in sweets. However, researchers claim the human-derived gelatin "could become a substitute for some of the 300,000 tons of animal-based gelatin produced annually for desserts, marshmallows, candy and innumerable other products".

"There's a very high degree of similarity between gelatin that comes from a cow, a pig, and a human," Dr David Olsen, the senior scientist at FibroGen, said in a statement. "So due to their similarities, I can't see why there would be a health risk to it. It's a very similar protein to what people have been ingesting for many years."

However, others in the science world have admitted the general public might question its use. Dr Gregory Kaebnick, of the US-based Hastings Center For Bioethics and Public Policy, says the idea of human-derived gelatin "appears to raise the question of cannibalism."
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