Gelatin vs Jello: Difference and Comparison

You may have tasted jams, jellies, sweet, tasty jelly cream pies, or any such jelly products.


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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? 

Key Takeaways

  1. Gelatin is a protein derived from collagen and used as a gelling agent in various food products, while Jello is a brand name for a gelatin dessert.
  2. Gelatin is available in different forms like powder, sheets, and granules, while Jello is available in various flavors and colors.
  3. Gelatin is used in various food products like marshmallows, gummy bears, and jelly, while Jello is mainly used as a dessert.

Gelatin vs. Jello

Gelatin is a translucent, odorless, colorless and tasteless substance that is used in food, photography, cosmetics, pharmacy, biotechnology and more, derives from animal body parts. Jello is a sweet dessert with sugar and artificial flavors made from gelatin, and is also called jelly.

Gelatin vs Jello

Gelatin is created by hydrolysis of collagen fibers, while jello is created by boiling gelatin and adding different additives and sugar.

Gelatin is a naturally obtained proteinaceous animal product, while jelly is artificially made using gelatin.

Comparison Table

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 used extensively in food, cosmetics, photographic industries, and pharmacy.Jello is an edible substance made from gelatin by boiling gelatin and adding sugar and flavoring agents. 
Preparation Gelatin is prepared by hydrolysis of collagen 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.
ColorGelatin is 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, 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 collected from domesticated animals like chickens, cattle, pigs, fish, 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 gelatos, meaning stiff. It is colorless, tasteless, and translucent; it may appear 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 in pharmacy, biotechnology, the 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 its additives and sugar.

Gelatin is first extracted from animal body parts, 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 as a ready-to-eat food product in various flavors. Jello is used to prepare various food products like a jello mold and jello pudding and is even used along with vodka or rum, called jello shots.

The vegetarian alternative to make jellies is the agar gel obtained from red algae like delirium 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 often called jelly.
  2. Gelatin is used in food products, cosmetics, biotechnology, pharmacy, and many 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 with no additives, while jello contains additives like artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, sugar, etc.
  5. Gelatin is a broader term and includes jellos, while jello is just a food product derived from gelatin.
Difference Between Gelatin and Jello
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