Gelatin and collagen peptides are known names in today’s food industry but are we really understand the difference between the two? Both of them play a significant role in helping people forming a healthy dietary which is an inseparable part of modern happy life. Some of us may hear that gelatin and collagen peptides are made with the same raw materials, so let’s try to find out why they are so different in terms of physical and chemical attributes.
We will pitch in today’s topic from 4 dimensions:
- Physical traits
- Production process
- Main quality parameters
First let’s look into gelatin.
Gelatin is consisted by almost entirely pure protein. It’s extracted from raw materials contain animal collagen which has been treated with hot water and usually appear in powder or granule form when it’s dry. Collagen raw materials are usually obtained from animals’ skin, bone, scale and tendon. It’s a white, transparent fiber with no branch, so, it’s totally natural. Gelatin is made from a gentle irreversible degradation of collagen and contains 18 kinds of amino acids which are required by the human body.
Protein: 86% - 90%
Ash: less than 2%
Water: 8% - 12%
The collagen is made
The production flow of gelatin is quite sophisticate, in general, it involves below procedures:
- Pre-treatment of the raw materials:
When the collagen raw materials arrived at the factory, it’ll be washed clean and cut into smaller pieces.
The cut raw materials then will be treated with hot water to get rid of the inorganic contents in the raw materials so a gelatin dissolvent can be obtained.
The gelatin dissolvent is to be filtered with cotton sieve to get rid of the impurities. Then it’s ready for Ion exchange.
Ion exchange to demineralize the gelatin dissolvent
- Membrane filtering:
Further filtering with membrane.
Kill the bacteria and micro-biotics in gelatin dissolvent.
- Forming and drying
Form gelatin powder or granule from the dissolvent.
70% of the gelatin made are consumed by human beings in varieties of food today. Candies and confectionery are the biggest user of gelatin. Gummies, marshmallows, nougat are all made with gelatin. Besides confectionery, gelatin is also widely used in producing capsules to contain drugs and supplements for us, in dairy and meat to improve texture, in cosmetics to form a body base. Needless to say, gelatin is so deeply rooted in our daily life already.
Main Quality Parameters:
Because of gelatin’s deep connection to our food and edible substances, it’s been heavily regulated in major countries in the world to make sure people are getting safe and healthy gelatin products. Take China as an example, the national standards on gelatin products including but not limited to:
The major quality indicators introduced by those standards are basically gel strength, viscosity and transmittance.
Now, let’s see what it is like to collagen peptides.
The collagen peptides are described and differentiated based on its molecular weight level (Dalton). The majority of commercially available collagen peptides nowadays has the molecular weight range from 1,000 Dalton to 5,000 Dalton. The lower this number is, the smaller protein chain the collagen peptides have.
The production process of collagen peptides is relatively simple in comparison to the one of gelatin’s. Collagen peptides are made with gelatin by a chemical procedure called enzymatic hydrolysis. The whole process is basically adding compound protein enzyme into the gelatin dissolvent and the enzyme will perform the role of breaking gelatin into smaller collagen chain. Once the hydrolysis process is completed, it is pasteurized under high temperature then filtered and dried.
Collagen peptides are known for its benefits of skin anti-aging, joint health improving, digestion regulating etc. The major application of collagen peptides is in nutraceuticals and cosmetics, though we see more and more direct consuming applications pop up recently such as collagen jellies or collagen beverages etc. One of the reasons for direct consuming become popular is because our technology nowadays supports producing smaller collagen peptides which is much easier for our body to absorb.
Main Quality Parameters:
For collagen peptides, there are limited measurable quality parameters other than molecular weight and dissolve speed. We usually tell its quality by physical presence of the product, such as the color, brightness, smell etc.
We have compared gelatin and collagen peptides in those 4 dimensions, hope this would be helpful. There are much more interesting facts about gelatin and collagen peptides we can’t cover today. Let us know your question or request, we will do our best to assist.
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