Gelatin: What It Is Made Of, Benefits And Other Collagen Foods

Gelatin is a mystery to many people, especially how it is made, so we tell you all about this collagen food

We find out the benefits of gelatin as well as its uses and types.


When we think of this product, we associate it with jelly. However,  gelatin goes beyond this fun dessert as it can be used as a food ingredient  for recipes and it has many health and skin benefits.

We are talking about a potent protein that promotes healthy skin, strengthens joints, hair, and nails, improves intestinal health and even helps us sleep. Below we tell you more about this collagen-rich food and what it is used for.

What is gelatin made of?

Gelatin or gelatine is a protein that is part of many people's daily diet. It is made from collagen obtained from different animal by-products. It is a brittle, colorless, translucent, and flavorless substance.

It is usually used as an ingredient in preparing jellies, ice cream, yogurt, sweets, desserts, and sauces. In non-food uses, it is used in photography, pharmaceuticals and some cosmetic products.

We can find gelatin in the form of sheets, granules or powder for domestic use. There are also supplements for a more concentrated intake of collagen.

Gelatin is a combination of proteins and peptides, making it a wonderful source of amino acids that are essential for many body processes. Moreover, because they are proteins derived from animal products, our body has to do less work to break them down  than is required for plant proteins before converting them into usable forms for our body.

It is often acquired from meat and leather products, but fish has also recently become a popular source. More commonly, it is made from pig skins, horses and cattle bones. It is a massive industry on a global scale.

Other collagen foods

As we said, gelatine is made from collagen. There are many collagen foods that naturally contain this protein.

Collagen of animal origin is found in meat and oily fish. It can also be obtained from eggs, milk, and derivatives such as cheese and yogurts. On the other hand, the collagen of vegetable origin is present in lemon, onion, nuts, peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries.

Thus, collagen can be found naturally in all the foods we have specified and in gelatin.

Gelatin is also used for desserts and confectionery.


Gelatin uses and benefits

It is very useful to introduce gelatin in our diet, as it has many health benefits. Here are some of them:

1. Weight management

The high content of fiber and proteins in gelatin helps feel satiated, which prevents us from wanting to overeat and snack. This makes it a useful food for people trying to control their weight in a natural way.

2. Scar healing

Proteins are an essential part of wound healing, and gelatin contains a specific amino acid called glycine, which is directly related to reducing inflammation. This means that a wound can move from the inflammatory stage to the healing stage much faster, and additional amino acids and proteins help develop new skin tissues and scars.

3. Nails, hair and teeth

It contains keratin, which helps keep nails, hair, and teeth strong. Therefore, consuming it is a simple and effective way to keep these parts of our body in good shape.

4. Bones and joints

The proteins found in this food can help keep bones strong and increase bone mineral density in our body. It can be an important defense mechanism against osteoporosis.

5. Arthritis remedy

Another benefit of gelatin is that it can help us with arthritis. Furthermore, it can contribute to the development of cartilage, which strengthens joints and bones.

6. Boosts the immune system

Proline, an amino acid found in significant amounts in gelatin, has been linked to an immune function, which means that we can improve our overall health and ability to fight infections and diseases by introducing it into our daily diet.

7. Helps to sleep

Glycine, present in gelatin, improves sleep cycles and the stimulation of some neurotransmitters and enzymes that increase the quality and duration of sleep. Proper sleep and rest cycles are important for the overall proper functioning of the body's metabolism.

8. Skin tone and anti-aging effect

Gelatin is basically dry collagen, which is one of the most important elements in our skin to maintain elasticity and tension between dermal cells. By increasing the amount of collagen through its consumption, we can keep the skin smooth and avoid the signs of aging.

9. Metabolic regulation

As mentioned above, gelatin is a wonderful source of amino acids and proteins. This means that all metabolic activities of the body are enhanced by eating gelatin, including the creation of new cells, elimination of diseased or non-valuable cells, enhancement of muscles, proper use and absorption of nutrients, and a host of other essential functions in our body.

10. Digestive health

Finally, another of the benefits of gelatin is that it can reduce constipation, stimulate gastric juices and increase peristaltic movement in smooth intestinal muscles.

This can help improve many different health problems, for constipation and the inability to absorb nutrients properly can be a major problem for our health.

Gelatin can be neutral, with flavor, in powder or sheets. 



There are several types of gelatine and we can divide it into two groups, the one produced from animal collagen and the one made from vegetable collagen:

1. Animal origin gelatin

This one is obtained from the transformation of collagen found in animal bones and cartilage as a cooking result. This type can be found in the supermarket in two formats: collagen powder or sheets.

We have to hydrate the gelatine in water for 5 minutes. The resulting mixture must be heated, but never boiled. As for the collagen powder we also have to hydrate it. Once it has been hydrated, it must be heated so that the gelatin dissolves completely.

2. Vegetable origin gelatin

Also known as agar, this type is normally obtained from red algae. It can be found in powder or fiber form. If we want to use it in confectionery, we recommend the powder format. Moreover, as it has a gelling power 10 times higher than animal gelatin, it is usually used to thicken creams and sauces.

Agar does need boiling to produce the gelling effect. So when we hydrate it, then we have to let it boil for a few minutes.

As far as neutral gelatin is concerned, it has a practically zero caloric contribution and a high fiber content, which makes it a healthy product as long as we make sure we get it without sugar.

Both powder and sheets are usually presented as neutral, i.e., it is flavorless. However, it is common to find it prepared directly for consumption of various flavors and colors.


Boady-Djagnya, K., Wang, Z. & Xu, S. (2010). "Gelatin: A Valuable Protein for Food and Pharmaceutical Industries: Review". Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 41 (6): 481–492. doi:10.1080/20014091091904.

Moskowitz, R. (2000). "Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease". Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism. 30 (2): 87–99. doi:10.1053/sarh.2000.9622.


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