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Why do gelatin sheets have a diamond pattern?

enter image description here

Are they perforations?
Are they for measurement?
Are they for brand recognition or marketing or just aesthetics?

3 Answers 3

54

I think it is a side effect of the drying process. If you look at about the 5m50s mark, the drying conveyor is a diamond pattern.

YouTube video of the process

enter image description here

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    this matches with a response on egullet: "It comes from the wire nets the soft extruded gelatin lies on while it dries"
    – Mr Shane
    Feb 17, 2022 at 9:10
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    But is that diamond pattern for any specific purpose? The cheapest to use? Does it indeed make drying the most efficient with that shape? Why is that pattern a diamond?
    – BruceWayne
    Feb 18, 2022 at 15:20
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    @BruceWayne The drying belt design is effective and allows fast, efficient drying. An unintended but visually pleasant side effect is its imprinting onto the gelatin sheets.
    – E R USA
    Feb 18, 2022 at 16:24
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    @BruceWayne A diamond pattern is probably the best design for a mesh that would allow maximum drying (open surface area) that minimizes the area that a sheet could stick on the conveyor. Square patterns would, in my opinion, be prone to sticking where the metal touches on the perpendicular to the sheet movement. Feb 18, 2022 at 20:51
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    @BruceWayne: I suspect that the diamond pattern for the web is more for stability. I don't know what the rest of this machine looks like, but I expect that the web is quite long. If it were square, there'd be a tendency for sections of it to shift from side to side (and there wouldn't be much you could do about it). By having it in a "diamond", if you keep the web properly tensioned (which is pretty easy to do), it's going to stress the web both along the axis of travel as well as from side to side.
    – Flydog57
    Feb 18, 2022 at 23:14
20

The same reason why toilet paper is quilted. The pattern is there to ensure that the sheets do not stick together.

Small amounts of moisture will always be there during packaging. If the sheets of gelatin stick, they will have a minimal contact surface allowing for separation.

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    But not all toilet paper is quilted - indeed there's a price premium for quiltedness. And the cheaper stuff doesn't 'stick together'...
    – AakashM
    Feb 16, 2022 at 15:00
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    since the purpose of quilting its actually to stick the sheets together, its probably not a good analogy. ;)
    – Mr Shane
    Feb 16, 2022 at 16:32
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    I don't believe this answer is correct. Feb 17, 2022 at 3:04
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    AkashM - Sellers will use any BS they can to slap price premiums onto stuff. We cannot affirm the consequent in this case. Feb 17, 2022 at 13:52
  • Shapes used to "bulk out" or prevent materials from sticking when rolled fall under a branch of mathematics developed by Sir Roger Penrose... called Penrose tiling... Sir Roger was or is in a legal dispute with Kimberly-Clarke-Scott over their use of Penrose tiling... Penrose and Pentaplex licenses it's designs to various companies to prevent materials such as stickers, paper and textiles from sticking together or jamming together because of the designs embossed on them.
    – Adrian Hum
    May 6, 2022 at 5:45
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That seems a plausible answer. The actual belt of the machine is stamped in a way that when it is stretched out it forms the diamond pattern. The gelatin when drying probably has air passed over it which will cause shrinkage where the mesh is as the air cannot get through the pattern of the mesh wire thus causing the shape. The gelatin would just stick to a flat metal sheet as any chef in a kitchen could tell you. Once the gelatin is moistened it reverts to it’s glue like consistency.

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