Difference Between Gelatin and Jello (With Table)

You may have tasted jams, jellies, or those sweet tasty jelly cream-pies or any such jelly products. These are food products primarily made from collagen protein found in animals but there are vegetarian substitutes also from which jelly can be made. What makes it different from gelatin? Is gelatin also edible? 

Gelatin vs Jello

The difference between gelatin and jello is that gelatin is a broader term and is used in food, cosmetics, pharmacy, photography, biotechnology, etc. while jello is a narrower term used extensively only in making food products. Gelatin is derived from animal body parts while jello also called jelly is made from gelatin. Gelatin is translucent, colorless, odorless, and tasteless while jello is added with artificial sweeteners, sugar, artificial colors, and many additives. Thus, jello is a sweet dessert available in a variety of flavors and colors.

Gelatin is created by hydrolysis of collagen fibers while jello is created by boiling gelatin and then adding different additives and sugar to it. Gelatin is a naturally obtained proteinaceous animal product while jelly is artificially made using gelatin.

Comparison Table Between Gelatin and Jello

Parameters of Comparison GelatinJello
Definition Gelatin is a proteinaceous substance obtained from collagen protein which is an animal protein. It is colorless, tasteless, odorless, translucent, and is used extensively in food, cosmetics, photographic industries, and even in pharmacy.Jello is an edible substance made from gelatin by boiling gelatin and then adding sugar and flavoring agents to it. 
Preparation Gelatin is prepared by hydrolysis of collagen which in turn is obtained from animal skin, bones, and connective tissues.Jello is obtained by boiling gelatin and then after setting it, various additives like sugar and flavors are added to it to make it a tasty gelatinous dessert.
Also known asGelatin is also known as a gel or a gelling agent.Jello is also known as jelly.
ColourGelatin is usually colorless or slightly yellowish.Various artificial colors are added to jello to make it desirable and tasty.
TasteIt is generally tasteless.So many artificial sweeteners and flavors are added to it so it’s sweeter and may have a fruity flavor.
UsesGelatin is used in food products, cosmetics, pharmacology, biotech, stabilizer, thickener, etc.Jello is primarily used in food production.
AdditivesIt’s a naturally extracted proteinaceous product obtained from collagen fibers.It contains many additives like artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, food colors, and sugar.

What is Gelatin?

Gelatin is a gummy substance derived from the hydrolysis of collagen protein present in animals. Collagen is an animal connective tissue present in the bones and skin of animals and is usually collected from domesticated animals like chicken, cattle, pigs, fishes, etc. It is a proteinaceous substance consisting of amino acids like glycine, proline, alanine, arginine, hydroxyproline, etc.

The word gelatin is derived from the Latin word gelatus meaning stiff. It is colorless, tasteless, and translucent, it may appear a little yellowish. It is also known as a gelling agent. Substances made of gelatin are known as gelatinous substances. 

Gelatin is normally sticky but becomes brittle when dried. It has diversified uses as in pharmacy, biotechnology, food industry, cosmetics, etc. It provides many health benefits also and thus is used in pharmacology. 

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What is Jello?

Jell-O is an American gelatinous dessert manufacturing company. The word jello in general terms is used for food substances made from gelatin added with sugar,  artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, and various additives. It’s also known as jelly. Though jello has various health benefits, it must be eaten in moderation because of the additives and sugar in it.

Gelatin is first extracted from animal body parts and then it is boiled and then chilled. After that various additives are added and jello is prepared. Jello can be of various colors and flavors. Apart from being sweet, they may be formulated with different fruity tangs. 

Jello is easily available in the market as a ready-to-eat food product in various flavors. Jello is used to prepare various food products like a jello mold, jello pudding, and even used along with vodka or rum which is called jello shots. The vegetarian alternative to make jellies is the agar gel obtained from red algae like gelidium and gracilaria.

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Main Differences Between Gelatin and Jello

  1. Gelatin is a proteinaceous product obtained from the animal protein collagen while jello is a gelatin derived food product which is often called jelly.
  2. Gelatin is used in food products, cosmetics, biotechnology, pharmacy, and in a lot more ways while jello is exclusively used as a food product.
  3. Gelatin is tasteless, odorless, and colorless while jello is sweet and can be made of different colors.
  4. Gelatin is a natural product and doesn’t contain any additives while jello contains additives like artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, sugar, etc.
  5. Gelatin is a broader term and includes jellos in it while jello is just a food product derived from gelatin.


Gelatin being a larger term includes jello in it, which is a gelatinous food product. Gelatin is simply known as a gel or sometimes as a gelling agent while jello is also known as jelly. Jellies may be called gelatin while gelatin is not called jelly unless it is modified using various food additives and sugar. 

The most significant difference between the two is in their preparation processes, taste, uses, and appearance. Gelatin is prepared by hydrolyzing collagen protein which is obtained from the bones, skin, and parts of an animal body. It is tasteless, colorless, and translucent and is used in food, cosmetics, biotechnology, pharmacy, etc.

On the other hand, jello is prepared by boiling gelatin and then letting it sit for some time. After that, different additives like artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and sugar are added to make it tastier. It is most extensively used in the food industry.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9781845697587500058
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/24964265

Last update on 2021-11-23 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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