Frequently Asked Questions

Specializing in Gelatin and Collagen Ingredients


What is Gelatin?

Gelatin is a natural protein derived from native collagen – an important building block of healthy skin, nails and bone. “Type A” gelatin is created via acid treatment, while “Type B” is processed with an alkaline, or high pH, solution. As a trusted food ingredient, gelatin has been used in households for over a century. Its unique characteristics make it especially useful as a gelling agent, binder, emulsifier, or thickener. Gelatin’s “melt-in-your-mouth” characteristics and its ability to form thermo-reversible gels, are two of its most desirable properties. In addition to food applications, gelatin is also heavily relied upon for various industrial uses in the pharmaceutical, photographic, and adhesive industries.

What is Gelatin made from?

Gelatin is created via the partial hydrolysis (breakdown) of collagen derived from the skin or bones of animals. The top four commercial sources of gelatin are cowhide, cattle bones (ossein), pork skin, and fish skin or scales. Gelatin cannot be recovered from horns, hoofs and other non-collagen containing portions of vertebrate animals. There is no chemical relationship between gelatin and other materials referred to as “vegetable gelatin,” such as seaweed extracts (carrageenan) or pectin.

Gelatin is part of a unique circular economy – meaning that no animals are slaughtered specifically for the production of gelatin. Instead, gelatin is a value-added, high quality protein product created from food-safe materials that would otherwise go unused by the meat and fishery industries. Additionally, by-products of gelatin production, such as grease and crude protein, are reused as biofuels, plant fertilizers, and animal feed.

Is All Gelatin the Same?

Gelatin is not a “one-size-fits-all” product – and we like it that way. Nitta Gelatin, partnered with Vyse Gelatin, offers many different types of gelatin to meet specific customer needs. Gelatin is tested and “graded” according to gel strength. This grade is based on the “Bloom,” with higher Bloom correlating to a stronger gel-forming ability. Bloom is determined by the measurement of force, in grams, required to depress a standard plunger 4mm into the surface of a 6.67% gelatin sample at 10ºC (50ºF). The firmer the set of gelatin, the higher the Bloom strength. Keep in mind that Bloom grade is not a quality or safety attribute, but rather a physical property (gel-strength) indication.

In addition to Bloom options, we also offer a wide variety of product sources (bovine, porcine, or fish ), regulatory certifications (Kosher, Halal, etc.), mesh sizes (4 to 40), and country-of-origin specifications. Gelatin can also be classified according to its ability to meet recognized industry standards, such as Food Grade, U.S.P National Formulary U.S.P./N.F. and Technical, depending on the application.

What does Gelatin consist of?

Approximately 86% protein, 12% moisture & 2% ash (minerals).

What is the Difference between Gelatin & Collagen Peptides (aka Hydrolyzed Gelatin or Gelatin Hydrolysate)?

Gelatin is gel-forming, while collagen peptides are non-gelling, because this function has been enzymatically removed. Collagen peptides are created when gelatin molecules are further broken-down through enzymatic treatment. Due to this major functional difference, gelatin and collagen peptides are used as ingredients in different applications.

What does the term “Gelatin Set Point” mean?

The “set point” or setting point, refers to the temperature at which gelatin initially forms a gel.

How is Viscosity Measured for Gelatin?

Viscosity is measured as the resistance of a gelatin solution 6.67% to flow at 60ºC (140ºF). The flow time of this solution is measured by passing it through a standardized pipette which is approved and utilized by the G.M.I.A. (Gelatin Manufacturers Institute of America). The time required for the solution to pass through this pipette is mathematically converted into a viscosity measurement expressed in millipoise. For more information about gelatin or G.M.I.A, click here. For a quick reference guide, be sure to check out the G.M.I.A Gelatin Handbook

GMIA_Gelatin Handbook

Collagen Peptides

What Are Collagen Peptides?

Like gelatin, collagen peptides are derived from native collagen, an essential component of healthy skin, bones, and joints. However, where gelatin is “partially hydrolyzed” with gentle heat and pH adjustments, collagen peptides are more fully hydrolysed with the addition of natural enzymes which further “break up” the molecule into smaller pieces. This bioactive form of collagen is highly soluble in water at ambient temperatures, has a low molecular weight, and possesses no gelling ability. Collagen peptides contain greater than 90% protein, and are commonly produced from bovine, porcine, or marine (fish) sources.

What makes Collagen Peptides Unique?

Collagen peptides contain 8 of 9 essential amino acids and are uniquely high in proline, glycine and hydroxyproline. Containing two key di-peptides, hydroxyproline-proline “PO,” and hydroxyproline-glycine “OG,” Wellnex collagen peptides can be easily absorbed into the body, leading to high bioavailability – supporting a variety of health benefits.

What are the Differences between Collagen Peptides and Gelatin?

Collagen peptides and gelatin have different functional and physical characteristics. Collagen peptides have a significantly lower molecular weight (100-10,000 Da) than gelatin (100,000 Da) and have no gel strength. A lower molecular weight allows the collagen peptides to be easily absorbed in the bloodstream and digestive tract, delivering the necessary amino acids and high concentrations of bioactive dipeptides PO and OG. The higher molecular weight of gelatin makes it more difficult for the body to absorb, but is useful in food, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical applications, in which gelling is desirable.

Nitta’s Wellnex collagen peptides provide a variety of formulation benefits. High water-solubility allows product developers to use collagen peptides in a wide variety of applications including bars, powders and beverages – even gummy supplements. Over 90% protein content makes collagen peptides an ideal candidate for protein fortifications and therapeutic foods. Collagen peptides are also naturally sugar-free, gluten-free, allergen-free (excluding fish sources), and are Keto- and Paleo-diet friendly.