What is collagen?
The name derives from the Greek term “kola”, which means “glue” or “binder”. Collagen has the role of linking cells, being the extracellular support or as it is also called, matrix. The collagen structure is present in all body tissues, from blood vessels and internal organs to muscles, joints and skin.
Collagen is a protein of the connective tissue whose production decreases with the passing of time. Collagen deficiency has a direct effect on the skin – it favors skin eruptions and also decreased tendon flexibility. The lack of collagen in the body is also a health issue, associated with a serious illness called scleroderma.
The lack of collagen can cause instability and weakness in internal organs (prolapsed), and some of the most affected are the heart and the prostate. It is important that your collagen production is supplemented with the collagen intake from the diet for a healthy lifestyle.
Proteins are made up of amino acids. As collagen is the largest protein in the body, the molecule of collagen is made up of a chain of over 1,500 amino acids. The most important of these are:
- Glycine – has antioxidant action, is involved in cell detoxification and regeneration processes, is required for the healthy construction of DNA and RNA
- Proline – helps regenerate cartilage and maintain skil elasticity
- Glutamine – protects the intestinal wall, is involved in metabolic processes and in muscle mass production
- Arginin – supports immune system and wound healing, stimulates liver regeneration and growth hormone secretion
What is gelatin?
Gelatin is a product produced by the hydrolysis of collagen, the protein extracted from animal products such as skin, bones, cartilage, ligaments. Gelatine can be obtained from any animal, but in practice, gelatin is produced mainly from cows or pork.
Gelatin is used as a thickening agent because it forms strong gells. Gelatin is the only non-carbohydrate (polyglucid) thickening substance used in the food industry. Unlike most polyglucidic gelling agents, gelatin gel formation does not require the presence of other reagents such as carbohydrates, salts or minerals and is not pH dependent.
Gelatin is relatively insoluble in cold water but very soluble in hot water. When water is added, the gelatin granules swell by absorbing 5-10 times their weight in water. By raising the temperature above 40 degrees Celsius, the swollen particles dissolve, forming a solution that gels in cold.
Difference between collagen and gelatin
- Structural differences in collagen and gelatin – gelatin is formed as a long chain of amino acids whereas collagen is composed of short chain collagen peptides
- Textural differences in collagen and gelatin – gelatin is brittle when dry, soluble in hot water and gels when mixed with a liquid, whereas collagen is similar to a fine protein powder and mixes with both hot or cold liquids
- Useage differences in collagen and gelatin – gelatin can be used as a thickener in certain recipes whereas collagen can be mixed with virtually anything
- Digestive differences in collagen and gelatin – gelatin is a larger protein and it may be harder for some to digest, whereas collagen is easier to digest and causes fewer digestive symptoms.
- Potential side effects in collagen and gelatin – gelatin may cause acid reflux, gas and bloating whereas collagen has no reported digestive symptoms.
Collagen vs. Gelatin: Table form to shows the Difference between collagen and gelatin
|Gelatin is formed as a long chain of amino acids||Collagen is composed of short chain collagen peptides
|Gelatin is brittle when dry, soluble in hot water and gels when mixed with a liquid||Collagen is similar to a fine protein powder and mixes with both hot or cold liquids
|Gelatin can be used as a thickener in certain recipes||Collagen can be mixed with virtually anything
|Gelatin is a larger protein and it may be harder for some to digest||Collagen is easier to digest and causes fewer digestive symptoms|
|Gelatin may cause acid reflux, gas and bloating||Collagen has no reported digestive symptoms.
Brief information of collagen and gelatin
- Both collagen and gelatin play a decisive role in the overall health of the human body
- Collagen can be found in its pure form, whereas gelatin is obtained from the hydrolization of collagen
- Consumption of gelatin may cause acid reflux, gas and bloating, whereas collagen has no reported digestive symptoms
- Both collagen and gelatin improve skin elasticity