Traditional headspace – gas chromatography (HS-GC) methods for the determination of residual solvents (RS) start from a homogenous sample solution. Subsequently, it is challenging to determine RS using HS-GC techniques from insoluble solid samples like gelatin which is practically impossible to dissolve or distribute uniformly in water and common organic solvents. In this study, a thermal desorber combined with capillary gas chromatography and flame ionization detection/mass spectrometry (TD-GC-FID/MS) was used for quantitative determination of residual dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) in gelatin without sample pretreatment. A sample of gelatin was sandwiched between two quartz filter double layers in a polytetrafluoroethylene insert which was then placed in its entirety into a thermal desorption tube. Factors affecting the performance of TD-GC including desorption time, desorption temperature, desorption flow and type of adsorbent were studied by applying a standard solution of DMSO in methanol on a blank gelatin bed. Validation results of the proposed method showed good linearity with an R2-value higher than 0.999 for a wide concentration range and good sensitivity with a limit of detection and limit of quantification of 0.1 μg and 0.2 μg on tube, respectively. The proposed method shows recovery values close to 100%. In addition, a conventional HS-GC method following enzymatic degradation of gelatin was developed to verify the proposed TD-GC method. Both methods were applied for the determination of residual DMSO in gelatin that was loaded with an experimental drug. Results were comparable, but the enzyme assisted HS-GC method was more time consuming and expensive.