J.CAC VOLUME 46 (2021–22)

Extracting Isinglass from Fresh Air Bladders of Sustainable Canadian-sourced Wild Atlantic Sturgeon

Jennifer E. Cheney

The choice of sturgeon isinglass in conservation treatments may become more feasible if more economical and environmentally sustainable sources of the glue, of comparable quality to the traditional European sources, become available. This paper describes the processing of raw air bladders from New Brunswick wild Atlantic sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus, into dried collagen, and the collagen into isinglass films, along with the resulting percentage yields at three extraction temperatures. Glue from this source has been used by the author since 2010 in a limited number of conservation treatments, including unstable paint consolidation and, in combination with wheat starch paste, for Heiber’s thread-by-thread tear repair method. If ongoing and future investigations continue to show that the isinglass from this and other species of sturgeon, obtained from more local, regulated fisheries, is of comparable quality to that from traditional sources, they may become the preferred sources for this valuable conservation material.

Download: JCAC46 Cheney