Difference between Collagen and Gelatin

Published on July 24, 2015

As our lifestyles change, so does our diet. Our present diet is significantly different from that of our ancestors. One of the most important proteins missing from today’s diet is gelatin. Our ancestors used to get this from raw animal parts that have a lot of connective tissues. Nowadays, we have to depend on supplements to balance the protein content in our diet. Gelatin is a form of collagen. This is a very important protein found in connective tissues, bones, and skin. Lack of it or its degradation causes skin problems and even osteoporosis. This article explains the difference between gelatin and collagen, and their importance in the body.


collagen products
Collagen products

Collagen is an abundantly available protein in the human body. It accounts for a third of all proteins in the human body. It is responsible for holding the whole body together. It is commonly found in the muscles, bones, tendons, and skin.

‘Sheet’ or ‘leaf’ gelatin used for cooking

Gelatin is simply boiled or cooked collagen. It is a wonderful food supplement that has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties since it has the amino acids (which are essential building blocks for proteins) that are missing in your diet. In other forms, gelatin is also used to make glue, beauty products and in photographic processes.

Comparison Chart

Soluble in cold waterInsoluble in cold water
Does not cause gelling in liquidsCauses liquids to gel
Abundant in raw protein-rich foods such as meatAbundant in cooked protein-rich foods

Collagen vs Gelatin

What is the difference between collagen and gelatin? The difference is where these types of proteins are found, their solubility in water and whether or not their cause gelling in liquids.

Our bodies get most of their proteins from what we consume. Since our protein-source diets mostly consist of meats such as turkey, chicken, beef and lamb that have high muscles, we lack a balanced protein if they are not accompanied by other protein sources such as shellfish, eggs, dairy, organ meats, and fish. A homemade bone broth is one of the best sources of dense nutritional gelatin since it also has minerals. But time and lack of what you need to make one makes readymade supplements the most convenient way to get gelatin, or collagen. Gelatin helps our bodies get a balanced protein by providing the missing amino acids.

The main difference between gelatin and collagen is that collagen is mostly found in raw natural foods that have protein while gelatin is the cooked fashion of the collagen. In dietary supplements, gelatin and collagen differ in the preparation or manufacturing process used. Since both have different properties, they are used differently. For instance, gelatin is usually soluble in only hot water and causes liquids to gel while collagen supplements dissolve in cold water and don’t make liquids gel. These properties make them usable in different recipes or combinations.


Here is a link that talks about the health benefits of gelatin: