Gelatin versus Collagen: What is gelatin? What is collagen? Both have recently gained popularity in the food and health world. But what exactly are they? Are they the same? Simply, they are DIFFERENT but both are widely used in people’s cooking and consumption. Read more to understand the WHY.
What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is the degraded form of collagen. It is a protein made from animal collagen, specifically cow or pig. Since it is made from animals, it is NOT vegan or vegetarian.
Gelatin is GREAT for baking because it thickens and stabilizes. You mix it with water and it turns into a gel-ish substance. Simply, it makes foods super thick and hold its shape. So it is used in recipes for gummy candies, marshmallows, ice creams, cream-based fillings, and yogurt-based fillings.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that’s found is human and animal’s tissue, bones, and skin. To get scientific, it is made up of amino acids. Like gelatin, it is ordorless and colorless.
You’ll most likely see it in powder form, as a health supplement that’s added to beverages or smoothies. It’s been very popular among health and fitness fanatics who wants to improve and maintain their skin, bone, and joint health.
You mix it with water, or another liquid, and it completely dissolves. Gelatin becomes thick when mixed with water, but collagen simply disappears. Many people mix it in coffee or smoothies because it slightly thickens it and easy to consume. It gives off a slight smell, which some people dislike.
When do I use collagen? When do I use gelatin?
Collagen powder is normally used in beverages and smoothies, solely for health purposes.
Gelatin is used in kitchen, normally when you are thickening something. Whipped cream and other cream-based components (ex: Chantilly cream) are the most popular recipes that require gelatin.
There is a good chance you will eat foods that contain both collagen AND gelatin.
If you’re a health enthusiast, you’ve probably tried collagen powder in your coffee or smoothie. If you’re a serious and advanced baker, you’ve probably baked something with gelatin.
Fish, poultry, meat, legumes, bone broth, and eggs all have high amounts of collagen.
Jell-o products, chiffon cakes, puddings, glazes, fondant, and gummy candy all have high amounts of gelatin.
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