Difference Between Gelatin and Collagen

Collagen is a type of protein that is present in a very large quantity in our body, on the other hand, gelatin is similar to collagen or we can say is a cooked form of collagen because they share multiple characteristics and benefits. However, their uses and applications can vary according to their significance.

Gelatin vs Collagen

The main difference between gelatin and collagen is that Gelatin is generally extracted from the bones while collagen is a protein that is found in animals. Both are used differently for their health benefits and are bioavailable and highly digestible and also used in some dietary products and functional foods.

Gelatin and Collagen 2

Gelatin has many important health benefits because of its unique combination of amino acids. Gelatin has been tested in joints and brain function and has shown good results and some doctors believe that it may improve the appearance of hair and skin. Gelatin is not suitable for vegans because it is made from animal parts. 

Collagen is a protein that can be found almost everywhere in the human body. When it comes to health, collagen has many important roles, which include helping your blood clot and providing structure to your skin is considered a nutritional supplement in the modern world and is used as an important ingredient.  

Comparison Table Between Gelatin and Collagen

Parameters of ComparisonGelatinCollagen
ExistenceIt is generally extracted from the bones and tissues of pigs, fish, etc.It exists in large quantities in mammals including humans.
Amino Acid ChainsIt contains shorter amino acid chains.It is formed by a triple helix containing three large chains with approx. 1,000 amino acids each.
Digestive NatureIt is more digestive than Collagen.Hydrolyzed forms of collagen supplements called collagen peptides are easier to digest than Gelatin. 
Dissolving In waterOnly dissolves in hot water.Can dissolve in both hot and cold water.
Form of supplementsCan be found in form of granulate, powder, and sheets.Can be found in the form of granulate and powder.

What is Gelatin?

The term “GELATIN” is derived from the Latin word “Gelatus” which means stiff. Gelatin is a chemical compound that is commonly derived from Collagen by a process of breaking the Amino Acid chains of it. Gelatin is a semi-transparent, flavorless, and colorless food ingredient and also be used for health benefits and is extracted from body parts of different animals like pigs and fish. It is breakable when dry and appears to be rubbery when moist.

It is commonly used as a thickening agent due to its gelling nature in foods, medications, beverages, photographic films, and also in vitamin capsules. Gelatinous substances contain Gelatin. Gelatin has been made from the hydrolysis process of Collagen which is irreversible. Gelatin is also used in desserts and candies which are Gelatin desserts (commonly known as jelly), gummy candies, ice creams, marshmallows, dips, and yogurts. Gelatin is widely used in cosmetics which are moisturizers, topical creams, and conditioners used for texture as it helps to treat wrinkles, acne, and scars.

According to a report, the gelatin effects in the skin can last for approx. 4 months which is generally low as compared to other materials used for the same purpose. It is also used for some technical purposes like some lightning equipment use color gels to change the beam color.

What is Collagen?

The word “COLLAGEN” is derived from the Greek word “Kolla” which means glue. Collagen is a chemical compound that contains 3 long chains containing approx. 1000 Animo acids each. It is a type of protein that is most important in the extracellular matrix found in the various connecting tissues of the mammal’s body and especially in the human body. The whole protein in the human body contains 25-35% of collagen.

Collagen is used for medical purposes for treating skin and bones. In the human body, 28 types of collagen are present which are divided according to their structures; however, each collagen contains at least one set of three congruent geometrical helices with the same axis or triple helix.

The medical purposes for which collagen is used are: 1) Cardiac applications: Collagen contributes to the ability of a hollow organ to distend and increase volume required to move blood back and forth with help of its mass, distribution, age, and density. 2) Cosmetic Surgery: It is widely used as healing medicine for burns, bone reconstruction, and also for orthopedic, dental, and surgical purposes. 3) Bone grafts: It is used in bone grafting because it has a triple helix structure which prevents it from being broken down. 4) Wound healing: It can be used for the closure of a wound. 

Main Differences Between Gelatin and Collagen

  1. Gelatin is extracted by the bones and tissues of other animals and is not present in human body while collagen is present in human body itself.
  2. Gelatin is easy to digest while collagen peptide is very easy to digest by human body and they both are easily bioavailable.
  3. Gelatin shoes gelling property while collagen doesn’t shows gelling property, on the other hand collagen can only be dissolved in hot and cold water while gelatin can only be dissolved in hot water only.
  4. Gelatin is mostly used as a gelling agent and in cooking while collagen is mostly used as a nutritional supplement.
  5. The chemical structure of Gelatin has shorter amino acid chains while the chemical structure of Collagen has longer amino acid chains.

Conclusion

From the above points, we can conclude that both Gelatin and Collagen are chemical compounds containing shorter and longer amino acid chains. Gelatin is a derived form of collagen which is used in food and medical industries while Collagen is only used in the medical industry.

Both can help in the treatment of skin, bones, and joints. Both are bioavailable and gelatin is more digestible than collagen but less digestible than collagen peptides. Both can also help in anti-aging and are widely used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. As both are efficiently absorbed by your digestive system, choosing between them completely depends on their purpose.

References

  1. https://portlandpress.com/biochemj/article-pdf/61/4/589/732938/bj0610589.pdf
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/bip.360271105
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