What is Gelatin?
Most of us would remember Jelly or Jell-o as a typical birthday party favourite. The basis of Jell-o is Gelatin, with lots of added flavours and sugars of course. Gelatin in plain form is tasteless, odorless and usually pale cream colour powder that dissolves in hot water and then congeals or gels together when cooled down. It is used in a number of candies and desserts and also used in some cases to make capsules for medication. If you have ever roasted a chicken or slow cooked some meat, gelatin is that clear jelly looking stuff that falls to the bottom of the pan and is then used to make the gravy.
As our society has demanded more and more leaner cuts of meat and omitted the skin, bone and some of the fatty bits we are getting less gelatin in our diet which was traditionally consumed alongside meat to aid in the digestive process. No longer do we have time to make bone broth or “real” chicken soup (boiled for hours) and I am sure most of us remember that bowl of chicken soup would somehow make you feel better when you were feeling sick
So what is it?
Gelatin is derived from beef hide or pork skin and sometimes bone. It is derived from Collagen which is a protein contained in the skin of these animals.
It contains the essential amino acids – glycine, lysine and proline which have been found to be necessary to accelerate cell growth. Unlike protein from pure muscle meat, gelatin contains no tryptophan which in high does can cause inflammation in the body.
The "powderered" form of Gelatin has a neutral taste, odour and is slighly pale yellow in colour. You would not even know if there was a spoonful of the stuff in your juice or water for that matter.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids. It is the building block of the body and the basis for healthy skin, nails bones and ligaments. We unfortunately stop production of collagen as we get older (around mid 20s) and hence our skin becomes wrinkly and bones weaken etc. It is believed that the effects of this process can be reduced by ingesting collagen through supplementation, aiding the body in the repair process and providing other benefits such as enhanced digestion, sleep, energy levels and endurance.
Collagen is a large molecule so collagen based cosmetics and creams are unlikely to penetrate the skin. Your skin may seemingly feel smoother and that is mainly due to the collagen resting on your skins surface. It strikes me as odd that some people feel uncomfortable at the thought of drinking gelatin but would gladly slap it on their skin and pay hundreds of dollars in the process.
What is Collagen Hydrolysate?
Put simply, it is exactly the same as the regular beef gelatin except it will not gel. So it can be mixed in hot, warm or cold liquids. This is preferred by those that do not need the geling capability of gelatin and just want to mix it in their juice in the morning and drink it.
What are the benefits of Gelatin/Collagen?
As we are selling a food and not a therapeutic product, we can not make any claims regarding the benefits of gelatin or collagen. There are a number of links below that may prove to be interesting reads.